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8 Brands Using Twitter Effectively

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8 Brands Using Twitter Effectively

Twitter has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 2006 as a 140-character microblogging site.

Today, more than 436 million people use the social media site every month to follow the news, interact with celebrities, and share information.

It was initially a platform for individuals to share thoughts, opinions, and ideas with the world. Enterprising marketing strategists soon realized it was the perfect app for engaging with consumers and initiating conversations about brands.

That’s not to say there weren’t several missteps along the way.

In the early days of social media, which was sometimes called “new media,” so-called “experts” didn’t know much more than your average early tech adopter.

Without much data to back up their strategies, they often made things up as they went along. And this sometimes had disastrous results (remember when DiGiorno coopted a trending hashtag without realizing it was about domestic abuse?)

But as is usually the case, as Twitter became a regular part of global culture, savvy marketers began to understand how to use the platform effectively.

But like no two businesses are alike, no two tweet strategies will be identical.

Let’s take a look at some brands that are top performers on Twitter and discuss what it is about them that makes them so successful.

The Fan Interaction Master

Few fanbases are as rabid as gamers.

From sharing gameplay footage to discussing the latest release rumors, video games are a consistently popular topic on social media platforms.

And in the Twitterverse, no one is more popular than PlayStation.

At the time of writing, the primary account for the Sony gaming console had 26.6 million followers. Used to promote games via trailers, advertise sales on the PlayStation store, and tease new content, nearly every post receives hundreds of retweets and thousands of likes.

And this is just one of the accounts under the PS brand.

In addition to the main account mentioned earlier, they also have a dedicated support account to help users resolve hardware issues and bugs, an account dedicated to Vita (its handheld gaming system), and different accounts for different global regions.

Working together under one umbrella, PlayStation provides remarkable brand consistency and offers everything from technical support to game recommendations.

But what separates PlayStation from lesser brands is the responsiveness with which its accounts are managed.

From resolving hardware issues and bugs to recommending games for purchase, the account is known for being approachable and seeking to help the gaming community in any way it can.

They’re not stingy with the retweets, and fans have rewarded them with engagement.

What you can learn from PlayStation’s Twitter: Social media is all about conversations. Whereas traditional media like television or outdoor are a one-way street where brands speak at their targets, Twitter allows you actually to hold a conversation. Engage with your audience for maximum results.

The Entertainer

Once known as the fast-food place with the square burgers, Wendy’s has lapped the competition through social media.

And the main reason for that is how the account is run. With 3.9 million followers, Wendy’s outperforms the bigger burger joints in interaction and engagement.

This may be because, unlike most companies, Wendy’s doesn’t play it safe on Twitter.

Looking for a way to stand out (circa 2017), it went all-in on hilarious takedowns of the competition and savage clap backs on consumers. And people love it.

In 2018, Wendy’s launched National Roast Day with its hashtag.

This social media holiday quickly became a can’t-miss event for the platform, with the fast-food brand pulling no punches and showing no mercy in short and insulting tweets aimed at competitors and customers alike.

And every year, people and companies of all types lined up for their roast, hoping to snag a little bit of Wendy’s social media clout.

What makes Wendy’s Twitter so successful? It’s the consistency, creativity, and wit with which it is run. Wendy’s has created a brand voice that is unique and authentic, adding to conversations in a humorous manner that resonates with audiences.

In an era where many brands are afraid of taking chances, lest they fall afoul of public opinion, Wendy’s is unabashedly outspoken. Their content is relevant and on-topic with current events, insulting without verging into the offensive. It’s a fine line to walk, but Wendy’s has mastered it.

What you can learn from Wendy’s Twitter: Funny will get you a long way. Your Twitter account doesn’t have to be run by an insult comedian, but developing humorous content will generate a lot more follows and shares that boring vanilla “look how great we are” or “this is our new product” posts.

The Account With Humanity

Flying is stressful. Just ask anyone who has run through a terminal to catch a connecting flight or remove their belt, shoes, and jacket, only to set off the metal detector at security.

