The New Year is a great time to implement a new Twitter strategy. Here are three tips to help you rock Twitter in 2016.

Stop! Stop jumping on bandwagons.
Do this. Do that. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Twitter is full of talking heads (me included) sharing the latest Twitter marketing tips, tricks and trends. By all means, take in the information, but don’t attempt to implement every piece of advice you hear.

Nobody knows your business like you do. Every business is unique. While I can blog every day with new tricks and sharing the latest social media trends that I suggest you implement, you are the one who knows best if something makes sense to add to your strategy. You can’t implement every tip and trick. The reality is that most of the tips and tricks you hear about won’t work for your brand. Also, remember that consistency is one of the biggest keys to success on Twitter. You want to create a plan for 2016, then consistently work that plan. Some changes may be needed, but for the most part you want to maintain the same strategy.

Stop jumping on bandwagons. The tips and tricks and trends are generally designed for a quick boost to your Twitter marketing game. You’re not in a sprint. You’re running a marathon. Create your 2016 strategy and consistently work the strategy for the full year.

Collaborate: Don’t fight Twitterverse alone.
The Twitterverse is huge. One billion users. An estimated 50 million businesses on Twitter. Everyone fighting the good fight to gain followers and get engagement. Why fight that battle alone? Collaborate with others to increase your marketing power. Here are three ways to collaborate on Twitter.

Influencer Marketing: This is similar to having a celebrity endorse and promote your brand. Find Twitter users who can influence your targeted audience. Provide them with your product and service. Provide a small monthly fee for their services in marketing your product or service. Note that you can find people to be an influencer without paying but you’ll get much better results and a higher quality of influencer if you do provide a fee. You can expect to pay around $300-600 per month (Sometimes more for top influencers).
Tip 1: Don’t think about whom is a big name within your field. Instead, think about whose audience is the most similar to your target audience.
Tip 2: Make sure to get in writing exactly what this influencer will be doing for you on a monthly basis but also realize that you won’t be able to measure the full value of the influencer.
Cross Promotion: We see this lot in more traditional print marketing. If you take a look at the “junk mail” marketing pieces in your mail, you’ll see post cards or flyers with multiple brands. These brands came together, shared costs, shared prospect lists, and put on the marketing piece together. You can implement this same strategy on Twitter. Here is one way to cross promote:
Strategic Partners: Find someone who does not compete directly with you but who has an audience comprised mostly of your same target audience. Contact them. Agree to share each other’s promotional twitter content on a consistent basis. You can extend this partnership to other social networks.
Listen: Listen and Respond to your Audience.
I did a bit of surveying to see what my followers thought brands should do or not do on Twitter in 2016. The vast majority of responses came down to users wanting brands to listen and reply to them. The majority of brands on social media still use social media as a forum to broadcast their own promotions and completely disregard the social part of social media. In years past, brands could get away with that. However, in 2016, brands who don’t listen and respond, who don’t put the social in social media, will struggle.

I know you get it. Listening is important. But how do you implement that as an actionable strategy in 2016? Here are a few ways:

Mindset Shift: Consider Twitter as not just part of your Marketing Department but also make it part of your Customer Service Department and create a system and channel for these two departments to work together with Twitter. Increasingly so, consumers are turning to Twitter for customer service.
Set a response time standard for replying to all mentions and direct messages. Create a system that enables you to hold to that standard. A quick response time is more important on Twitter than it is on Facebook or other social networks. If you find you’re not able to reply to users within your time standard, you may need to make some changes or hire an extra employee to ensure that you can reply in a timely matter.
Search for your brand being mentioned on Twitter. There is a big market of software out there that can help you with these. You don’t want to just sit back and wait for users to contact you directly. You want to also search for what people are saying about you. Not all of these mentions will need a reply from you, but you want to be listening to what people are saying.
Stop. Collaborate. Listen. These three tips will help you rock Twitter in 2016. And yes, mostly I just wanted to write a blog that would get a Vanilla Ice song stuck in your head (You know you started singing it when you read this blog title!).