Written by James Scherer
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10 Awesome Twitter Examples with Critiques and Best Practices

Are you looking for a way to step up your business’ marketing with Twitter?

Do you want to boost retweets and increase engagement across the board?

In this article, I’m going to critique 10 of the top brands on Twitter, giving you concrete examples of* how to maximize Twitter in your social media strategy.*

Tweetable Takeaways


(Click to tweet)

It sounds simple, but many brands are still struggling to optimize their tweets. Here are 10 examples to get you off the ground.


Twitter Best Practice #1. Use Humor


People use Twitter to be entertained. There are more Tweets about celebrities, musicians, and sports than there are about family, school or work (this isn’t Facebook, people!) In fact, a 2012 study showed that 40 percent of daytime tweetswere about television shows. Entertain your Followers and they’ll come back for more.

How Doritos Does it:

#throwbackthursday: Coolest fan we’ve ever seen. pic.twitter.com/Ll82Zi7Xug

— Doritos (@Doritos)

August 22, 2013

What I like :

  • Using humor : Doritos uses a pun to elicit a little chuckle from their followers. People use the internet to be entertained - don’t forget to throw in an element of fun into your tweets.
  • Using an image : People engage twice as much with an image than they do with text. Remember to test your images before you use them.
  • Engaging with a brand personality : An engaging, unique tone allows Doritos to emotionally connect with their audience
  • Keeping it short and sweet : Tweets under 100 characters have a 21% interaction increase. With a great image like this, let the picture do the talking. Short tweets are especially important given that 80% of twitter users are accessing the site via mobile.

How you can do it:

  • Puns, humor, and quotes are great content on Twitter. Find some related to your business and tweet them.
  • ‘Caption This’ Tweets are often very successful. Why not post a great picture of a baby or pet with something related to your business and ask your followers to caption it?
  • Remember your marketing personality. Do you use geo-targeted language or sector-based jargon?

Top Tip #1: Follow your interests. Following is a fantastic way to discover compelling content and inspire ideas for your own Tweets. Follow accounts that are interesting to you or your business. Also, remember to follow your competitors to see what’s working for them.


Twitter Best Practice #2. Make it Shareable


So much of tweeting for business is about re-tweeting. Encourage your followers to share your content by making it share-able. I’m talking interesting facts, statistics, top tips, insider information, exclusives… All that information that social media users like to take and say ‘Hey everybody, look what I just learned!’

How LG does it:

SHARE this with anyone you know who can use this tip! pic.twitter.com/AIY2pgV95w

— LG Electronics (@LGUS)

August 8, 2013

What I Like:

  • Knowing the reason: Funny and helpful, this picture tweet has it all. When you write a Tweet, imagine how your followers will use it. How will it help them? Entertain them? Teach them? Every Tweet should have a message and a goal.
  • Keeping it product-related: It’s tempting to tweet witty images, quotes or jokes that have no relation to your product or business. Doritos and LG have done a great job of keeping their tweets close to the chest while keeping them entertaining.

How you can do it:

  • Are there common-sense facts related to your business? Combine them with a great photo for some quick and easy retweets and favorites.
  • Inspire your followers with a re-tweetable quote or statistic. Try to keep them business-related, but it’s okay if they’re not.

Top Tip #2: Leo Widrich over at JeffBullas.com has compiled a great list of the 8 best Twitter Apps for businesses. Check it out!


Twitter Best Practice #3. Ride the Trends


Trends on Twitter are fascinating animals. And while it may be somewhat difficult to tie your plumbing company into Miley Cyrus’ recent MTV scandal, there are many trends you can call upon to boost your engagement.

How Coca-Cola does it:

Time for a Royal Celebration! #Royalbaby pic.twitter.com/lITsX3lHfQ

— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola)

July 22, 2013

What I like:

  • Tying in current events: Keeping tweets timely and in the moment is a great way to maximize your reach. Twitter, perhaps more than any other social media platform, happens in, and is affected by, real time.
  • Trending hashtags: Taking advantage of a massively-trending hashtag like #Royalbaby is one of the best ways to strap yourself to a runaway retweet train.

How you can do it:

Pay attention to the rest of Twitter. Is there a large event, like the World Series, Superbowl or a holiday, that you can tie to your business? Find out what’s trending and work with it:

  • ‘Congratulations to Rob Jones in accounting for winning our #NFL football pool!’; with a picture of a victorious Rob.
  • ‘#TGIF, we’ve been working like a dog!’; with a photo of a sleeping puppy.
  • Did you see Peyton Manning’s twisted ankle? Should’ve been wearing our #AcmeOrthotics; with a link to the product.