And in this high-stress, often the uncomfortable environment, one brand manages to stand out on Twitter: JetBlue.

On an all-too-often impersonal platform, JetBlue has found a way to convey authenticity and personality while demonstrating an exceptional level of customer service.

Unafraid to tackle complicated customer service issues or address negative feedback, this account provides unexpected responsiveness from a corporation this size – or any size, for that matter.

JetBlue’s dedicated customer service team seeks to respond to every Tweet directed their way. From helping travelers change reservations to tracking down lost luggage, their Twitter account shows a remarkable amount of compassion and self-awareness.

And on top of this, the airline has a clearly defined brand persona that is warm, inviting, and above all, human.

From vacation ideas to silly puns to employee photos, JetBlue posts various original content that doesn’t feel like mechanical branding delivered by mindless marketing drones.

What you can learn from JetBlue’s Twitter: Be authentic, own up to your mistakes, and show a bit of personality. Stiff and robotic Twitter accounts are a dime a dozen and easily forgettable. Show your audience that there is a real person behind yours, and they’ll respond positively.

The Content King

If there’s one thing baseball fans love, it’s statistics.

From basic numbers like batting average to complex stats like wins above replacement, the numbers tell a story you can’t find in most other sports. And no one knows this better than Major League Baseball.

But there’s also so much more to the game than just data. There are also diving catches, clutch extra-base hits, and tense squeeze play scenarios.

So, how does a major sporting league deal with this diversity? With segmentation, of course.

MLB’s main account is chock full of numbers for the stats geeks. Infographics give baseball fans appealing visuals about things like Albert Pujols’ on-base and slugging percentages over the last ten games.

Are you looking for something with more flash? MLB utilizes the full power of GIFs with a Twitter account dedicated to them, MLBgifs.

And for the fans still upset about an umpire’s call or those who want to brush up on the nuances of the rulebook, MLBReplays gives them another look at close and controversial plays.

Major League Baseball does a wonderful job of creating and posting the type of content its fans want for a league sometimes accused of losing touch with its fanbase.

What you can learn from MLB’s Twitter: Content reigns supreme over everything else. Give your followers the kind of content that only you can deliver.

And don’t be afraid to branch out. If your content is too diverse for a single account, create another – make sure you’re dedicating the resources to make that one successful, too.

The One Who Speaks Up

A lot is going on in the world right now, and it can sometimes feel like we’ve reached an unprecedented level of polarization. And nowhere is this more evident than on Twitter.

This is partly due to the platform’s algorithm, which promotes content similar to what a person has already interacted with. The anonymity provides for trolls and other bad actors.

In this climate, it’s no surprise many brands are afraid to take a hard stance on anything. After all, changing political winds could lead to calls for a boycott ala Keurig or Chick-fil-a.

However, one brand isn’t afraid to buck this trend and stand up for its values: Ben & Jerry’s.

From working with controversial NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to develop a new flavor to speaking out against the gender pay gap, the Vermont-based ice cream company has demonstrated a willingness to risk social backlash in the name of its principles.

And while this strategy may cost them some sales from people who oppose them ideologically, Ben & Jerry’s places its ability to influence the world above its corporate profits.

What you can learn from Ben & Jerry’s Twitter: Don’t be a milquetoast brand. You risk alienating a portion of your target audience by taking a stand, but you also boldly display your company’s values. And this may benefit you more in the long run.

The Thought Leader

The technology Twitter-sphere is filled with all sorts of companies run by all kinds of people.

And while some do a great job at sharing their organization’s vision of the future with the world, too many are only interested in telling you about their latest product.

And then there’s General Electric. Look at its bio: “Every minute of every day, GE rises to the challenge of building a world that works.”

GE isn’t using its Twitter account to sell you lightbulbs or washing machines.

Instead, it’s being used to establish the company as an expert in the tech industry. From green energy and healthcare to the NFL draft, GE effectively explains complex concepts within the character limit.

