We look at the top brands on Twitter and what tactics are growing followers, boosting engagement, and getting people tweeting.
While Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram are in the news constantly for their innovations, there’s one blue bird that won’t be forgotten.
Twitter is still the de facto place for an instant thought, question, or opinion. For brands, it’s an opportunity for real-time support and showcasing their brand voice.
So how can brands stay relevant and boost their reputation, awareness, and growth on Twitter? It’s more than just trying to be clever. We look at the top brands on Twitter and the best practices that are engaging people right now.
Get Active: Proactive and Reactive
We’ve showcased some excellent moments of reactive marketing before. The best brands have the fluidity of being both proactive (planning content) and reactive (responding to moments on social media).
— NASA (@NASA) May 4, 2016
NASA is a social media star, and it’s no surprise they had content ready for Star Wars Day, May the 4th. Very on point for the space-related brand, NASA managed to combine interesting facts with some pop culture fun.
The tweet saw over 3,600 retweets and 4,500 likes.
Drink company innocent is known for their witty voice on Twitter. They jumped in on the trending hashtag for the solar eclipse last year.
Their reactive marketing even went meta, as they acknowledged they knew they were taking advantage of the opportunity. This happens to be very inline with their brand personality, which only helped their engagement.
A Hearty Dash of Personality
Traditional advertising is being rejected by digital consumers more than ever. The same applies to Twitter and social media.
To have a lasting impact with your followers, you need to show off your brand’s core themes and personality. Brands that have value to them – whether interesting nuggets of wisdom, laugh-inducing commentary, or inspiring visuals, are going to get follows and retweets.
— Pete Zaroll (@totinos) May 2, 2016
The official Twitter account for Totino’s pizza roll could be written by a teenager. The witty tweets fit its target audience well.
Of course, your brand doesn’t have to be silly. Delta Airlines’ Twitter account is one of inspiration, showing the places one could travel to. They also use nostalgia and emotional content.
On this photo about memories of first flights, other users jumped in with their own photos of their children staring out the plane window into the sky. With 486 likes, and 117 retweets, this tweet was very successful for the brand.
Act as the Natives Do
Digital language evolves fast. Emojis weren’t a thing a few years ago. Brands can appeal to their followers by being savvy to gifs, emoji, and other trending digital linguistics. Of course, staying true to your brand personality should always be integral.
MLB has 14 Twitter accounts and that’s not even including each of the teams. @MLBGIFs revs fans up with gifs.
“That thing does not obey the laws of physics at all.” pic.twitter.com/XyXLdfnbLU
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) May 10, 2016
GIFs like this one drive a lot of engagement and discussion. The tweet saw over 7,700 retweets and 10,200 likes. What’s got the world talking? Check out the hottest tweets right now with a free trial of NewsWhip Spike.
Love Your Followers
Taco Bell is great at interacting with its Twitter audience. The brand regularly retweets homages from consumers, along with engaging them by asking invigorating questions such as “If you had to choose between a lifetime supply of tacos or winning $1 million, would you choose soft or crunchy?”
If you had to choose between a lifetime supply of tacos or winning $1 million, would you choose soft or crunchy?
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) May 20, 2016
To their respondents, they sent random illustrations and photos of tacos. It’s clear that the love is a two-way street from the content that Taco Bell retweets.
— merary (@merary_zagadaa) May 22, 2016
This young woman’s tweet about a Taco Bell stop during her prom night got a boost when Taco Bell retweeted it, seeing over 1,000 likes and 183 retweets.
Crosspost Your Good Content
It’s not all about sassy jabs or gif wars. You still want to show off what makes your brand what it is. Show off your beautiful content and things that embody your brand.
This could be your product, or the experience your product brings.
Or it could be other content. Red Bull, Reebok, and even the aforementioned Taco Bell create interesting blogs and media (Taco Bell’s blog on secrets of wrappers is stellar).
Ever wondered what a day in Hong Kong is like?
That content can be on other platforms too, as Airbnb worked with an influencer to show off a day in Hong Kong on their official Snapchat. There’s also an Airbnb blog that posts travel tips and shows off beautiful destinations.
These brands see success by acting like newsrooms and producing content that helps augment their brand’s reputation and value.
Social media changes in the blink of an eye — faster even on Twitter, where 350,000 tweets are sent out each minute.
How can you make sure you’re staying true to your brand and staying valuable to your followers on Twitter?
Many of our brand and agency clients use NewsWhip Spike to survey the social landscape. In an endless universe of content, Spike surfaces the stories and trends that matter now.
This view of food stories trending in Spike in the last three hours shows us what foodies are getting excited about right now.
You can narrow your focus to a certain hashtag on Twitter, and set up alert panels to be notified via email or Slack when a story or tweet is getting big. Your brand’s Twitter will be ahead of the game, or rather, the nest.