5 Lessons from Brands Using Twitter to get Followers and Boost Business


5 Lessons from Brands Using Twitter to get Followers and Boost Business

If you’re a brand and you aren’t using Twitter, I have to ask, why not? The majority of businesses have already jumped on Twitter because it is a free channel to promote their business and connect with their customers. Twitter has 100 million active daily users, which means there is a huge engaged audience out there that you could be putting your products or services in front of. The majority of brands have already opened a Twitter account but many are still viewing Twitter as an advertising platform. They don’t aim to engage, but rather to sell. Here are a few reasons why your brand is missing out if you’re not using Twitter.


Why Brands Should Be On Twitter

On a personal level, people use Twitter to share, with their followers, what they are up to, how they are feeling and to interact with others. But why should brands use Twitter? Of course the main reason why you should use Twitter for your business is to be able to connect with your customers as the majority of them will be using Twitter themselves. For many people checking Twitter has become part of their morning routine, with many people logging on as soon as they wake up. Here are some recent statistics on Twitter:

  • There are 554,750,000 active users on Twitter
  • 460,000 people sign up for Twitter every day
  • There are 400 million tweets a day
  • On average there are 9,100 tweets per second
  • 24% of people check their feed more than twice a day

So what does this mean for  brands?

  • 77% of the top 100 companies are on Twitter
  • 70% of small businesses are on Twitter
  • 33% of Twitter users follow a brand
  • In the last two years there has been a 663% increase in users asking for business recommendations
  • 50% of shoppers have made purchases based on recommendations found through a social network
  • 79% of Twitter users are more likely to recommend brands they follow
  • 67% of Twitter users are more likely to buy from brands they follow.

And with statistics like that you should certainly have a Twitter presence! The brands that get the most out of Twitter are those who are using the platform to engage and communicate with their target audience – but at the same time they are promoting their services, products and content to push traffic back to their website. Here are 5 business who are employing brilliant Twitter etiquette.

The Chartered Management Institute – educational and accessible

The Chartered Management Institute is the only chartered body in the UK that awards management and leadership qualifications. The primary use for this account is to promote CMI’s management and leadership qualifications and research campaigns.  Their account shows a mix of promotional tweets, news stories, replies and retweets. Here is an example of one of their news story tweets. Here they’ve included a link to the Huffington Post on a relevant news story to their brand. By hashtagging relevant keywords such as ‘Leadership’ and ‘Management’ it means that when anyone else searches for these terms this article will come up in their search results. 1 This is an example of one of CMI’s promotional tweets. Looking through their timeline they don’t send out many of these, which means they’re engaging with their followers rather than constantly sending out their message. As you can see they’ve included hashtags for ‘Management’ and ‘Leadership’ again, which is good as it’s relating back to their audience. According to research, by using hashtags in your tweets you’re likely to get twice as much engagement. 3   Although the Chartered Management Institute’s Twitter account isn’t primarily used as a customer service tool it’s good to see that they use it to reply to those that are engaging in conversation with them.

What We Can Learn From The Chartered Management Institute:

The Chartered Management Institute use their Twitter account to promote their services, as well as engage their audience in conversation, as can be seen below. 4 Tweeting to start conversations engages their followers and can help to build a relationship between brand and consumer. Engaging with your followers is essential for brand loyalty, as Twitter should be used as a conversational tool and not just a news-sharing platform.

Tesco Mobile – customer service with anecdotal tweets

Tesco Mobile’s Twitter account is used primarily as a customer service tool with most of their tweets starting with an @ username in response to a customer’s complaint. However, unlike some customer service accounts, Tesco Mobile also uses tweets to engage with their audience on an everyday, anecdotal level. 5 6 Looking over Tesco Mobile’s timeline you can see various similar tweets which are helping to start conversations with their followers. Tesco Mobile is maintaining this tactic by continually responding to their replies. 7 Tesco Mobile’s Twitter account uses wit and personality when replying to their customers. The above example also shows a speedy response from the brand. It’s often debated how quickly brands should respond to their mentions. Buffer have previously done a study to find how long it took large brands to respond to their mentions and several didn’t even acknowledge their customers at all.