It uses the platform to highlight GE’s commitment to innovation while simultaneously maintaining a commitment to accessibility and personality.

Much like your favorite high school science teacher, they’ve found a way to showcase their excitement about new technologies without boring you with the minute details.

What you can learn from GE’s Twitter: Own your expertise and share your passion. It comes through with unmistakable authenticity when someone is legitimately enthusiastic about a topic. And it’s contagious. Use your Twitter account to promote what it is that excites you.

The Interesting One

Do you know that one person at a party who is incredibly captivating and is surrounded by a crowd the entire time? On Twitter, that’s Forrester.

If right now, you’re saying, “Wait, who?” don’t feel bad. Forrester isn’t a major consumer brand, unlike the other brands on this list.

If your job doesn’t regularly require you to seek out business reports and analysis, there’s a good chance you may never have come across it.

But there’s a good reason it belongs on this list: Nearly every Tweet posted by this research company is packed with links to interesting and valuable information.

For example, suppose inclusivity is integral to your customer acquisition and retention strategy (and it should be). In that case, Forrester has a Tweet and related blog post on the importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) language.

Many of Forrester’s tweets include tips, statistics, or infographics that interest their target audience (primarily business professionals). It’s good at pulling out a key statistic, then linking to one of its studies after your interest is piqued.

What you can learn from Forrester’s Twitter: People love to learn. Use your Twitter account to share your knowledge. This will not only paint you as an expert but also garner interest from your target audience.

The One Who Is Unabashedly Itself

Whether or not you’re a coffee drinker, you probably have strong feelings about Starbucks.

From the controversy around the design of its holiday cups to accusations of union-busting, the Seattle-based coffee giant has been a lightning rod for controversy.

And yet, through it all, the brand has thrived, with a Twitter account with more than 11 million followers.

How has it done this? Simply by being itself.

Starbucks embraces its role on the social media platform by creatively employing different types of media.

Everything posted, from clever headlines to GIFs of the latest drink creation, shares a certain joie de vivre while maintaining a bit of the Pacific Northwest quirkiness for which the brand is known.

For such a massive corporation, Starbucks’ Twitter account does a remarkable job of coming across as friendly and approachable.

And it probably doesn’t hurt that the account is well-known for its fan interactions. It responds to mentions with a joyfulness that is often lost in the digital sphere.

The Starbucks’ social media account team is highly skilled at portraying the brand’s confidence without venturing into arrogance.

Product images tempt Twitter users scrolling through their feeds, while witty banter keeps the brand engaging.

What you can learn from Starbucks’ Twitter: Don’t be afraid to show the Twitter world what your brand is all about. Rather than seeking to conform, celebrate your differences from the competition. Project confidence and joy, and people will love interacting with you.

Find Your Own Voice

As you’ve probably already ascertained, there’s no magic bullet to Twitter success.

Each brand must determine what works best for them and its audience. And while it may take you some time to do that, it’s well worth the effort.

According to a Hootsuite study, the average Twitter user spends more than five hours per month on the site, nearly double that of Snapchat or Messenger.

That’s a lot of opportunity for exposure, especially when you consider many people use the platform to conduct brand research.

For some brands, a successful Twitter strategy may only require posting original content twice daily.

For others, it may mean round-the-clock social listening and rapid response to questions and concerns.

Your Twitter persona may be serious or silly – make sure it matches your overall brand voice. You may be informative or inquisitive. It all depends on your industry and your audience.

But one thing you may have noticed all the brands listed above have in common: They’re all authentic. None of the examples provided give you the impression that they’re putting on a façade or attempting to portray something false.

Instead, they all find ways to find or create value in their vertical while building relationships with followers. Exactly how you do, that is up to you and will probably require some experimentation.

But one thing is sure: Twitter is only increasing in popularity, and you may miss out every day. You may not use it effectively.

So, get started today. Sit down with your team for a brainstorming session, and identify your goals, values, and voice. Then develop your strategy and then get Tweeting.

