Think marketing on Twitter is silly for your private practice? Think again.
The world of social media platforms is incredibly competitive, and while it’ll be difficult for any platform to match Facebook’s overall number of users, the true value of other platforms is the quality and type of users.
In other words, which social media platform is best for you and your brand depends on what kind of ideal client you’re trying to capture.
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For example, while Facebook has been falling out of favor with millennials and America’s youth for years, over 80% of American millennials check Twitter at least once a day.1 If your next thought is something along the lines of, “But I don’t specialize in clients as young as ‘millennials,’” think again!
With the way the media still talks about the dreaded millennials, it’s easy to forget that millennials haven’t been that “young” in a while. “Millennials” are now adults between the ages of 23 and 38 who are paying mortgages, raising children, and flourishing in careers all over the country.2
So unless you happen to specialize in clients who fall outside that key age range, you can’t afford to ignore a platform that has the attention of so many potential clients every day. If your ideal clients are on Twitter, then that’s where you should be trying to recruit them – it’s that simple!
Trust me when I say it’s worth the time to polish up your Twitter technique. Even if you already have a handle on things, it never hurts to pick up a few new tricks or tips to keep up with the front of the pack.
PSST – We still have the Therapist Essential Guide to Twitter if you want to dive even deeper on Twitter.
Essential #TwitterTips for Marketers in 2019
The key to getting the most out of your hashtag use on Twitter is to remembering that it’s not magic pixie dust – sprinkling it over everything does NOT always make it better.
Hashtags can be an incredibly powerful way to link your tweet and your brand into a larger, possibly global conversation on the same topic. (Talk about free exposure!) However, the days of seeing big returns on social media for chaining multiple hashtags together in a single tweet are long gone.
Recent studies have actually found that “tweets with more than one hashtag see a decline in engagement,” with each additional hashtag leading to even less and less engagement from your audience.3
As for the length of the hashtags themselves, you’ll see the best engagement from potential clients if you keep your hashtags under 18 characters.3 (For example, “#ColoradoDepressionTherapist” may seem good because it’s specific, but it would get much less engagement than, “#DepressionHelp.”)
The reason Twitter users are more conservative in their preferences compared to other social media platforms (for example, Instagram users love multiple hashtags) is likely because they have one of the biggest cultural focuses on conciseness compared to the other popular platforms right now.
Your tweets will benefit from you sticking to these hashtag rules while focusing on overall brevity. And for some added punch, make sure to keep your eye on Twitter’s list of “trending topics” – finding a way to fit one of those trending hashtags into a tweet has the potential to bring in bunches of new audience members that would’ve otherwise never found you or your business.
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Here’s one more way that optimizing your Twitter game differs from every other platform: how often you should post (or in this case, tweet). Sprout Social put it best with their advice, “When in doubt, tweet more often.”6
The ideal number of tweets to send per day varies depending on your brand and business, but a piece of sound advice is to tweet between three and seven times a day.6 And just like the quote above, if you’re not getting the response you’d like from your tweets, it’s best to err on the side of tweeting more frequently as opposed to less.
While this tip may feel a little less flashy than our others at first, it’s just as important for you to heed. Too often we see Twitter users and, yes, even marketers, making preventable and engagement-harming errors when it comes to sharing images in a tweet.
Twitter displays previews of the images that you share in a 2:1 size ratio, meaning that the platform prefers images that are twice as wide as they are tall.4 In addition, your 2:1 image should be no slimmer in width than 440 pixels.4
If your shared images don’t fit these requirements, then you run the very real risk of Twitter displaying a distorted or heavily cropped preview of your image when your followers see it in their feed.
Considering how common it is for Twitter users to simply interact with content straight from their Twitter feed (versus expanding individual posts or images to see the full version), it’s important to make sure your tweet and any images shared with it can be fully-digested in a topical glance by someone scrolling past.
We’ve been talking a bit about Twitter’s values of “brevity” and “conciseness,” but exactly how short are we talking? When it comes to a tweet, how long is too long?
Since Twitter somewhat recently expanded their character limit per tweet from the classic 140 characters to double the size at 280 characters, you may think that the ideal tweet length has been going up. But surprisingly, you’d be wrong. In fact, the ideal tweet length continues to hover around 71-100 characters, with tweets that come in under 100 characters getting on average 17% more engagement than longer tweets.5
Honestly, this will probably be the hardest of our #TwitterTips to master.
Getting down everything that you want to say (or at least everything important) in such a little space can take a lot of practice. And considering you should be tweeting 3-7 times per day, you have a lot of practice ahead of you :).
If you’re struggling to get into the swing, my best recommendation would be to simply practice, practice, practice. When you’re watching TV, try writing a 100-character summary of every episode you finish. Or try to write each of your personal texts for the day in under 100 characters. And don’t be afraid to make multiple drafts!
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1. Carter, Rebekah. “Facebook vs Twitter: Which Is Best for Your Brand?” Sprout Social, Sprout Social, 11 Apr. 2018, sproutsocial.com/insights/facebook-vs-twitter/.
2. Dimock, Michael. “Defining Generations: Where Millennials End and Generation Z Begins.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 17 Jan. 2019, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/17/where-millennials-end-and-generation-z-begins/.
3. William, David. “How Many Hashtags Should You Use in a Tweet? A New Study Reveals This and More.” Small Business Trends, Small Business Trends, 14 May 2018, smallbiztrends.com/2016/11/how-many-hashtags.html.
4. King, Kevin. “Always Up-to-Date Guide to Social Media Image Sizes.” Sprout Social, Sprout Social, 25 Jan. 2019, sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-image-sizes-guide/#twitter.
5. Jackson, Dominique. “Know Your Limit: The Ideal Length of Every Social Media Post.” Sprout Social, Sprout Social, 7 June 2018, sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-character-counter/.
6. Barnhart, Brent. “8 Steps to Get More Twitter Followers in 2018.” Sprout Social, Sprout Social, 29 Aug. 2018, sproutsocial.com/insights/how-to-get-more-followers-on-twitter/.