By Roy Rasmussen

Twitter has become one of today’s most popular marketing tools. More than eight in 10 B2C marketers now use Twitter, making it the second-most popular social media marketing platform after Facebook, a Content Marketing Institute poll found. Twitter is popular because it’s effective at converting leads into sales. More than nine in 10 consumers who follow small and medium-sized brands on Twitter plan to buy from them at some point, Twitter data shows.

But Twitter’s popularity raises a dilemma for marketers: with everybody using Twitter, how do you stand out from the crowd? Here are four tips for helping your brand cut through the noise and make an impression on your Twitter followers.

Create a Compelling Profile

The first thing audiences see when they visit your Twitter feed is your profile, making profile optimization a critical feature of an effective Twitter strategy. The most vital component of your profile is your header photo, which can serve as a banner ad for your brand, says Social Quant content manager David Boutin. The ideal header photo size is 1,500 by 500 pixels, but your photo will be resized for different devices, so leave a 42-pixel margin on the top and bottom, and bear in mind that your profile picture will cover a 454- by 226-pixel area on the bottom left. Your photo can include brief text summarizing your branding message. For instance, cloud-based video provider Animoto uses its header photo to deliver the message, “Make great videos. Easily.”

Your profile picture can feature your picture if you’re a solopreneur, or your company logo if you’re showcasing a brand. For your bio field, you have 160 characters to sum up your brand’s unique selling proposition. Incorporate keywords and hashtags that will attract your target audience. Finally, choose a pinned post that will represent the message you want to convey.

Publish Useful Content

Publishing content frequently is a major key to getting noticed on Twitter. With so many tweets being posted constantly, the more you tweet, the better your chances of your followers seeing your posts. Computer scientist Antonio Villegas recommends scheduling up to 15 posts a day for optimal results.

To get noticed, liked and retweeted, your content should be interesting, humorous or useful. For instance, Amway uses its the platform’s feed to share blog posts full of useful information for entrepreneurs and prospective customers, detailing the company’s business model, as well as how-to content for users of their health, beauty and home care products.

Use Analytics Tools

When posting content, you’ll get more leverage from your tweets if you use analytics tools to research which keywords and hashtags are popular with your target market. Twitter analytics tools such as Twitonomy, Socialert and Hashtagify let you see what’s popular so you can optimize your content.

You can also use tools such as Twitter Analytics to track the performance of your tweets. This practice can help you identify which of your tweets were most popular, as well as tell you more about your target audience so you can adjust and optimize future tweets.

Form Promotional Partnerships by Retweeting

A key to getting your own content promoted on Twitter is to retweet other people’s content, emphasizes best-selling marketing expert Neil Patel. Commenting on tweets you like and sharing them is the best path to get your own content shared.

When sharing others’ content, Twitter analytics tools can help you select the best content to share. Tools such as Klear, Twitaholic and Klout help you identify top influencers on Twitter, as well as giving you insights into their networks.

Twitter can be one of the most powerful marketing tools in your arsenal if you can cut through the noise to reach your audience. Having an eye-catching profile, promoting valuable content, using analytics to optimize your tweets, and using retweeting to forge promotional partnerships are four key strategies that will help you get your content seen by more viewers and shared by more followers.

Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance writer who helps select clients write quality content to reach business and technology audiences. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies and bestselling authors. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.

Social media stock photo by Daniel Krason/Shutterstock