Social media remains a key avenue for professional and trade associations to market themselves and connect with their members. Twitter remains one of the most important large, mainstream networks. But it can be challenging for organizations that are targeting professionals to deliver a lot of value or have a big impact in 140 characters or less. Some new marketing features that have been recently announced or released are giving association marketers whole new ways to expand their reach and engage with members.
Private Tweets Increase Word of Mouth Marketing
A new feature will make it possible for users to share a tweet with contacts in a direct message (DM). While the value of this may not be immediately apparent from a marketing perspective, it has tremendous potential in cultivating word of mouth marketing. Consider a user that's interested in an upcoming webinar that your trade association is hosting.
When your organization tweets a discount code or registration link, she wants to share it with select colleagues. Sharing it via DM allows her to publicize it without having to share it with her entire feed, which might include family or customers to whom the information is irrelevant. It also increases the chances of her colleagues paying attention, since the information was curated and then shared directly with them.
Native Video Features Improve User Experience
Despite its 140 character reputation, Twitter has been finding ways to diversify its content. Reading an unending stream of tweets from hundreds of people you're connected to can be overwhelming from a user experience point of view. For marketers and brands, it's incredibly difficult to stand out amidst all the noise.
Twitter is introducing a new native video feature. Currently, users can link to videos on third party platforms which can be unreliable and disrupt the brand experience you are working to create for members. As a result, Twitter's new native video feature will allow users to shoot, edit, and display the video all within a native interface. Early previews suggest that the end result will be more integrated with the overall "in Twitter" brand experience of users, while making it easier for marketers to use video in their content mix.
Your Twitter Feed is About to Change
If you're bored with Twitter's static reverse chronological content feed, executives at the social media giant are hinting that changes are on the horizon. Currently, your Twitter feed moves back through time to your first tweet. Important information can get buried and noise can take up important real estate.
While we don't have specifics yet on what the redesign might mean, experts are making a few suggestions. Developing and sharing value-driven content with your audience in mind remains strategically critical. Using hashtags to good effect, and finding ways to respond to tweets are all tactics that can keep you near the top of the feed.
Twitter has been long overdue for a makeover in its marketing tool set. The latest upcoming changes promise to offer brands - especially trade and professional associations - more opportunities to share information, be strategic, and stand out from the crowd. Keep these features in mind as you develop your 2015 social media marketing plan, and determine how to get the most out of Twitter.