Twitter Best Practice #4. Go Exclusive


Top tips and facts may be great for the casual Tweet, but to maximize your engagement I recommend a full on ‘behind-the-scenes, sneak-peek, exclusive look’. Social media users love being part of a select crowd, and exclusivity gives them that. It also drives referral traffic to a landing page of your choosing!

How Hootsuite does it:

The way to a sports fan’s heart? Behind-the-scenes content from their favourite teams: http://t.co/EP1YJ6lKft

— HootSuite (@hootsuite)

August 28, 2013

What I like:

  • Behind-the-scenes : Exclusive content, like behind-the-scenes peeks, are a great way to engage your followers. Social media users love being part of an exclusive crowd, and a behind-the-scenes look gives them that feeling.
  • Highlighting what’s important: By bolding ‘behind-the-scenes’, Hootsuite draws attention to the main draw of their Tweet. To bold your own tweets, use the Unicode Text Converter. Just don’t go overboard with the crazy fonts…

How you can do it:

  • Offer exclusive behind-the-scene peeks into your business’ events, conferences, board meetings, etc.
  • Hype your events or upcoming product launches with an exclusive look at ‘the making of’.
  • How about a video of your boss brainstorming, developers coding, the marketing team typing and the sales team on the phone?

And why even tell your followers exactly what’s coming? Just include the text: Wondering what’s been keeping us so busy these past couple months? Find out on October 12th!

Top Tip # 3: A Success Story:

I Love Dogs Inc., a small business that manufactures all-natural dog supplements, used Promoted Tweets that included a mix of dog care advice, breaking news, user-generated content, and sales promotions:

  • Approximately 25% of Tweets emphasized the benefits of the company’s all-natural supplements and directly drove sales.
  • They increased their Twitter referrals to their company website by 203%
  • They increased referrals to their online store by 1068%
  • They had an overall 52% increase in Twitter followers.

Live tweeting is a simple and straightforward way to give a boost to your engagement on Twitter. Whether it’s a fashion show, a five-course dinner at your restaurant or a Q&A with a sector expert, live tweeting consistently boosts retweets, @mentions, and new followers no matter your genre.


Twitter Best Practice #5. Question & Answer


Running a Q&A is one of my favorite ways to encourage participation among your Followers. And Twitter is a great platform for it. While getting a big name is fantastic, you can always sell your Q&A with insider information or a big reveal.

How The Guardian Newspaper does it:

Start asking your questions now for tomorrow’s LIVE Q&A on careers you can do without going to university: http://t.co/rJd5UxKI4n #CareersQA

— Guardian Careers (@GuardianCareers)

August 27, 2013

What I like:

  • Hyping the Q&A: Hyping a Q&A event not only gets people excited before the fact, it also ensures you have enough questions for your expert or celebrity to answer live.
  • Playing to their strengths: The Guardian is an academic and world newspaper. Their Q&A on careers appeals to their audience far more, for instance, than a Q&A with a wrestler would.
  • A Q&A based hashtag: The Q&A-specific hashtag provides context for your followers and ensures they’re part of the larger conversation.

What I’d change or test:

I’d like to see The Guardian bring in a celebrity for their Q&A. A big name, such as a successful businessperson who did not attend university, would drive engagement among young people.

How you can do it:

  • Bring in an expert on your business: ask them about best practices, changes they’ve seen in the business, where they think it’s going in the future, etc.
  • Bring in your your company’s CEO or HR Head: ask them about about their hiring process, what kind of applicant do they like? Interview tips? How did they get where they are?
  • Talk to the heads of your business’ departments and release a weekly Q&A on their insights into PR, Marketing, Sales, Admin, IT, etc.

Remember to hype your Q&A a couple weeks in advance, increasing the number of posts as you get closer to the big day: ‘Thinking about getting into law? 30-year City lawyer answers your questions next Friday at 12 p.m. #LawyeringUpQ&A’

Top Tip #4: If you’re wondering how to ensure you’re getting the most out of your Twitter account. Twitter has some great certified partners for analytics.


Twitter Best Practice #6. Customer Service


The myriad ways in which Twitter is being used change daily. From the 140-character insights into daily life it began with on March 21st, 2006 (yes, Twitter is now 7 and a half years old. Because apparently I’m 85…) to automated third-party Tweets, scheduled tweeting and Vine, it’s the most dynamic social media platform out there. So why not try Twitter for Customer Service?

