Regarded as experts in their given industries and genres, social media influencers are renowned for tapping into rather substantial audiences to persuade, power opinions and impact on purchase decisions.
Prevalent in virtually all vertical markets, those influencers use a full arsenal of online mediums to do this - including Instagram, Facebook, websites and blogs - with more and more turning to Twitter as an essential piece of their marketing toolkit.
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears
Some 2000 years ago, give or take, and when social media was just a couple of millennium round the corner, Roman General, politician and orator extraordinaire Julius Caesar was the original social influencer.
The connection between Caesar and the social media stars of today may not immediately be apparent. But both parties exhibit, or at least did, the same influencing skills and capabilities.
Along with being an undeniably brilliant military tactician, as a skilled wordsmith, Caesar won the hearts and minds of his soldiers which in turn saw him lead his armies to many victories.
21-century influencers drive engagement through and to monetization channels (such as YouTube for example) and endorse products and services for organizations - and win their own marketing victories, albeit online.
An area of Influence
It’s evident why micro and major influencers are flocking to Twitter as with it they can quantify their marketing reach. The Twitter Analytics dashboard - which can be found at https://analytics.twitter.com - lets influencers, and those that pay them to influence, find out what tweets resonate with their target audience with surgeon-like precision.
Similarly, 61% of its users follow influencers, and when pitted against traditional marketing, Twitter wins hands down when it comes to straight to market audience engagement.
Where there’s an Influencer there’s a Way
Great for those already entrenched with followers and those just starting their influencer careers, Twitter helps parties tailor their marketing campaigns to suit an all-new shift in audience perceptions in relation to marketing.
Even though the revenue for Twitter ads are in decline, its active users are increasing per annum - and in tandem, its audience engagement grows rapidly. So there is no better time to use it for influencing.
In light of this, with influencers being vital to commercial marketing campaigns as well as their own, they can create an ongoing upsurge in overall web and blog traffic and increase their followers to fully capitalize on this trend.
Twitter helps identify the right target demographics that influencers need to connect with.
Via the Tweet Activity dashboard in the analytics suite, influencers can get access detailed insights into those that interact with their tweets - including what’s important to them, their age, sex, and the content they want to see and reciprocate.
It’s anything but Hit and Miss
If social media influencing simply involved people posting content as often as they could, everyone would be making good like Kylie Jenner - who can command fees from corporate clients to the tune of $1 million per paid Instagram post.
That’s certainly no chump change. And while that would be nice Twitters reworked algorithms currently dictate that a users feed will not always show the most recent tweet. So influencers need to be match ready and have a laid out strategy on how and when they will tweet.
For example, influencers can identify, if, over a 7 day period, posting 5 times a day is effective or in a consecutive week double that number of posts works better in their campaigns. Monitoring the analytics dashboards will provide details on your which pattern of tweets - and at what time of posting - garner the most clicks, retweets, favorites, replies, and overall general engagement.
Once defined said influencer can follow the chosen pattern for optimum marketing performances. And with the right content themes and times being defined, they can use a host of third-party apps like Hootsuite, Zoho Social and Buffer to post tweets on a scheduled basis.
Not all Engagement is Equal
Brands that employ influencers will look first at follower count for validation of their social clout. Influencers with as little as 10,000 followers can charge up $150 per product or service promoting a post, but more importantly, the benchmark of any influencing media personality worth their salt, is, of course, their engagement prowess.
In its Engagement Rate tab, Twitter Analytics gives an almost laser-like view of the of the aforementioned modes of interaction that any measured tweet facilitates.
If Twitter Analytics shows an Engagement Rate of anything below 0.02%, then this approximately will mean a tweet will get just 0 - 2 reactions per 1000 followers. Influencers can take this data and use it to connect with Twitter audiences with more impact - and propel engagement into the more desirable range of between 0.33% and 1% and 33 - 100 reactions per 1000 Twitter followers. To achieve a metric of this is considered to be in the ‘big leagues’ of Twitter influencer marketing.
You’re in Good Company
Yet tweeting is just a part of an influencers game plan, as they should always be looking to follow trends, other influencers, and topics that pique the interest of the Twitter community at large.
The best way to do this is to track trending Hashtags AKA the humble ‘#‘. As a good starting point, this can be done by using the platforms Advanced Search parameters. Third party apps like Tweet Binder can also quantify tweets featuring Hashtags into subsets of engagement and reach - thus assisting the influencer to ascertain exactly what Hashtags to latch onto.