More Resources:


Featured Image: George Rudy/Shutterstock



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Screaming Frog SEO Spider Version 20.0: AI-Powered Features

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What’s New with Screaming Frog SEO Spider 20.0?

For SEO experts, our toolkit is crucial. It’s how we make sure we can quickly and effectively assess how well our websites are performing. Using the best tools can put you way ahead of other SEOs. One example (and one tool I’ve personally been using for years) is Screaming FrogIt’s a powerful, straightforward, and insightful website crawler tool that’s indispensable for finding technical issues on your website.

And the good news is that it keeps getting better. Screaming Frog just released its 20th major version of the software, which includes new features based on feedback from SEO professionals.

Here are the main updates:

  1. Custom JavaScript Snippets
  2. Mobile Usability
  3. N-Grams Analysis
  4. Aggregated Anchor Text
  5. Carbon Footprint & Rating

Custom JavaScript Snippets

One of the standout features in this release is the ability to execute custom JavaScript snippets during a crawl. This functionality expands the horizons for data manipulation and API communication, offering unprecedented flexibility.

Use Cases:

  • Data Extraction and Manipulation: Gather specific data points or modify the DOM to suit your needs.
  • API Communication: Integrate with APIs like OpenAI’s ChatGPT from within the SEO Spider.

Setting Up Custom JS Snippets:

  • Navigate to `Config > Custom > Custom JavaScript`.
  • Click ‘Add’ to create a new snippet or ‘Add from Library’ to select from preset snippets.

setting up custom JS snippets screamingfrog 20setting up custom JS snippets screamingfrog 20

  • Ensure JavaScript rendering mode is set via `Config > Spider > Rendering`.

Crawl with ChatGPT:

  • Leverage the `(ChatGPT) Template` snippet, add your OpenAI API key and tailor the prompt to your needs.
  • Follow our tutorial on ‘How To Crawl With ChatGPT’ for more detailed guidance.

Sharing Your Snippets:

  • Export/import snippet libraries as JSON files to share with colleagues.
  • Remember to remove sensitive data such as API keys before sharing.

Introducing Custom JavaScript Snippets to Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 significantly enhances the tool’s flexibility and power. Whether you’re generating dynamic content, interacting with external APIs, or conducting complex page manipulations, these snippets open a world of possibilities. 

Mobile Usability

In today’s mobile-first world, ensuring a seamless mobile user experience is imperative. Version 20.0 introduces extensive mobile usability audits through Lighthouse integration. 

With an ever-increasing number of users accessing websites via mobile devices, ensuring a seamless mobile experience is crucial. Google’s mobile-first indexing highlights the importance of mobile usability, which directly impacts your site’s rankings and user experience.

 Mobile Usability Features:

  • New Mobile Tab: This tab includes filters for regular mobile usability issues such as viewport settings, tap target sizes, content sizing, and more.
  • Granular Issue Details: Detailed data on mobile usability issues can be explored in the ‘Lighthouse Details’ tab.
  • Bulk Export Capability: Export comprehensive mobile usability reports via `Reports > Mobile`.

Setup:

  • Connect to the PSI API through `Config > API Access > PSI` or run Lighthouse locally.

Example Use Cases:

  • Identify pages where content does not fit within the viewport.
  • Flag and correct small tap targets and illegible font sizes.

mobile usability analysis on screamingfrog 20mobile usability analysis on screamingfrog 20

With these new features, Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 streamlines the process of auditing mobile usability, making it more efficient and comprehensive. By integrating with Google Lighthouse, both via the PSI API and local runs, the tool provides extensive insights into the mobile performance of your website. Addressing these issues not only enhances user experience but also improves your site’s SEO performance.

N-grams Analysis

N-grams analysis is a powerful new feature that allows users to analyze phrase frequency across web pages. This can greatly enhance on-page SEO efforts and internal linking strategies.

