This is the subhead for the blog post

Are you at the helm of your brand’s Twitter account but not sure you’re tweeting the “right” things? How do you strike a mix of material that promotes the brand and keeps followers engaged? There’s a lot to consider in just 140 characters.

Here are 9 types of tweets that brands can share to create a sweet symphony of conversational, educational, entertaining and promotional content.

1. Casual Conversation

If someone mentions your brand on Twitter, strike up a conversation with them! Keep an eye out for any and all mentions of your brand and then talk back. You can set up columns in TweetDeck to monitor mentions of your brand.  Your response tweet should not be a sales pitch, but rather communicate something sincere and thoughtful in the appropriate brand voice.

You can also monitor hashtags that are relevant to your brand. @TacoBell’s community managers, for example, might monitor #MexicanFood, #TacoTuesday, or #Burrito, for example, to find tweets to engage with.

2. Answer Client Questions

When customers and clients turn to Twitter to ask questions, it’s critical that your brand be listening. Never ignore a question; answer their question or direct them to someone who can.

Note: quick response time matters. It’s important to respond to a tweet directed at your brand as quickly as possible. A recent study showed that 57% of customers who ask a question or issue a concern on social media expect a response that day, and 42% expect a response in an hour or less.

3. Diffuse a Bad Customer Experience

In addition to tweeting praise and questions, customers also come to Twitter to complain. Like a question asked via Twitter, it’s critical that your brand respond as quickly as possible. Community managers have an opportunity to offset a customer’s displeasure by addressing the complaint quickly and politely. If the complaint needs more attention than can be given on Twitter, make sure to direct the customer to your customer service department.

Example: @ChipotleTweets offers an apology to a dissatisfied customer and provides a link to the customer service department. 

4. Promote Upcoming Events

Offering a weekend sale? Hosting a Google Hangout on Air? Networking at conference? Teaching a class? Whatever your brand is up to, publicize it on Twitter. A tweet can be a miniature press release; use it to broadcast the who, what, why, where, and when.

Bruce Clay, Inc. routinely hosts #SEOchat on Twitter. In the days leading up to the #SEOchat, we promote the chat on Twitter to ensure a good turnout.

5. Participate in Twitter Chats

Speaking of #SEOchat, there are hundreds of Twitter chats. Participating in Twitter chats is a great way to get in front of audiences, create brand recognition, and increase your brand’s authority. Find Twitter chats that are relevant to your audience, and be there! When choosing a Twitter chat to participate in, look for chats that will attract potential clients (e.g. if you’re a bridal boutique, say “I do” to Twitter chats focusing on weddings like #WeddingHour or #WeddingMarket). Find the Twitter chats that align with your vertical here.

6. Promote Your Content

Does your brand have high-quality articles? Hysterical videos on a YouTube channel? Helpful web pages? If you’ve been investing in content marketing, show it off on Twitter. Provide links to the content you’ve been working so hard to create. Social media amplifies the reach of your content and drives your social audience to your site. Use hashtags strategically for even further reach.

7. Link to Content Outside your Brand

When you spot content that you know will be useful to your audience, share it! Always keep your users in mind – if they’ll love it, give it to them. Let’s say you’re a wine company and you find an infographic on cheese. That infographic might pair quite nicely with the wine connoisseurs in your Twitter audience … so share it! Your company’s social presence should align with your audience’s interests at every turn.

wine

8. Engage Influencers

There are influencers in every industry – who are the influencers in yours? Find them and engage with them. Find ways to mention them in tweets and retweet their content (when it’s relevant to your audience). This activity lead can to organic conversation between your brand and influencers.

Let’s say your company manufactures cycling gear. Possible Twitter influencers for your industry might include:

-Professional cyclists

-Avid cycling fans/bloggers

-Cycling team corporate sponsors

-Outdoor magazines

-Sports reporters

In addition to mining your brain for influencers, you can also mine data with an app like Hashtagify; for example, you can break down the most influential users for each hashtag on Twitter.

9. Share Fast Facts

If you’re an advocate for your brand, chances are you can rattle off quite a few interesting facts and anecdotes pertaining to your business. Break those facts down into marketable, bite-sized bits, and tweet them. If possible, add a picture! Tweets with photos earn 35% more retweets. Use HaikuDeck to access a huge database of free images and create clean text overlays.

Whether you’re a small business or a national brand, there’s an audience for you on Twitter. If companies can engage with their followers on Twitter, they can:

-Create top-of-mind recall

-Increase brand recognition

-Foster trust and strengthen customer relationships

-Drive traffic

-Boost sales (a recent study showed that brands with a consistent presence on Twitter have 37% more online purchases than those that don’t)

Read more about how brands can leverage Twitter (as well as Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+) in Social Media for Business: Which Social Networks Should Your Brand Invest In?

Have a question about increasing engagement with your brand or business on Twitter? We’re listening. Share it the comments!