The digital marketing space is in constant flux, as are the most widely-followed social media trends. This blog already has a post about Facebook being dead for marketers, but Facebook is not the only social network in flux. This flux is especially apparent on Twitter, where an estimated 275 million users engage with one another in short, to the point posts, and the top pieces of content are constantly changing.
With that in mind, it’s important for marketers to stay on top of the current trends in each day’s online market, as well as the signs that point toward the direction digital marketing tactics are heading.
Without a solid understanding of the most popular practices today and in the past, it’s impossible to predict the future of digital marketing with any certainty. This uncertainty can then act as a wall that keeps you from more valuable insights, better content, a more highly engaged audience, and higher revenue streams.
To that end, let’s examine the most popular trends on Twitter at the moment and their role in the future of digital marketing.
Because so many people use Twitter on a daily basis, it can be difficult to narrow your content down to target the appropriate niche. This is why third-party Twitter client tools like Twiends, HootSuite, and Buffer have so quickly become marketers’ top choices when they are just learning ways to increase their Twitter following.
These tools grow with marketers as their online skills improve, giving them the ability to engage with their ideal followers and thrive in the constantly changing social media environment. The tools also provide insights into target customers, including what times they’re most active, the topics and accounts they retweet most often, and the hashtags they use on Twitter on a regular basis.
The ultimate goal when using third-party tools is often to bring in new followers and clients. Unfortunately, platforms like Twitter can be time consuming and difficult to gain traction on. This is why the ability to track your ideal customers and schedule your content for the ideal time each day is so vital to the future of digital marketing. People are more likely to engage with and invest in profiles they see on a regular basis, rather than profiles they see post content every once in a while.
Third-party tools help get your face and brand out there in a way that’s sustainable long-term because they help you maximize the time you spend on Twitter and get the most out of every tactic you test.
Another current trend that you can expect to see grow is cross-posting. The tactic entails posting information to Twitter that was posted on another place, as well as repurposing your content from Twitter to other channels like Instagram, LinkedIn, and foursquare. Already, many digital marketers use cross-posting as a significant part of their online strategies, and many businesses are seeing incredible results from the tactic.
Regardless of whether you own a business or are an independent digital marketer, though, cross-posting on Twitter can be a great way to boost Twitter engagement and build your brand. This is because it helps keep your account at the top of people’s minds, even when you may not have ideas for new content.
One thing to keep in mind is that cross-posting cannot be used on its own if you want to reserve a space for your profile in the future of digital marketing. It should be done in conjunction with more personalized tweets that embrace the “human” element of having a Twitter account. People invest more into connecting with accounts they can relate to, which means corporate voices and more impersonal promotional tweets don’t have the power to succeed on their own. Instead, cross-posted Tweets are more likely to fade into obscurity if you haven’t established a strong relationship and level of trust with your followers.
Here’s an example to put the benefits of cross-posting into perspective.
Imagine you’re an avid reader whose favorite author is on Twitter. Would you be more likely to follow their personal profile or the company that publishes their books and only tweets about upcoming promotions and book releases?
More than likely, you would choose to follow the personal profile.
Because the author’s tweets will more than likely be a mix of personal anecdotes, internal thoughts, and promo content that they cross-post on all their social channels. The personal tweets establish a relationship between the author and their followers, in turn giving the more business-related content a foundation to build interest with. They also provide followers the ability to actually engage with the author, essentially bridging the gap between seller (the author) and buyer (their readers).
When digital marketers like the author above take full advantage of that mix with their content, they tend to see more success than those who don’t.
The next trend that you can expect more of in the future of digital marketing is Twitter Chat. Twitter chats have been a major part of the platform since people first started using the hashtag, and they’ve only continued to grow. In fact, hosting these chats on a regular basis can have a significant impact on your follower count and bottom line, regardless of whether you’re a business owner or you simply want to establish a more widely-known personal brand. This is because they increase engagement by nature, helping you draw their attention from competitors and onto your personal brand. Also, only the most active Twitter users tend to participate in chats, which means they’ll be more likely to follow you or invest in whatever your business is selling than users who rarely login.
If you’re the type of person who has trouble managing your time, then this tactic will likely not work for you. The process tends to be extremely labor intensive, as it requires at least one host, if not two, to manage the discussion and kick-start conversation when responses lag. Like any other digital marketing tactic, it also needs to be done consistently, as sporadic chats offer mediocre results at best, and a regular schedule helps establish more of the trust that was mentioned earlier.
When you host Twitter chats that have a regular schedule, clearly defined topics, and good engagement, they can have powerful effects on your ability to successfully continue marketing in the future.
Granted, when you’re just getting started with Twitter chats, it can be difficult to get yours noticed through the noise of everyone else’s. That’s where influencers can help. Some of the most successful new chats often feature industry influencers as either guests or occasional co-hosts. Doing this lends these chats credibility, a wider audience base, and more trust from participants.
The final trend that is expected to play a big role in the future of digital marketing on Twitter is paid advertising. Twitter currently offers paid ads as an option for accounts, but too many people and businesses don’t utilize this Twitter marketing strategy effectively. Instead, many choose to put very little effort in or forgo the strategy completely.
Luckily, mastering Twitter advertising isn’t difficult, and when done correctly, it can bolster your organic marketing efforts to yield even more results. You just need time to test different tactics and figure out what works best for your business in general. Whether you choose to do it on your own, in-house, or work with an agency that provides services such as digital, it’s up to you.
No matter which direction you choose to go, though, make sure you constantly test new ad strategies to determine which ones your audience most responds too. Consistency is necessary, but not when it comes to execution. This can mean anything from structuring your ads in a different way or changing your calls to action to writing them to address different topics altogether. Twitter offers free analytics to all accounts, so you should have little trouble analyzing the data from each ad and adjusting the content they contain accordingly.
Because the digital marketing space tends to change so rapidly, it’s always a good idea to continue testing new ideas and strategies. You never know what trends will pop up and make a difference in your ability to succeed.
New third-party tools are always being created, which means your capabilities will also change to match. These capabilities can be anything from better analysis and targeting of your ideal followers to different forms of advertising and new mediums for content creation.
The future of digital marketing on Twitter isn’t completely predictable, but we can still guess at it by evaluating the growth of current trends on the platform. It’s only by adapting to those trends that you can grow your audience, increase your credibility, maximize your understanding of your audience, and bring in more revenue with highly targeted content. People value relevance, so without adaptation, your profile is more likely to fade into internet obscurity.
From the future, to a quick snapshot at the current state of Twitter – check out this great infographic from Sorav Jain.