Businesses have been using Twitter as a way to promote their brand, engage an audience, and find new leads. The challenge has been figuring out a way to interest their followers without seeming like everything they post is just a dry sales pitch.
And there have certainly been plenty of best practices for how to use Twitter effectively as part of your digital marketing.
But one trend that’s becoming far more useful for marketing purposes is videos on Twitter. This is a new trend, but a surprisingly slow growing one, among marketers.
However, because Video on Twitter is relatively new, businesses that are quick to start utilizing it could find they have an edge over competitors who don’t. The question, of course, is the same one as more traditional posts on Twitter: namely, what should the content be?
And there are plenty of examples of good and bad uses of Twitter posts using videos.
The basics of Twitter Video posts
The good news is that Twitter makes it very easy to upload videos. You can either record and upload the video directly from your Android or iOS phone app or import a video from your iPhone or iPad. You do this in the same way as you’d attach a photo to your tweet.
Keep in mind: there are limitations that Twitter places on video posts. The maximum length is 30 seconds. (That’s because studies indicate viewers tend to fade out after 30 seconds). If it’s not, you’ll receive a Twitter notification to edit the video so it’s no longer than 30 seconds. If you want the video to be accessible on mobile apps, the format is MP4 and MOV.
The time constraints are a good thing. It forces marketers to be highly disciplined and to be sure they tell their story quickly and efficiently.
When you’ve got your video and you’re ready to download, start a new tweet. Right next to the picture icon is a camera icon. Switch your camera to video and start recording.
Remember to create a caption for the video and to use relevant hashtags on the post.
Why is video worth exploring?
Quite simply, statistics show that videos translate into number – big numbers. Millions of people devote countless hours each day watching videos posted on YouTube. Other social media sites like Facebook and Snapchat have more than 6 million video views each day. So it’s no surprise that Twitter has embraced the technology as well.
And that’s the key reason why you want to explore Twitter video posts now. Because Twitter was slow to get into video, most users still post with photos instead. This is the ideal time to begin experimenting, to stand out from the crowd, and to become more innovative than your competitors. Since Twitter feeds are already filled with photos, images and GIFs, videos will eventually become mainstream. In the meantime, though, there are great opportunities to operate differently from the rest.
And, of course, the same rules apply to video as to all Twitter posts. You want all your content to be engaging, relevant, informative and fresh. It can be used to your advantage to connect with your audience and grow your Twitter following. But one key reminder is that you need to tell your story, and that’s where video offer a particularly effective tool. It’s a great way to do organic sharing.
So here are recommendations for 10 ways to take advantage of Twitter video to find an audience for your brand.
10 Smart Ways to use Twitter Videos
1. Promote Yourself in a Fun Way
There’s nothing wrong with creating promotional videos, even knowing that viewers may not be coming to Twitter specifically to get a sales pitch.
Sharing content other than your own is useful and fun for your audience. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t create promotional videos—as long as they’re done well. A good rule of thumb is to not be directly promotional more than 20 percent of the time. The other 80 percent should be devoted to videos that are useful, fun, educational and enlightening. Most people go on Twitter to get news and interact with others, and not to get an assertive sales pitch.
So that means a great way to use Twitter Videos is to tell a story – and if your products happen to be at the center of it, there’s nothing wrong with that.
2. Be Educational
One of the most effective ways to use video is to make it informative or educational. What we know about social media postings is that people respond to visuals – and the more interesting and unique the visuals are, the higher the level of interest.
Studies confirm this, indicating that your engagements can go up by 180 percent if you have unique visuals. Start with a human touch – someone who becomes a strong narrator. Then highlight the value that your products offer (and deliver), but structure the video toward storytelling. Try to make it high-energy, and entertaining.
3. Don’t Just Post Videos – Respond to others
If you have followers who sometimes comment on or share your posts, think about responding to them — with videos. This is a great way to further engage your followers – and to help educate them about your brand. It also allows you to connect more fully with them on a personal level. This approach can be a lot more fun for your followers than a simple written tweet.
This is also a good move if you have special events coming up. By responding to your followers with a video, you can help spread the word about the event.
4. Don’t always be serious
While some brands tend to adopt a serious tone and approach on Twitter, others have been successful going in the opposite direction, and have attracted followers through humor, whimsey, clever one-liners, even random thoughts.
If that sounds too flimsy for a business, some companies have done an excellent job raising awareness of their brand in this kind of indirect but enjoyable way.
5. Ask your followers to post their videos
It’s fine to create your own interesting and educational videos for your followers, but how about asking them to upload their video on your feed as well? It could be a contest that you run asking followers to post videos on a particular subject matter. For example, you could ask you followers to submit videos featuring your products.
It helps as well to ask your followers to use a unique hashtag when sharing their Twitter videos. That enables you to keep track of those videos and to promote the hashtag to your followers.
6. Find subjects outside your brand to tweet about
A business can use Twitter videos to comment on more than just your own products, company or staff. Wendy’s has gotten attention through its Twitter account for posting not just about the world of a fast food brand, but also about movies. Wendy’s often tweets about movies, and the company has used the slogan “We like our tweets the same way we like to make hamburgers: better than anyone expects from a fast food joint” to explain and justify that decision.
7. Tap into viewers’ emotions
Corporate videos don’t have to be stilted and promotional. Find a creative team to produce it that knows how to appeal to your followers’ emotions, and to speak directly to them in a heartfelt way. Tell a story that touches on some issues that everyone can relate to: kindness, hope, caring for others, and social responsibility. Videos that are inspirational and uplifting can end up having very high view counts.
8. Offer smart advice
The Twitter feed for Nike Running provides its followers with training tips and advice on using their products, and other helpful lifestyle information. If people feel like they’re getting something useful from your videos, they’re more likely to keep tuning in.
9. Measure the metrics of viewer responses
Twitter now has a new Engagement feature, available when posting Twitter videos, which allows you to review the metrics of each tweet you send. You can see how many views each video got, whether it was shared, and how many people engaged with it. That allows you to get creative about future videos by knowing exactly what your followers are responding to. You also get a good sense of the best time of day to post future videos.
10. Avoid the worst: dullness
If you do decide to use Twitter videos, don’t fall into the trap of dull marketing messages. Audiences get enough of that on a daily basis from television commercials, and they don’t want to go on social media to get the same thing.
Being able to post videos on Twitter offers another tool in your digital social media marketing strategy. The real key is how creative you’re able to get with your videos. You don’t want to be posting videos that no one bothers to view.
So do some experimenting, and then be sure to check the metrics and measure which ones perform the best. And devote some time to reaching out directly to your followers, by having them post their videos as well.
Today, some brands have already started getting original and imaginative with Twitter video. With fun and educational content, Twitter’s new Video feature is a great way to help your brand gain additional exposure and build followers.
Michael Freeman is the content writer and editor at Chatter Buzz.
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