Some companies are finally starting to grasp the importance of social media marketing, while other late adopters are still behind in this constantly growing reality. Last week, I listened to a webinar led by Anne Mercogliano, Kipp Bodnar, and Amanda Felson, who discussed several twitter-related subjects that highlight the benefits of the social network as a marketing channel.

Afterward, I signed off with some very useful nuggets of information that I’m surely going to incorporate into my marketing tactics. For those who missed it, here are some main takeaways.

Without a content strategy, your social ship is sunk.

There’s only one place to start when approaching Twitter marketing, and that’s content strategy. All social media platforms give you a stage to display your content, but doing so should be done in a strategic fashion or you will just be wasting your time.

Put a plan in place and execute it. The first question to ask is, “what is the purpose of your content?” Content can highlight a promotion or marketing need, but overall should add value and help your audience.

The next question to ask after you’ve created your content is, “what do you do with it?” Plan and schedule it out.  Much like a dancer who practices a routine hundreds of times before performing in front of a live audience, a marketer looking to publish content should have a schedule in place to maximize its success.

Mix up your direct and indirect lead generation.

You need a good mix of direct and indirect lead generation. During the webinar, they recommended following an 80/20 ratio: 80% indirect and 20% direct.

Think back to advertising 101 and the concept of push vs. pull ads. Direct lead generation relates to the term “push” as push for action, with calls to action and being direct about your goal. Direct lead generation focuses on clearly stating the reason for the content and the call to action.

Ex. Writing an eBook? Check out our five templates and sign-up for our eBook guide.  

On the other hand, indirect lead generation resembles the “pull” tactic; where you pull your audience in with quality content that engages them. You build a relationship with your audience through the implantation of meaningful, quality content.

Ex. Writing an eBook? Here are a few examples to get inspired. 

Take advantage of lead generation cards.

This was one topic that I was not too familiar with but glad I was introduced to. Lead generations cards are a great tool provided by Twitter that makes it easy to include promotions or calls-to-action in your timeline.

A lead generation card is made up of four parts: an offer, an image, a short description, and a call-to-action. This makes it easy to not only promote a special but also gather valuable information from those who engage with the card. Information of the user is sent to a file that can later be used to target later.

Make this non-visual Platform visual.

Out of all the social media platforms out there, Twitter might be the least visual of them all, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be visual with your tweets. It’s proven that tweets that include an image are at least twice as likely to get a response.

Visually appealing content will always be more successful no matter the platform. There must be a balance though. As advised by Kipp Bodnar, a good formula to follow is a 4:1 ratio. For every 5 tweets you send, one should be visually attracting.

Advertise to amplify content.

The last takeaway is one that I am familiar with and believe in a lot as a means of expanding your reach past the followers you already have. Advertising on Twitter amplifies your content and exposes it to others who otherwise wouldn’t have seen it.  The best practice is to promote the most successful organic tweets. Tweets with high engagement numbers have already proven their effectiveness and will yield high results when exposed to a larger audience.

Twitter has become a must use  platform for anyone looking to keep up with the evolving digital marketing world, and as a relatively new form of marketing it is always helpful to receive tips on how to use it properly. If you were unable to catch the webinar live, or, are looking for more information than what I provided in this post, here is the slideshow.