We’re in the middle of a blog series focused on building your business video strategy on social media. Over the past couple weeks, we’ve taken a look at building a video strategy for YouTube and Facebook. Today we’re jumping into Twitter video.

Building Your Video Strategy on Twitter

Twitter is a great spot for conversations – starting new ones, joining existing ones, and opening up a dialogue with customers who are talking about you. But in order to find success on Twitter, your content needs to stand out. Because video is relatively new in the Twittersphere, incorporating it into your strategy can help with this.

Questions to ask yourself

Ready to start beefing up your Twitter feed with video? We’ve compiled a list of questions for you to think about when building a Twitter video strategy for your business.

What are your Twitter goals?

When it comes to Twitter, what are your goals and expectations? Do you want to get more followers? Hit it out of the park with retweets? Drive traffic back to your site and increase conversion? Knowing what you hope to get out of using video on Twitter will help you determine which types of videos are best for you to share. We’ll take a look at some different types of video content, and what each is good for, below.

What are you adding to the conversation?

The Twitter stream moves fast and, as a result, tweets can get buried pretty quickly. Before you start injecting video content into the Twitter stream, think about what value you’re adding.

Value on Twitter can come in different forms – sharing an interesting fact or story, a great deal, a special promotion, or chiming in on a trending topic. Before you start throwing video up on Twitter helter-skelter, take a moment to think about what you’re adding to the conversation.

What will your videos be about?

With your goals in mind, it’s time to decide what your videos will be about. First things first: the content you share on Twitter should be relevant to your business or field. While it doesn’t have to be about your company directly, the content should be focused around your space and aimed at building your reputation as an expert in your field. If you own a cupcake bakery, the people who follow you expect cupcake and baking-related content. Sharing stock tips simply doesn’t make sense.

Because Twitter moves fast, it’s best to post quick, timely video updates rather than lengthy how to’s or lectures. If you’re hosting an event – or taking part in one – you can post quick video updates and recaps. Don’t forget to include event hashtags so your videos will become part of the conversation around the event. We’ll go into hashtags in greater detail later.

You can also share videos around trending topics, known as “trendjacking.” A great example of trendjacking is Oreo’s tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl, when the Superdome went dark after the halftime show.

oreotweet

Twitter was all atwitter (pun intended) over the Super Bowl blackout, and Oreo quickly jumped on this trend with a clever ad. Keep an eye out for topics that are trending on Twitter. If you see one that’s relevant to your business (even if only loosely related), jump on it.

PRO TIP: When trendjacking, don’t force it. Only hop on trends that you can tie back to your business without stretching it.

Finally, using video to respond to and engage with your customers is not only good for spreading awareness about your business, but it’s also a wonderful way to make customers feel recognized and appreciated. When someone asks you a question via Twitter, taking the time out to respond with a video instead of a short text response can reveal that you go the extra mile for your customers.

One of the most recognized examples of this is Old Spice’s 2010 response campaign. Isaiah Mustafa, as the Old Spice Guy, sent video responses via Twitter to everyone from influencers to regular customers tweeting about Old Spice. Here’s a recap of the Old Spice video responses for inspiration.

Best practices for your Twitter strategy

Now that you’re thinking about what types of videos you’ll be posting to Twitter and how you’ll be using them to add to the conversation and achieve your goals, we thought we’d share some best practices with you. Keep these in mind when you start producing video content to share with your followers on Twitter.

Optimizing your videos for Twitter

Twitter is all about 140-character tidbits. On Twitter, people crave bite-sized content. This applies to video, as well as text updates. When you upload video to Twitter directly, you’re limited to thirty seconds. If you share a video link from an outside hosting platform, like Vimeo or YouTube, length is not limited. However, trying to keep all videos you plan to share on Twitter exclusively to under thirty seconds is a good rule of thumb.

If you’re sharing a video link, rather than uploading to Twitter directly (which we recommend if you’re not in a time crunch, as sites like YouTube provide better analytics around views and watch time), make sure you’re using a hosting platform that displays videos in a Player card. Player cards turn video links into embeds that can be watched directly inside the tweet, as in this example of a tweeted Animoto video link.

animototweet

If you host your videos on your own site, you can get more information about player cards on Twitter’s developer website.

After your video is created, there are still a couple things you can do to make it more appealing on Twitter. Before you share your video – whichever hosting service you’re using – make sure you’ve selected the best possible thumbnail option. The thumbnail you select will display as the main image in your tweet. It should be something eye-catching that will entice people to click and watch.

You’ll also want to come up with a short, catchy text description to include in your tweet. Include hashtags and relevant keywords in your description as well, to make it available to a wider audience than just those who are following you.

Building an engaged audience

Did someone say hashtags? Hashtags (you know, #these #guys) are one of the best ways to engage with the Twitter community as a whole, as well as with your specific audience.

For your specific audience, create a company hashtag and invite your customers to share videos of your product. You can retweet these videos as well, to show appreciation and add to your own content stream. For a wider audience, you can tweet using specific hashtags related to your industry or product to get in front of the eyeballs of people who are following trends related to your company that may not have heard of you yet.

You can also use @replies to tag influencers and other people you think would gain something from seeing your videos to put your content on their radar and make sure they don’t miss out. Tagging people doesn’t guarantee engagement, but it’s a great way to encourage it. Just note that you should only tag people if you genuinely think they would enjoy your content or find it useful and don’t ask for retweets or shares.

How do you keep track of all these hashtags, @replies and mentions? A social media management tool like SproutSocial, Tweetdeck, or Hootsuite can help you monitor your company name, hashtags you’ve created or want to follow, keywords, mentions and more.

Converting your audience

Having an engaged audience on Twitter is always nice, but how do you convert your engaged followers into paying customers? There are a few things you can do to optimize conversion on Twitter.

For starters, be sure to include links back to your site in your bio, as well as in tweets where it makes sense (i.e. those about your company or products). You can also include calls-to-action inside the videos themselves, if you’ve created your videos with Animoto. You can read more about how to add a call-to-action to your business marketing videos on our blog, and check out the example below.

Special Twitter-only deals can also work well for converting followers. Tweeting out exclusive, time-sensitive promos (i.e. “The first 10 people to use the code TWEETSALE in the next hour will get 50% off”) creates a sense of urgency and excitement.

Finally, use tracking links from a service like Bitly to track which tweets are performing the best in terms of driving traffic back to your site. If certain types of tweets are working well, keep using those types. If not, change things up!

Curious to learn more? Check out the other posts in our Building Your Video Strategy on Social Media series:

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