How KLM Airlines does it:

One of their Spanish-speaking Followers, @avedrio, tweets asking ‘Excuse me, to which terminal does KLM arrive in Mexico City?’

KLM responds within a minute:

@avedrio ¡Claro que si, Ricardo! Llegamos a la terminal 1 :) ¿Esperas a alguien especial?

— Royal Dutch Airlines (@KLM)

August 27, 2013

‘Of course, Ricardo. We arrive at Terminal 1. Are you meeting anyone special?’

@KLM Gracias, el vuelo es el KL0685, espero a mi sobrino

— Ricardo Meza (@avedrio)

August 27, 2013

‘Thanks, the flight is KL0685. I’m waiting for my nephew.’

@avedrio Siempre a tu disposición, Ricardo :) Esperamos la pases genial con tu sobrino.

— Royal Dutch Airlines (@KLM)

August 27, 2013

‘Always happy to help, Ricardo :) We hope all is well with your nephew.’

What I like:

  • Customer Service in multiple languages: Twitter is a great platform for a quick Q&A session with your company’s customer service line. KLM offers service in Dutch, English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Norwegian, Russian & Italian
  • Making it personal: The kind of personal back and forth you see above is what makes Twitter a great social media platform for businesses.

How you can do it:

Test out a weekly Twitter customer service session:

  • Hype it a week or so in advance on all your social media platforms
  • Determine what level of engagement is worth implementing the practice
  • Measure the response on the day
  • If it’s successful make it a more permanent part of your Twitter profile

In the past couple years Twitter has optimized itself for video. Its platform already supported Youtube and Vimeo, and recently bought Vine, a video service allowing you to post 6-second clips directly to your Twitter feed.


Twitter Best Practice #7. Teaser Videos


Vine’s 6-second format isn’t great for a promotional video, but, in the fast-paced world of Twitter, it fits right in. While not optimized for James Cameron or The Return of the King, it’s great for teaser and behind-the-scenes clips.

Here’s how ModCloth does it:

Hey, #SF! Save the date, we’re hosting a fabulous & fun meetup at Coffee Bar Bryant on 9/20. Stay tuned as … https://t.co/Ig9cADuhx5

— ModCloth (@ModCloth)

August 27, 2013

What I like:

  • Teasing an event launch: ModCloth uses Vine’s six seconds to give people a sneak peek into what they can expect at the event.
  • Keeping the tone: ModCloth knows they have a young and hip following. They use jargon (like ‘deets’) and a casual tone to engage with their audience.
  • Geo-targeted Hashtags: #SF is a great hashtag for a locally-based event like this. It makes their event easy to find for San Francisco residents.

How you can do it:

Vine is optimized for sneak-peeks. Have a product coming out, an event you’re running, or a new dessert on your menu?:

  • Compose a six-second video clip of the box being delivered and unwrapped
  • A behind-the-scenes look before the event
  • A quick glimpse at how the dessert is put together

Don’t worry about throwing up an amateurish video. Vine was made for amateurs and a candid feel is great to give a personal touch to your marketing strategy.

Top Tip #5: My colleague at Wishpond has written a great article on   5 Ways Marketers Can Use Twitter’s Vine App to Drive Social Media ROI. I highly recommend giving it a read.



Twitter Best Practice #8. A-Day-in-the-Life Videos


Just because Twitter owns Vine doesn’t mean it’s your only option. Sending your followers to a different page with an embedded youtube or vimeo clip (as long as the landing page is a good one) can be a great way to engage your followers.

How the Indianapolis Colts did it:

What’s it like covering T.Y. Hilton? @greg_toler’s #HelmetCam video gives you an idea. WATCH: http://t.co/zz09tGrH9s pic.twitter.com/VmozdmAEej

— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts)

August 29, 2013

What I like:

  • Asking a question: A great way to grab people’s attention for a behind-the-scenes video is with a great question like, ‘What’s it like covering T.Y. Hilton?’ Nothing grabs fans like an exclusive.
  • POV Videos: My favorite way to do a behind-the-scenes video is by choosing an employee (or, in this case, a pro football player) and showing their daily experience through their eyes.
  • A project-specific hashtag: Like the Q&A hashtag, organizing your projects into specific hashtags allows the Colt’s followers to search for the projects they’re interested in, instead of having to scroll through all their posts.

