The Change

The very first tweet was sent out on March 21, 2006, 9:50 pm. In the 11+ years since then, Twitter has become a cultural mainstay where real-time events are covered by news agencies, for-profit companies, and anyone with a smartphone. For brands it’s a prerequisite to any solid social media strategy. Twitter has become so central to social media marketing that it’s no longer a question of if your brand should be on Twitter, it’s how your brand should be on Twitter.

Over time, this how has changed.

Last month, Twitter released its latest earnings report. Their user base didn’t grow; in fact, 2 million people quit using it all together since the previous quarter. This downward trend may surprise you given Twitter’s prevalence and centrality to world news, but it also shouldn’t scare you and cause you to leave. In the same report it was shown that monthly active usage increased by 5% since last year, and daily active usage increased by 12%. Despite a lack of growth in terms of new users, the people currently on there are tweeting – which means your brand should be, too.

We can’t continue to view Twitter the way we view Facebook (in that same quarter when Twitter took in zero new followers, Facebook gained 66 million). Twitter isn’t growing, so it shouldn’t be viewed as the place to grow your user (or consumer) base. But the fans that are already there? Talk to them! Figure out who they are, what they want, and how to engage with them. Find the right type of social listening and engagement, as well as the proper tools. Twitter is still the best place for fans to directly contact their favorite brands, so take advantage.

For reference, here are some brands doing it right.

 

DiGiorno Pizza

DiGiorno’s Twitter account is funny, timely, and interactive. They use Twitter’s real-time characteristics to their advantage by incorporating trending hashtags into their feed to insert themselves into the larger conversation without getting promotional. They use their quirky voice and humor to build an engaged fan following who love the product, the humor, and want to see more.

 

Arby’s

Arby’s is a great example of an account that not only knows their Twitter fan base, but also does a great job of putting their product at the center of their account without it coming off as salesy (noticing the trend?). They rely heavily on specific pop culture references that they know their audience will understand – and it pays off with high engagement. You may not get the reference they’re making in the following tweets, but that doesn’t matter – Arby’s fans do.

 

 

 

Notes for Next Year

Do you want success like this? Despite Twitter’s lack of growth, the platform still brings a lot to a comprehensive social media strategy when used properly. Here are the key takeaways you can start incorporating into your brand strategy today:

 

This post is by ISL Strategy Intern Rosie Vita