What We Can Learn From Tesco Mobile

This account is a great example of brands striking a balance between engagement and promotion. Even though it’s primarily used as a customer service tool, they’re constantly putting out engaging tweets, talking to their followers and even making jokes in their replies. By doing this they’re building up a good reputation for their brand and dealing with any complaints quickly to ensure happy customers.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen – the right balance of self-promotion

The Gourmet Burger Kitchen’s Twitter account is used to help promote their restaurant menu as well as being used as a customer service tool, I personally like this account because they reply to customers with humour. Here is an example of one of GBK’s responses: 8 The tweet they replied to hadn’t used the ’@’ tagging showing how proactive they are at searching for tweets mentioning them. They’ve then replied in a witty, funny way, which makes their audience come back to them. 9 While Gourmet Burger Kitchen enjoy joking around with their tweets, they do still send out the occasional promotional tweet. They also use their Twitter account as a cu
stomer service tool to deal with any complaints or customer feedback. 10 By answering any complaints or feedback messages they’re able to restore their reputation with customers and deal with any complaints quickly. A study by Simply Measured showed that 99% of brands are on Twitter and 30% of them have a dedicated customer service team. The average response time was 5.1 hours with 10% of companies answering within an hour and 93% of companies answering within 48 hours. This goes to show that the speedier the response, the more satisfied a dissatisfied customer will be.

What We Can Learn From Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Gourmet Burger Kitchen is a great example of a restaurant using Twitter to promote their food in a friendly and not overly-commercial way. With social media it’s important to remember that it’s not a hard sell. Your social channels are not the place to force your brand message on unsuspecting fans. Gourmet Burger Kitchen don’t use their Twitter account to over-sell their burgers, but occasionally promote and respond to customer feedback. Their account comes across as entertaining and engaging for Twitter users.

Innocent Drinks – creativity and humour before promotion

Innocent Drinks is a well-known producer of smoothies, juices and food. They currently have over 200,000 followers and use their account primarily as a customer service tool. Just like Gourmet Burger Kitchen’s account, Innocent Drinks include a lot of witty comments and write in a quirky, branded style. 11 12 They don’t see the Twitter character limit as a restriction, but rather a way to express their creativity, like this Tweet below: 13 By looking through Innocent Drinks’ Twitter account you can see they’re a great example of a brand showing their personality in their tweets. Social media has transformed the digital world into a place full of opportunities for brands to voice their opinion and show off their personality. Here’s an example of one of Innocent Drinks’ promotional tweets. Of course brands want to be able to sell themselves on Twitter, but it’s important not to just constantly send out your brand message. 14

What can we learn from Innocent Drinks?

Innocent Drinks are very good at being funny on Twitter. They write humorous tweets in creative ways, which not only are a great way of increasing your social interactions, but also makes their Twitter audience remember them, creating a strong brand impression. Similar to Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Innocent Drinks aren’t using their Twitter account to over-sell their products, but instead create customer engagement through hilarious tweets.

Qwerkity – jumping on trending hashtags to promote relevant products

>Qwerkity is an online retailer for unusual gifts. They stock strange and quirky gifts and they use Twitter to promote some of their more oddball gifts by jumping on trending topics. For example, the tweet below introduces their Desktop Drum Set by adding the relevant trending hashtag #EmployeeMotivationDay: 15 They’ve also included an image in their tweet: research shows that by using photos there’s an average of a 35% boost in Retweets. Qwerkity also use their Twitter account for the occasional competition. 16 Twitter competitions aren’t only a great way to build buzz and increase brand engagement, but they also generate new followers and grow your brand presence. There are several different types of successful competitions you can run on Twitter which Jeff Bullas has previously blogged about. Qwerkity have also employed a good example of using the #WIN hashtag which helps to promote their tweet showing that they are running a competition. Twitter members who enjoy entering competitions are then able to search for this hashtag to find suitable giveaways to enter, so, by using this hashtag Qwerkity have potentially expanded their social media reach.

What We Can Learn From Qwerkity

Similar to The Chartered Management Institute, Qwerkity are using trending hashtags on relevant keywords to help engage more people with their tweets. To increase their brand awareness Qwerkity are very good at running Twitter competitions to create a buzz around their brand. So what can we learn from these brands?

  • If it’s appropriate, add some humour into your @ replies
  • Talk to your audience, offer them witty and engaging tweets to reply to
  • Where possible add appropriate hashtags into your tweets to increase engagement
  • Keep track of your Twitter mentions and respond to them promptly
  • Personalise your @ responses
  • Keep the tone of your @ replies friendly and, in cases of negative feedback, be calm and try to resolve the problem

These five brands are great examples of what businesses should be doing on their Twitter accounts. All of them have made sure each of the concerns or opinions of their audiences are respected and acknowledged, regardless of whether their following is large or small. All of the accounts focus on making their brand appear engaging to their audience therefore being successful with their Twitter accounts. Do you need some help with your social media? Get in touch with us! And, of course, if you like this blog post, make sure to tweet it!

Chloe Sanders

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