How you can do it:

Behind-the-scenes videos also work for businesses where tackling isn’t part of your day job:

Do you have an internship, work-experience program or new hire? Give them a camera and have them film ‘A Day in the Life at Smith Pharmaceuticals.’ Post it on Twitter and use it to bring in other employees. Or how about ‘A Day in the Life of a Sales Manager’? Or CEO? Or mail room?

Remember to make your videos entertaining; either funny, outlandish or informative. If they’re popular, try hyping them on your social media platforms and making them a weekly or monthly thing.

Use Contests and Sweepstakes:

Contests, sweepstakes and giveaways are a great way to augment your standard Twitter strategy and create a surge of engagement on Twitter


Twitter Best Practice #9. Running a Contest off-Twitter:


While Twitter is a great place for a contest, your website will work just as well. Promoting your business’ contest, competition or vote on Twitter and then sending them to a landing page is also a great use of the site.

Here’s how ELLE does it:

Want to see your designs in ELLE? We’re partnering with @bytheco to bring a new designer to market! Enter here: http://t.co/OzG22QiXlb

— ELLE Magazine (US) (@ELLEmagazine)

August 28, 2013

What I like:

  • A great hook: Hooks and headers are vital to a good contest. ELLE asks their followers a question they know the answer to: ‘Want to see your designs in ELLE?’ This header catches the eye of their fashion-focused followers.
  • Partnerships: Contests are a great thing to partner on. Partnerships immediately double the reach of your social media campaign.
  • A great landing page: The link they’ve provided ‘Calling All Future Fashion Designers’ sends their Twitter followers to a great landing page, with clear links to their seven social media platforms and further ways to engage. Remember to ask yourself ‘what is this Tweet accomplishing for my business?’ before you post.

How you can do it:

Don’t have many Twitter followers yet? Running a sweepstakes on Twitter is the simplest type of contest - users submit their email address, click ‘Enter Contest’ and they’re entered into a random drawing for a prize. Twitter is also a great platform for photo contests. Photo Contests are an easy way to entice users to upload a photo and have the community vote on their favorite to win. To maximize entries, choose a photo theme that is easy for most users to get a photo of.

For more information read my colleague’s blog on The 8 Types of Twitter Contests.


Twitter Best Practice #10. Running a contest on Twitter


Simpler contests work great within the social media platform itself. A trivia question - either related to your business or not - is just one of many ways you can engage your followers with your brand. Making the contest recur is a great way to keep the engagement constant. Remember to balance your prizes well; not too small or you won’t see any interest, not too big or you’ll go bankrupt after the first month.

Here’s how Sephora does it:

Answer our upcoming trivia question to enter for the chance to win a @MarcBeauty set. Details: http://t.co/9MoZOQejqS #MarcMondays

— Sephora (@Sephora)

August 26, 2013

And the question is: Which @Sephora store does @MarcJacobs walk by every day to work? Hint: http://t.co/2KqgNA9mlx

— Sephora (@Sephora)

August 26, 2013

Congratulations to our lucky #MarcMondays winners: @dhbishara @xojennydey & @JaneRabbitxo88 ! Enjoy your @MarcBeauty sets!

— Sephora (@Sephora)

August 26, 2013

What I like:

  • Recurring contests: Running a weekly giveaway (in Sephora’s case #MarcMondays) is a great way to drive engagement back to your Twitter profile consistently. Your followers who didn’t win this week have another chance, and another after that.
  • Keeping it fast: Twitter is a fast-paced social environment. Sephora plays to the busy days of their followers by beginning and ending this trivia sweepstakes in only three hours. Running the sweepstakes so quickly makes it clear to their followers that there will always be another chance to win.

What I’d change or test:

Although there is something to be said for the quick and simple contest Sephora has run, using one of Wishpond’s Twitter Promotions Apps would create more engagement, as well as giving you a solid analytics platform to make sure you’re maximizing your ROI.

How you can do it:

It’s easy to get downhearted using social media. You run a contest or sweepstakes and you get fewer responses than you’d hoped. Don’t give up! If you’re confident in your contest, stick with it. You may have to run a recurring contest three or four times before you see solid results.


Conclusion:


I hope you found these examples useful, and have a better idea of how to optimize your Tweets as well as use video, contests, and live tweeting.


Related Reading


Wishpond's Facebook Contest Apps make it easy to create sweepstakes, photo contests, Instagram hashtag contests & more.


Written by James Scherer

James Scherer is the content editor at Wishpond. When he's not writing or designing for Wishpond he's risking his life biking around the city. Reach out to him on Twitter @JDScherer.