How to Use Twitter to Engage New Audiences

Tools and techniques that can help you better understand and connect with your customer base

With 307 million monthly active users as of third quarter 2015, Twitter is a powerful medium to promote events and engage with customers. Nearly two-thirds of adult users rely it on as a news source for everything from breaking news to celebrity scoop to political coverage.

The platform continues to evolve, with most recent updates including embedded tweets (which make it easier to share Tweets on websites) and hearts (instead of the previous star) to mark favorite content. Analytics also provide valuable insights that can help event professional expand their reach as well.

Looking to gain more traction on this popular forum? Try these ideas.

Host a Twitter Chat

Twitter chats are an easy way to engage multiple users real time and receive essential feedback on your event. JW Marriott Hotel Quito’s recent endeavor, which targeted top customers as part of Global Customer Appreciation Week, helped the hotel not only gain additional social media followers on one of its less-popular platforms, but also provided customer response on everything from the hotel building to brand loyalty to future events they would like to see.

 

“I wanted to get information and insights from our customers using market research-type questions,” explained Belen Ubidia, sales & marketing voyager at the hotel. “We had open-answer questions such as ‘What do you look for in a hotel?’ and ‘What do you like most about the JW Marriott Quito?’”

 

33 people participated, using the hashtag #JWQuitoGCAW (for Global Customer Appreciation Week), including influencers, top customers and millennials. The hotel also used the opportunity to promote Meetings Imagined through a dedicated page link, through which the hotel team tracked click-throughs. Through the chat, the hotel found that customers enjoyed the majestic atmosphere and social setups of the hotel; event service — both before and after; and that they are loyal to brands that innovate and continually improve their products and services.

 

Those who consider tackling this type of social media should keep it brief (“I would recommend maybe doing it for about half an hour,” Ubidia notes) and use multiple platforms to promote the event.

Analyze Your Followers

Part of attracting a greater audience is understanding who is currently attracted to your brand. Twitter analytics can provide users with:

  • a regional breakdown of where followers live and at what times users most frequently engage with your content to optimize timing for messages;
  • what brands users follow to help determine competition and shared interests;
  • how users are engaging with content — not only favorites versus retweets, but also whether they’re clicking on hashtags, links or embedded media;
  • which users are engaging with your content the most; and
  • what types of tweets are producing the best engagement.  

 

By knowing more about your users, you can tailor your messages to include relevant topics and additional media (such as video and images) for better engagement and, ultimately, better returns for marketing campaigns.