Twitter is a fantastic social media tool. Brands use it very effectively to engage with their audience and sometimes even as a customer service tool. Promoting on Twitter may seem very confusing. Perhaps you have already tried it with no results.
In this article I will try and break down the process of promoting your fashion or clothing brand on Twitter with a few actionable ideas and tips.
Optimizing your Twitter Profile
First some housekeeping. We need to make sure you Twitter business profile is set up correctly and fully optimized.
1) Pay attention to your Twitter cover photo
With the new Twitter page layout, the cover photo is bigger and has become a hero of the page. Take advantage of this. Invest in getting some professional shot photo of your product or apparel. You could also use a photo of a model or a celebrity who is endorsing your product or wearing one of your clothing items.
The cover image establishes the initial reaction to the Twitter page and a good looking cover photo can get you a lot of followers right off the bat. It will also show the world that you are a serious brand who is willing to invest in their brand.
2) Pay attention to your bio
Since you only have 160 words available for your bio, craft a message that really sets you apart and tells the world what your brand is about. Spend some time on writing a tagline that showcases the core of your brand. Include your major keywords as hashtags in the bio which would help in search. Mention your unique brand value.
3) Pay attention the website link
One important item in your bio is the website link. Typically brands just link out to the home page of their website. This is ok – for most brands. But if you want to stand out, you should invest some time creating a landing page specifically targeted at people who may find you via Twitter. This could be to a special campaign page, an offer, a new look book, a “how to” tutorial and so on.
Just sending traffic to your home page is not really optimal and you are losing an opportunity to present contextual content which will increase trust in your brand and create brand recall.
Promoting Tactics On Twitter
Now that we have looked into optimizing your Twitter page, let us look at some ways of using Twitter to raise awareness of your brand and engage with your target audience.
1) Figure out your target audience world view.
This starts with understanding who your target audience are. You should have already created your buyer persona. If not, here is a complete guide on how to do that. Understanding how your target audience thinks and what information they consume online is critical to your Twitter promotion success.
Most brands do not spend the time or the effort to think deep and analyze their target audience. They simply start posting and sharing content that they “feel” would work. But online marketing should never be done based on feelings or assumptions. It should be based on research, facts and strategy.
Find out what your target audience mostly consume on Twitter that aligns with the fashion world and your brand in particular. What posts do they engage in? What posts do they react to? Which posts do they share or retweet?
2) Post lots of high quality product photos
Most small fashion brands post products photos that are of poor quality. They perhaps feel that posting a photo is a task that they need to complete and tick it off. That is why you see so many poor quality photos of products or apparel on social media channels.
Think about it for a second. Do you post a product photo because you simply have to or do you do it with a purpose in mind? With a purpose of course, right? Always with a purpose. You are expecting people to click on the photo and then perhaps come to your website and may be even complete a sale. So, how can you expect a potential buyer to become interested in your product and get into the sales funnel based on a poorly shot photo.
A lot of social media gurus advocate a certain number of posts per day that you need to post on Twitter in order to be effective. While this may be helpful, it also leads to the situation where brands just post whatever they can in order to meet the quota, giving little or no thought to the quality of what they are posting.
Before you even begin posting photos of your products, establish some brand guidelines. If you got your brand identity created by a professional design firm, perhaps they would have already given you a brand manual, which amongst other things, mentions how your photos should or should not be. This is very important.
You should invest in either a professional photographer or at the very least a decent DSLR camera and a product shoot kit. Here are some examples of the type of product photos that you should aspire for.
3) Invest in video marketing
Video marketing is on the rise and pretty soon any brand serious about gaining followers and engagement on Twitter would have to invest in videos. These could be product or model videos and can be short (like vine videos) or longer videos showcasing the product or lifestyle that the brand associates itself with.
Videos on Twitter also help with search engine optimization (SEO). Google is quick to show latest videos along with a link to the tweet in its results and this can help boost your profile and your audience reach on Twitter. Again, it is not about quantity but quality.
One important thing to remember: do not make your videos overly promotional or hard selling. Go for brand awareness and infuse fun and entertainment into them. Videos can help keep your brand top of mind.
Here are a few ideas for the kind of videos you could post:
- Create videos that make sense to your target audience. They should show how your product will make the buyer feel. A taste of the lifestyle that your brand advocates.
- You can also post videos of product news. Launching a new line? Use a combo double attack by posting the video on your YouTube channel and then tweeting that video.
- If you have a phone with a decent quality camera in it, you can use Twitter native video recording feature to post short and fun videos that your target audience can relate to.
- If you are using Periscope for marketing (you should if are not yet), you can post the live feed on Twitter and use it for Q&A sessions, reading our fan mail, telling customer success stories, show behind the scenes and more.
Here is an in-depth article on using video on Twitter.
4) Use keywords effectively in your tweets
Hopefully by now you have figured out both your primary keywords – those that are directly related to the products you sell and your long tail keywords – those that align with your brand story, your audience world view and related to your industry segment. When tweeting, always use your primary keywords as hashtags in your tweets. These hashtags will enable your tweets to reach a wider audience and turn up in searches. It would pay to put yourself in your target audience’s shoes and figure out what words they may be use to search for products similar to the ones your brand is selling.
5) Follow, Retweets, Replies & Mentions
Remember that Twitter is not a broadcast channel. It is an engagement channel. It is not a one way communication tool like a blog or TV. Social media and Twitter in particular is like a cocktail party. You should mingle around and engage in conversations. It is not just about your brand.
Follow: Follow other brands in your sector. Do not think of them as your competition. Rather think of them as friends. Follow back people who follow you and more importantly those that engage with your brand.
Retweets: Listen to what is going on in your industry. Read tweets by other brands, industry gurus, blogs, magazines etc. When you find something interesting, retweet. Be generous. By retweeting interesting posts, you are entertaining your audience.
Replies: Check your Twitter profile regularly and reply to any direct messages quickly. Encourage and nurture conversations. Ue replies for customer service.
Mentions: If some one mentions your brand, always like the post, retweet it to your audience and then post a reply on that mention thanking them for the mention. Mentions will help reach a wider audience.
As with any social media plan, the topic of marketing and promotion would be quite in-depth and complex. In this article I try and give you some ideas on how to get started. You must always experiment, review the analytics to see how your tactics are working and the tweak your strategy to get better results.
Start by thinking of Twitter as a conversation channel. It is not a simple broadcast channel and most definitely not a channel to spam people with sales, discounts and promos. It is a channel to develop a community around your brand.