These days, Twitter seems to be dominated by journalists, celebrities, social justice warriors, and politicians. But this platform has always been a key tool for businesses trying to connect with their customers — and the banking industry is no exception.Twitter allows banks and other financial institutions to engage with audiences in real time. You can share quick tips, gather feedback, and stay on top of financial trends and your competition. Tweets are appealing because they're conversational and digestible, and, frankly, you can't afford to stay off Twitter. According to 2018 data from Statista, Twitter hosts 326 million active users per month. It's particularly popular among the younger crowd: 18- to 24-year-old Americans are more likely to use the platform than even those in their mid- to late-20s.
You can accomplish a lot in 280 characters if you use them wisely (and keep compliance in mind), but that doesn't mean Twitter engagement will be an easy win. Here are four of the most important Twitter tips to keep in mind.
1. Unleash your inner newscaster.
For many people, Twitter serves as a main news source. What does that mean for your bank? Simply put, Twitter is a wonderful vessel for sharing quick, punchy news briefs. Share news that's related to the services you offer and serves the demographic you're trying to reach. This might mean updates to your business or broader financial news that could impact your customer base.
If your full story can't be conveyed in one tweet or it continues to develop over time, you can start a tweet thread. This way, you can still keep individual tweets concise without sacrificing important bits of the story. Another quick tip: When linking to in-depth articles in your tweets, use a link shortener and tracker (at Gremlin, we use Brev.is) so you can track click-through rates and engagement. Armed with this information, you can continue to refine your Twitter strategy — a critical step in any social media for banks.
2. Put a hashtag on it.
If you run a blog, you likely already understand the importance of search engine optimization. Hashtags are similarly important: They make it easier for users to find your content, and according to data from TrackMaven, tweets that include at least one hashtag boast engagement rates around 13 percent.
That doesn't mean more hashtags equal more engagement, though. TrackMaven also discovered that as the number of hashtags per tweet increases, engagement goes down. It's best to hover around one to two hashtags per tweet. Start by tracking a few hashtags relevant to your industry — #retirementplanning or #financialwellness, for instance — then see which ones perform the best among your audience and increase follower count. Think about commonly searched topics and research corresponding hashtags. The more searchable your tweets are, the better.
3. Lower the barrier to digest.
Twitter started as a text-driven platform, but today's serial scrollers want to consume image-based content. Tweets that include at least one image are 34 percent more likely to be retweeted than those without them, and video-based tweets get six-plus times more retweets. It makes sense: Images communicate ideas quickly, add context, and help users make sense of a variety of topics. When you also consider that people are more likely to remember information when it's communicated via video, including visuals becomes a no-brainer.
Visuals can also help drive Twitter shares for your on-site content, such as blog posts. BuzzSumo found that posts with images placed every 75 to 100 words received double the shares on social media than articles with fewer images. So whether it's an engaging photo, infographic, or video, include visuals wherever they make sense.
4. Time your tweets.
Driving continued engagement on Twitter requires just that: continuous engagement. So it's not enough to tweet sporadically. After analyzing 11,000 tweets from top brands, Social Bakers found tweeting three times per day garnered the most engagement.
That said, engagement drops off when companies tweet too much. According to Track Social, when companies tweet more than five times per day, the response per tweet drops off significantly. At the end of the day, gauge what works with your followers and adjust as necessary. Time of day is also important. Aim to tweet during commuting hours — when users are 181 percent more likely to be on Twitter. Lunch hour is another peak time worth exploring.
Twitter might seem better suited to social celebrities and outspoken politicians, but it's one of the most important social media platforms for your bank. If you find your voice, keep content digestible, and stay committed to what your followers want, Twitter will serve you well.