We are on Twitter, now what?

As Twitter marks its ten-year anniversary, marketers have boundless ways to use this social network as a major marketing tool. But how?

Twitter has enhanced its platform to include hyper targeted advertising, video roll in and live editing via mobile, hired on industry leaders such as their new CMO Leslie Breland, formerly at AMEX, at the executive level and more. Marketers can gain organic influence, do effective Direct Marketing, drive event registrations, and build a personal brand for their company thought leaders―all in Twitter. So you are on Twitter and want to maximize your effect. Here are three ways to optimize Twitter Marketing efforts and drive results.

Twitter Marketing Tactic #1: Find and Create Your Twitter Ecosystem

Twitter is based on Social Influence. You either are an influencer or you need to look to become in the inner circles of influencers in your industry. This can include Celebrities, Media Personnel, Journalists, Industry Thought Leaders and so on.

So first you need to find the Twitter influencers. There are many tools you can use to find them. The easiest place to start is on Twitter using its Search tool. In this you can search for specific Twitter users and find Twitter accounts or conversations involving potential people you may want to follow.

Twitter also suggests a “Who to Follow” on the righthand side of your Twitter Homepage. These accounts are based on other accounts you recently followed and ones that are generally “verified”. Verified accounts in Twitter mean that Twitter deems these the official, real accounts of that person or company. You want to watch out for following fake Twitter accounts. Look for the verification symbol or checkmark next to Twitter accounts you think about following.

There are also a large number of third party Twitter Follow Finding tools that you may consider for identifying Twitter Influencers in your industry. Some that I have used for my Twitter Marketing and would recommend include: Manage Flitter, Follower Wonk, Twill, Weepy, Crowd Fire, Commun.it, and many more (there are over 100 of these tools and counting as of late 2015).

The keys to success in creating your ecosystem, as is with the other social networks, is to build a Follower:Following ratio of people that can influence better business for your organization. This means everything from getting mentions from Followers who know you and your content well and can help you create your own personal brand influence to those who will retweet your event promotions or Sponsored Twitter Cards. This is why who you Follow is as important as who Follows you.

And as you build out those you Follow, you want to make sure you are beginning to sort out who they are and how you plan to interact with them. This means using the Twitter Lists Tool. By using Lists, you can create both public and private lists. For example, you can list Media Influencers, Target Vertical CEO’s, Conference Speakers and so on. Lists are particularly useful for keeping track of event attendees, conference speakers, tweet chat members, and targeted media. By creating, monitoring, and engaging with Lists, you stay aware of what is going on with your influencers.

Twitter Marketing Tactic #2: Nurture & Engage with Your Followers in an Authentic, Supportive Way

Now that you have started to build a list of those whom you are Following for your Twitter Marketing and have profiled them to make sure they are real, influential, and on target with your industry, then it is time to have a plan to nurture, engage, and support. This is where Social Media Monitoring and Management tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, Social Sprout, Nimble, and many others can be very helpful in saving you time while giving you the ability to engage on Twitter.

By using these tools, you can track conversations by keywords and by Twitter account. In this, you will find opportunities to engage. You can be ahead of your competitors on Twitter by truly supporting those who retweet you, mention you, and so forth by thanking them, doing the same for them, and even reaching out to them with a Direct Message to begin a real conversation. In the same way, I suggest you take LinkedIn first connects offline to truly begin to build a relationship, which you can also do for your Twitter Followers. Also, like any other social network, know that this is a daily job of supporting and engaging. This is why utilizing a platform for daily monitoring is crucial to proper Twitter Marketing Management.

Nurturing and engaging, i.e., being responsive, also shows your personality. In this way, you can start to cement your personal brand or social brand online. By showing how you treat others, what value you can add to their Twitter conversations, and industry Tweet chats in which you join, others can see what you are really all about and help to build a strong brand position online.

Twitter Marketing Tactic #3: Testing Advanced Twitter Ad Targeting, Video, and More

With Twitter’s 2015 acquisition of Periscope, the platform truly enhanced its video sharing capabilities. Now marketers can live video stream shares of event segments, use video in ad rolls, edit video on the Twitter mobile app and more.

With Twitter’s hyper-targeted ad platform, marketers can now create compelling Twitter Cards to encourage Twitter users to go to a landing page, website, and Twitter profile. Further, these ads can be used under a Follower campaign, to drive up new followers quickly and ones that are targeted for new or low volume accounts.

On Twitter, marketers can target by industry, title, location, and even keywords in their Twitter Marketing programs. Further, the costs to advertise are fairly low. Twitter is meant for branding and impression based targeting, so CPCs and CPMs are lower than the other heavy ad-driven networks like Facebook. On Twitter, marketers can also target “Flexible Audiences” by creating combinations of existing Tailored Audiences and adding filters based on the frequency of engagement events.

This is the time for marketers to use Twitter Marketing as an advertising, branding, and social branding tool. Twitter supports more messages per daily active user per second than any other social network. Should the Twitter team move faster and smarter than ever before, its ten-year anniversary may be a great growth story for the tech media. With a new, proven CMO at the Marketing helm and its Founder back in daily action, Twitter is ripe to get out of the red and start to inch closer to the status of the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn.