Optimizing Your Social Strategy With Twitter
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Twitter is the second component of the social media Bermuda triangle. While it may seem like a similar social platform like Facebook, it has a completely different audience and, in today’s age, is an integral part of a successful social media strategy. In today’s blog, I will demystify Twitter, and give you the 411 on how to leverage tweeting, hashtags, and analytics.
Part 1: Building your Twitter Account
There are a few important things to consider when building your Twitter account. The first decision is to decide whom you will be personifying. Will it be the company? The CEO? Once this is decided, choose a twitter handle (mine for instance, is @rachelcaudillo) along with the name and photo you’d like represent with. The next is to come up with an effective, informative, and interesting bio section. This is a great opportunity to increase your SEO by putting key words, blog links, and other company/personal information you may want to share. Don’t worry about putting your website, there is a designated spot for that so use your bio real estate wisely!
Part 2: Tweeting
There are many important things to keep in mind before sending out a tweet on behalf of a company. Keeping posts short and sweet is a mantra to live by, especially considering you only have 140 characters to do so. While maintaining your presence in the twitter-sphere is extremely important, it’s more important to make your tweets count. Nothing is more annoying than a tweet-happy company who will spam your feed with unnecessary and, quite frankly annoying, frivolous posts. Make your posts count: make them interesting, make them engaging, and make them relevant.
If you’re stuck on generating content, here are a few ideas to give you a jump-start:
- Tweet links to articles
o About/Mention your company
o Discuss ground-breaking news in your company’s industry
- Ask questions to connect with fans & encourage participation
- Interesting facts about your company
- Special offers (can route to Facebook or website)
- Post photos showing what goes on “behind the scenes” with a small blurb
- Post photos hinting at an upcoming announcement of product, service, improvement, etc. It will build some hype!
Part 3: Hashtags
Hashtags are keywords or topics in a tweet that begin with a “#” that are meant to categorize messages. If you, for instance, are a technology company and are at the Consumer Electronics Convention (CES) in Las Vegas, you could tweet “Come check out Cisco at booth 234 to try out our new Linksys router #CES2012”. Then, everyone who searches “#CES2012” will see tweets that include that hashtag. Some recurring hashtags that are popular among users are #MusicMonday, #ThrowbackThursday, and some that were used for events were #RoyalWedding, #RapturePlaylist (yes, songs that you’d listen to on Judgement day), and #SuperBowl.
It’s a great way to see who else is talking about what you are and increases the potential number of people who would connect with you!
Part 4: Retweeting
Retweeting is literally what it sounds like: you’re essentially republishing what someone has already tweeted. It’s good to retweet credible sources to build your brand equity, identity, and presence on twitter. These retweets show up on your page’s feed so make sure they’re in line with your company’s values and the image you’re trying to portray.
Retweeting is also a great way to engage and promote your audience. For instance, I maintain a personal blog where I write about fashion and food. I wrote a blog on my visit to True Food Kitchen and promoted it on my Twitter page. The next day, they Retweeted it and resulted in me gaining 10 extra followers (it republishes on their page so people can be routed) on Twitter and about 20+ views on my blog.
Part 5: Be human, not a bot
There are so many twitter accounts
out there that seem like they’re managed by robots. Consistently using canned
responses when responding to tweets, publishing lackluster content (and sometimes
repeated content!), and lacking personality can lead to you losing touch with
your audience and as a result, having them unfollow you. To avoid this, make
sure to personalize your responses and engage with your audience. It is your
chance to build a relationship with your followers and can lead to them RT
(retweeting) your response, increasing the possible number of impressions. This
personalized interaction makes the consumer feel like their
Part 6: Analyzing Effectiveness
Doing this is difficult, as many scoring methods like Klout have recently been up for debate as far as their accuracy. The best way to see how you’re doing is to measure the increase in followers and engagement. While counting the number of followers you have is easy, counting the number of interactions is more time consuming. Consider retweets, mentions, “favorite” tweets (people mark a tweet you wrote as a “favorite”) and continuing conversations to measure how engaged your audience is.
Part 7: Best Practices
1. Actively tweet- daily if possible. If you don’t have time, you can write them at the beginning of the week and schedule them to go off at designated times.
2. Try to always respond to tweets that mention you, or thank people for retweeting.
3. Consistently check your Direct Messages and respond in a timely manner.
4. Always monitor what people are saying about your company
5. Set up your alerts to ensure you’re seeing EVERY mention
6. If you receive a bad/
a. Tier 3 user: Ignore
b. Tier 2 user: Monitor for another
c. Tier 1 user: Address it
REMEMBER: In 140 characters or less, Twitter is a great way to build a brand, whether it is for a company or a personal account. Considering how easy it is to reach your target market, a company would be foolish not to take advantage of the opportunity.