Setting Up N-grams:

  • Activate HTML storage by enabling ‘Store HTML’ or ‘Store Rendered HTML’ under `Config > Spider > Extraction`.
  • View the N-grams in the lower N-grams tab.

n-grams analysis on screamingfrog 20n-grams analysis on screamingfrog 20

Example Use Cases:

  • Improving Keyword Usage: Adjust content based on the frequency of targeted N-grams.
  • Optimizing Internal Links: Use N-grams to identify unlinked keywords and create new internal links.

Internal Linking Opportunities:

The N-grams feature provides a nuanced method for discovering internal linking opportunities, which can significantly enhance your SEO strategy and site navigation.

The introduction of N-grams analysis in Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20 provides a tool for deep content analysis and optimization. By understanding the frequency and distribution of phrases within your content, you can significantly improve your on-page SEO and internal linking strategies.

Aggregated Anchor Text

Effective anchor text management is essential for internal linking and overall SEO performance. The aggregated anchor text feature in version 20.0 provides clear insights into how anchor texts are used across your site.

Using Aggregated Anchor Text:

  • Navigate to the ‘Inlinks’ or ‘Outlinks’ tab.
  • Utilize the new ‘Anchors’ filters to see aggregated views of anchor text usage.

aggregated anchor text report on screamingfrog 20aggregated anchor text report on screamingfrog 20

Practical Benefits:

  • Anchor Text Diversity: Ensure a natural distribution of anchor texts to avoid over-optimization.
  • Descriptive Linking: Replace generic texts like “click here” with keyword-rich alternatives.

The aggregated anchor text feature provides powerful insights into your internal link structure and optimization opportunities. This feature is essential if you are looking to enhance your site’s internal linking strategy for better keyword relevance, user experience, and search engine performance.

Aligning with digital sustainability trends, Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 includes features to measure and optimize your website’s carbon footprint.

Key Features:

  • Automatic CO2 Calculation: The SEO Spider now calculates carbon emissions for each page using the CO2.js library.
  • Carbon Rating: Each URL receives a rating based on its emissions, derived from the Sustainable Web Design Model.
  • High Carbon Rating Identification: Pages with high emissions are flagged in the ‘Validation’ tab.

Practical Applications:

  • Resource Optimization: Identify and optimize high-emission resources.
  • Sustainable Practices: Implement changes such as compressing images, reducing script sizes, and using green hosting solutions.

The integration of carbon footprint calculations in Screaming Frog SEO Spider signifies a growing recognition of digital sustainability. As more businesses adopt these practices, we can collectively reduce the environmental impact of the web while driving performance and user satisfaction.

Other Updates

In addition to major features, version 20.0 includes numerous smaller updates and bug fixes that enhance functionality and user experience.

Rich Result Validation Enhancements:

  • Split Google Rich Result validation errors from Schema.org.
  • New filters and columns provide detailed insights into rich result triggers and errors.

Enhanced File Types and Filters:

  • Internal and external filters include new file types such as Media, Fonts, and XML.

Website Archiving:

  • A new option to archive entire websites during a crawl is available under `Config > Spider > Rendering > JS`.

Viewport and Screenshot Configuration:

  • Customize viewport and screenshot sizes to fit different audit needs.

API Auto Connect:

  • Automatically connect APIs on start, making the setup process more seamless.

Resource Over 15MB Filter:

  • A new validation filter flags resources over 15MB, which is crucial for performance optimization.

Page Text Export:

  • Export all visible page text through the new `Bulk Export > Web > All Page Text` option.

Lighthouse Details Tab:

  • The ‘PageSpeed Details’ tab has been renamed ‘Lighthouse Details’ to reflect its expanded role.

HTML Content Type Configuration:

  • An ‘Assume Pages are HTML’ option helps accurately classify pages without explicit content types.

Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements:

  • Numerous small updates and fixes enhance stability and reliability. 