By also interacting with other well known Twitter accounts, this will put the influencer in direct scope of ever-expanding trends, audiences and topics they are concerned with and want to be involved in. By simply following the right brand and influencer accounts that Twitter suggests in the left panel will get the influencer well on their way to do just that.
Twitter vs Instagram
Instagram and Twitter are the vanguards of influencer marketing, and as a rite of passage, many influencers begin marketing on the more visually-based Instagram. Each platform is seen as a go-to hub for specific sectors in their own right - with Twitter’s ‘Top 5 by Follower Count’ being Broadcast Media, Newspapers, Music, Computer Games, Entertainment. Respectively Instagram majors in Entertainment, Hospitality, Music, Photography, and Defense/Space. Media and news concerned topics draw the most interaction on social media, so although very similar, its Twitter, in its uniqueness, that can help influencers win in the online marketing wars.
Nature of the Network
On the flip side where the predominantly photo sharing network is wonderful to look at, and as such a veritable ocular treat, online audiences find out and get updated on what’s happening in the world on Twitter. This gives influencers cause to jump right in to be part of the related tweets and discussions - and then be exposed to millions of followers that listen to their opinions and what they’ve got to say.
Visual, Verbal or Both?
Twitter focuses on a system where quick updates of info are shared in rapid succession. As maintaining communication is the de rigueur of any marketing campaign, it can be said Twitter is practically built for influencers.
Conversely, Instagram places emphasis on its posts at first visually then verbally once an image or video is clicked on. Rather than this two-step process, Twitter allows images, video content and the tweeted messages above them to be seen instantly - and from there on in, full threads of audience responses can be unraveled. Ultimately its a bigger canvas to conduct influencer marketing campaigns on.
Instagram is more suited for ads placements with its Stories and video ads that segue other content on the networks. But this may not matter in the long run as influencer marketing is noted to be experiencing faster growth than digital ads themselves.
This is liable in part to online users being more untrusting towards ad placements in all mediums including television, radio, print, and the internet. They are now turning to influencers for guidance and opinions on products, services, and topics they are willing to engage with.
Talk is Tweet
Real-time chats facilitated by the Instagram Live story feature has seen mostly brands herald its engagement capabilities. On further inspection, Twitter Chats let influencing marketers go one step beyond by deep diving into conversations revolving around a unique Hashtag. It’s an all-round great tool for influencers to get acquainted and involved in topics and be visible to audiences that may not already be following them.
An advantage of using Twitter for influencer marketing comes in its shareability. Arguably Instagram is geared and is known best for showcasing pictures uploaded by end users, influencers branding departments and companies. Twitter does facilitate such content sharing too - but has the upshot of the influencer being able to interact with users and followers and those influenced by them much more readily and quickly.
Twitter transcends the idea of an image which may resonate with audiences for a day or so. It opens a back and forth dialogue between individuals and interactions on subjects that keep updating - for example in the form of news, product updates, and audience reactions.
This way an influencer can weigh in, pick or choose what engagements to be part of and have plenty more opportunity to interact with digital groups that gather around the digital campfire so to speak.
Quality over Quantity
On a similar route, the two networks have shown a meteoric rise and are now deeply embedded in popular culture and the lives of their everyday users. In relation to size though, Instagram dwarfs Twitter with over double its monthly users.
Comparatively with the Instagram’s user base - which at last count saw them having around 25 million users sign up each month - Twitter’s earnest 336 million users have been overtaken. However playing host to 500 million tweets a day compared to a meager 80 million posts uploaded to Instagram in a 24 hour period, this makes Twitter a more promising online channel to engage with users in terms of sheer content size, if nothing else.
Each to their Own
Both social networks display a similar user demographic of 18-29-year-olds with Instagram attracting more women than men and just slightly more of younger section of the segment as a whole.
This can be of a benefit to the influencer using Twitter as the older segment have more purchasing power and disposable income to ‘buy’ into any commercial products or services they are tasked or choose to promote. This article has shown why those new to Twitter, those looking to up their game on it, along with influencers already making headway on alternatives like Instagram, should look to the network as a priority channel for their marketing campaigns.
The platform’s tools and functions give a perfect reason to use the channel to increase engagement with online audiences as well as open up and maintain a dialogue with online patrons.
Whether an influencers priority is to jump ship or optimizing their influencer campaigns, Twitter is the platform that turns the heads of audiences and gets them talking about topics.