Should Twitter be part of your brand strategy?
Adam Shigem
April 24, 2017

Twitter has established itself as one of the major players in social media, but it’s not right for every brand. Every channel has strengths and weaknesses, so when considering Twitter for your brand’s digital strategy keep in mind what it excels at: direct communication, immediacy and influencers.

Take advantage of Twitter’s strengths

Direct communication
One of Twitter’s greatest strengths is the ability to communicate directly with your audience as individuals. Look for opportunities to reach out and start conversations with consumers. If the rise of Alexa, Siri, and conversational commerce shows us anything, it’s that people are getting used to talking with brands naturally. So, reach out to them in a natural way on a channel that’s built for conversation.

Immediacy
Twitter’s roots are firmly planted in journalism. Co-founder Jack Dorsey even credits journalists with the platform’s success. Take advantage of this and use Twitter for the newsworthy aspects of your brand. Focus on announcements, events, and ongoing stories.

Influencers
Every industry has a thought leader, and Twitter makes it easier to reach out to them. Thought leaders are becoming more and more important to consumers. In fact, 49% of Twitter users rely on recommendations from influencers. So, reach out to them. Ask them questions directly and build relationships in ways you never could outside of social media.

So, is Twitter worth it? Take a close look at your brand goals to answer the question. It has unique abilities for direct communication, a sense of immediacy, and great potential for influencer outreach. If you find a way to harness Twitter’s strengths, it can be a powerful part of your digital strategy.

Determine which metrics to track

So, you decided to use Twitter as part of your brand’s digital strategy. Now what? Well, you need to figure out how to track performance. Twitter gives brands access to some pretty robust analytics on its site, but it’s easy to get bogged down by all the numbers. To figure out which KPIs to focus on, it’s important to break them out by your channel goals.


Credit: Adam Shigem

First, determine what you want to accomplish with Twitter. That should guide what you track:

Direct customer service

  1. Average Reply Time: This absolutely must be on par with industry standards, but exceeding those standards is a surefire way to delight your customers.
  2. Reply Rate: Not every query will be appropriate to respond to, but it’s crucial to help those you can. This is when an escalation plan can come in handy.
  3. Sentiment: This helps show if serious queries are being addressed. If you only respond to positive mentions, it may be time to adjust.

Influencer Campaign

  1. Number of tweets vs. number of followers: Some users are more influential than others, so tracking this is a good way to organize your campaigns.

Campaign to reach new viewers

  1. Hashtag usage and mentions: Rallying your campaign behind a united hashtag can increase engagement, so harness this unique channel feature to measure your campaign’s reach.
  2. Engagement: "Favorites" may not do much for social selling, but they are a good way to measure what your audience likes. Retweets are especially valuable, as they expose your message to an even greater audience.
  3. Time of day / day of the week: Tracking the most effective times and days for engagement is crucial when fine-tuning your Twitter content.

Driving customers to your site

  1. URL clicks and traffic: Be sure to organize a way to track URL clicks using Google Analytics or a similar tool.

Now, these are not the only metrics that you might find helpful. It truly depends on the goals you’ve outlined. But if you’ve decided to play to Twitter’s strengths of direct outreach, immediacy, and influencers, these metrics are a great place to start.

Adam Shigem is a strategist at Fell Swoop, a digital design firm in Seattle. Adam has over four years of experience helping brands like Windows, Office 365, T-Mobile, and Brooks Running connect with their audience in meaningful ways across multiple channels. Connect with him on LinkedIn.