Once upon a time — two or so years ago — Twitter was an essential platform for a social media marketing strategy. All the cool kids (and the leading brands) shared their witty, 140-characters-at-a-time thoughts with exponential benefits in the form of retweets and sheer virality.

But Twitter’s had a rough couple of years (haven’t we all) and some marketers wonder if they should remain on the platform.

While Twitter has seen some ups and downs (and in-betweens) over the last few years, it remains the go-to platform for breaking news and real-time conversation. With a loyal following of around 330 million daily active users, that’s not small potatoes from a marketing perspective.

Twitter can provide significant advantages, notably in its open, public nature. What’s shared on Twitter is generally available for anyone to see, which is why more people use Twitter to call out brands for bad behavior or highlight outstanding experiences.

Studies show Twitter is the social platform of choice for customer service-related queries. In fact, 85 percent of small and medium businesses use Twitter as a critical platform in providing this service. Twitter’s own customer service interactions have increased by 250 percent in the last two years, which provides key opportunities for brands.

Here are some tips to help maximize your use of Twitter right now:

Less Push, More Pull
Change your strategy on Twitter to be less “push” and more “pull” marketing. Savvy social media users know that not every 280 character tweet needs to be a sales pitch. Instead, bring more value to your feed by providing meaningful conversations with the people you follow and with your followers.

Gain Insights
Take note of topics the people you’re following are talking about, and use these opportunities to engage with them. Consider using third party tools such as Hootsuite or Sprout to monitor mentions or keywords related to your brand, and engage users by engaging with them on the platform. By providing value and discovering insights about people you follow, your followers and those mentioning your brand, Twitter can help pull clients toward your business instead of just pushing out too many sales-focused tweets.

Above All, Stay Relevant
As we mentioned, Twitter remains the go-to platform for breaking news and real-time conversation, which is an ongoing opportunity for your brand to be present — read relevant — in conversations around trending topics.

Cross Promotion
Focus on producing content for other channels such as Facebook and Instagram, and use Twitter to cross-promote that content. To increase the potential reach of your post, include relevant hashtags.

Customer Service
Twitter, a primary channel for customer service, and many brands understand users’ likelihood to stay online (and avoid phone calls at all costs) by building teams specifically dedicated to social media support on the platform.

Twitter’s dedicated user base is reason enough to continue using it as part of your business’ social media marketing strategy. As long as people tweet, it means your brand should be doing so, too. And by using Twitter strategically in your marketing plan, you’ll reap the benefits.

Want to learn more about Twitter? Talk to some of the little birds at Rebel Interactive Group to get started.

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