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Storytelling on Twitter: 4 tips to help companies learn how to tweet
Communications – PR, Social Media, Content Tools 16 August 2018

Storytelling on Twitter: 4 tips to help companies learn how to tweet

When companies think of social media to keep their followers up to date, Facebook and Instagram are the primary focus of attention. By then, many brand communicators no longer have Twitter in mind. What is a must-have, especially in the U.S., is still hardly used for branding in Germany.

Why should companies nevertheless take the plunge? Twitter offers – apart from the US president – an entertaining and above all dynamic atmosphere. Those who are otherwise only too happy to lose themselves in long monologues about their own founding story have to get to the heart of their stories here in 280 characters. In no other social network does a monologue so quickly turn into a dialog or even a viral group conversation with celebrity participation.

These four simple steps will help companies get the most out of their brand on Twitter:

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More than just a product launch

Twitter is not a market hall, and companies are accordingly not market shouters. So anyone who thinks they can primarily sell products here will quickly struggle with stagnating follower numbers. But brands that cleverly use their social presence to tell their very own story are rewarded with a dedicated following.

There are plenty of company stories to share if you want to give your followers a glimpse behind the scenes. In addition to emergence, rebranding or occasions such as an anniversary, especially the daily office stories and the employees behind the brand are the most exciting for readers and provide insights into the corporate culture. One big company that gives its followers a behind-the-scenes look across channels is Google. The online giant has several Twitter accounts and regularly updates its followers on a wide range of topics. One account that particularly stands out is Google Students. In addition to stories from everyday work, interested parties can also find tips and tricks from current Google employees. But it is also worthwhile for companies to take a look away from work, for example at the hobbies of employees or the CEO himself. This brings out the human side of the brand and gives it that certain storytelling power.

A picture says more than 280 characters

What do big brands, like Microsoft, Starbucks and Co., have in common on Twitter? Their feeds are dominated by visual content. Companies that manage to tell coherent stories with relevant images not only offer their followers something for the eye in their own stream. Often, this still draws them to the other channels to examine the entirety of the campaign. One brand that regularly makes its followers think in this way is WWF. With their imagery, they tell consistent and, above all, educational stories around the topics of nature conservation and environmental protection. Brands should therefore make good use of the entire range from photos to videos to memes and graphics for themselves. In this way, even more diverse stories can be spun around the company and shared with followers.

Share moments

Twitter makes it easy for brands to curate content and combine tweets into “moments. Brands can share a variety of videos, GIFs, links, photos, and infographics to tell entire stories from their brand’s perspective. Creating a moment is as simple as selecting tweets, hashtags or keyword searches and combining them – done! For example, the American coffee house chain Starbucks called on its followers to participate in a contest on National Coffee Day. The creative submissions were then subsequently combined into a Moment.

So Moments are great for businesses and their followers alike: For example, real tweets from followers, Q&As about new employees, or even entire chat histories about an event attended can be easily combined. The resulting story is both exciting and informative for readers. To visualize brand development, this also makes it easy to recycle older tweets. In addition, Moments can be pinned at the top of the Twitter feed as well as embedded in blog posts or on the company website.

Focus on the followers

Perhaps the most overlooked measure when it comes to branding on Twitter is interaction with followers. Many companies completely fail to recognize this opportunity: they log on a few times a week, post something quickly, and then they’re offline again. Anyone who only uses Twitter to quickly post news on the side is unlikely to inspire anyone. But followers want one thing above all: interaction, so they can identify with a brand. This is an important time factor that companies have to take into account. Those who diligently respond to questions, react to tweets about their own brand, and thus make their own profile a lively and inviting place, gain the attention of their audience. Hardly anyone has internalized this as much as the American low-cost airline Jetblue Airways. Here, the motivated social media team not only responds to every question, no matter how small, but also engages in a constant and, above all, exemplary rapid exchange with its followers.

A brand is only as good as the story behind it. Twitter proves that this does not always require novels, but that 280 characters are enough. The platform offers founders, CEOs and brand communicators a good opportunity to create a personal but above all appealing brand and present it to their followers. If you keep these four tips in mind, you will not only be rewarded with a loyal, but also a steadily growing audience.

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