Screaming Frog SEO Spider version 20.0 is a comprehensive update packed with innovative features and enhancements that cater to the evolving needs of SEO professionals like us. From advanced data extraction capabilities with Custom JavaScript Snippets to environmental sustainability with Carbon Footprint and Rating, this release sets a new benchmark in SEO auditing tools.

Key Takeaway

Add this to your toolbox, or update to version 20 to explore the rich array of new features from Screaming Frog to optimize your website’s SEO, usability, and sustainability. It’s a no-fuss tool with tons of features that will help you stay ahead of your competitors, and ensure your websites perform optimally in terms of user experience and search engine visibility.

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Google Simplifies Adding Shipping & Return Policies For Online Stores

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woman online shopper affixes a barcode sticker to a cardboard box, marking it for return and refund

Google introduces Search Console feature for online stores to easily manage shipping and return policies.

  • Google now allows online stores to manage shipping and return policies via Search Console.
  • This simplifies providing vital information to customers.
  • The feature can potentially boost sales for retailers.

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Google’s Now Translating SERPs Into More Languages

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Google's Now Translating SERPs Into More Languages

Google updated their documentation to reflect that it added eight new languages to its translated results feature, broadening the reach of publishers to an increasingly global scale, with automatic  translations to a site visitor’s native language.

Google Translated Results

Translated Results is a Google Search feature that will automatically translate the title link and meta description into the local language of a user, making a website published in one language available to a searcher in another language. If the searcher clicks on the link of a translated result the web page itself will also be automatically translated.

According to Google’s documentation for this feature:

“Google doesn’t host any translated pages. Opening a page through a translated result is no different than opening the original search result through Google Translate or using Chrome in-browser translation. This means that JavaScript on the page is usually supported, as well as embedded images and other page features.”

This feature benefits publishers because it makes their website available to a larger audience.

Search Feature Available In More Languages

Google’s documentation for this feature was updated to reflect that it is now available in eight more languages.

Users who speak the following languages will now have automatic access to a broader range of websites.

List Of Added Languages

  • Arabic
  • Gujarati
  • Korean
  • Persian
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese

Why Did It Take So Long?

It seems odd that Google didn’t already translate results into so many major languages like Turkish, Arabic or Korean. So I asked international SEO expert Christopher Shin (LinkedIn profile) about why it might have taken so long for Google to do this in the Korean language.

Christopher shared:

Google was always facing difficulties in the South Korean market as a search engine, and that has to do mainly with Naver and Kakao, formerly known as Daum.

But the whole paradigm shift to Google began when more and more students that went abroad to where Google is the dominant search engine came back to South Korea. When more and more students, travelers abroad etc., returned to Korea, they started to realize the strengths and weaknesses of the local search portals and the information capabilities these local portals provided. Laterally, more and more businesses in South Korea like Samsung, Hyundai etc., started to also shift marketing and sales to global markets, so the importance of Google as a tool for companies was also becoming more important with the domestic population.

Naver is still the dominant search portal, but not to retrieve answers to specific queries, rather for the purpose of shopping, reviews etc.

So I believe that market prioritization may be a big part as to the delayed introduction of Translated Google Search Results. And in terms of numbers, Korea is smaller with only roughly 52M nationwide and continues to decline due to poor birth rates.

Another big factor as I see it, has to do with the complexity of the Korean language which would make it more challenging to build out a translation tool that only replicates a simple English version. We use the modern Korean Hangeul but also the country uses Hanja, which are words from the Chinese origin. I used to have my team use Google Translate until all of them complained that Naver’s Papago does a better job, but with the introduction of ChatGPT, the competitiveness offered by Google was slim.”

Takeaway

It’s not an understatement to say that 2024 has not been a good year for publishers, from the introduction of AI Overviews to the 2024 Core Algorithm Update, and missing image thumbnails on recipe blogger sites, there hasn’t been much good news coming out of Google. But this news is different because it creates the opportunity for publisher content to be shown in even more languages than ever.

Read the updated documentation here:

Translated results in Google Search

Featured Image by Shutterstock/baranq

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