Perhaps you don’t have a good handle on what Twitter really is and all the ways to use it? (it’s ok really…we are all still learning).
Twitter is above all else a communications tool, a vehicle for any business or person to build buzz, discuss topics of interest with like-minded people, a place to engage in a conversation with your customers and colleagues, a customer service tool – and a way to increase reach much quicker than traditional media.
Unlike Facebook and other Social media channels, Twitter is about forming new connections with people you don’t necessarily know (or will ever know) in person.
Twitter can be used to push out content (new blog posts, articles of interest, photos and videos), to stay up to date on trends, and to drive awareness to brands and businesses, and most importantly - the people behind the brands.
Twitter’s greatest power, once you have developed a twitter tone, a good following – and you have figured out how to provide your followers with valuable, engaging content – is its ability to communicate quickly to large numbers of people.
Twitter is a great tool for crisis communications, live event, or CRM, for extending customer service online, and above all, a great tool for building brand personality and credibility.
Not a place for pushed out marketing messages, Twitter allows you to communicate and engage with your target audiences. Use twitter to draw attention to other places where your brand lives such as a company website, or Blog, or even your company Facebook page where there is more room for expanded messages.
You will need time and resources to set up and manage a good twitter account, and not having a Twitter strategy will certainly lead to poor ROI and possibly some mishaps along the way.
• Make sure your Twitter handle – your Twitter name – mine is @Alicia_Whalen_ is reflective of your brand, and ensure the bio is more personalized to the Tweeter
• Pick the right image for your profile pic. This becomes how other Tweeter’s will recognize you in the newsfeed. Brands should use Logo’s.
• Be strategic when developing your tone – be conversational and add value to the ecosystem
• Share and RT (re-tweet) newsworthy or quality content. It is a good practice to “return the favour” with re-tweets and thank those who RT your content
• Use @username (the Twitter handle!) when referencing another person in Twitter
• Mark positive feedback as “Favorites” by clicking the heart in Twitter, and retweet (RT) good content.
• In general, follow people who follow you – but not always. It is not about how many followers you have on Twitter – tweeters will look to who you follow as an indication of who you are.
• Tweet interesting news and info related to your company and industry, and follow colleagues, industry associations and even competitors.
• Twitter lists allow you to categorize Tweeps (Twitter people) and better organize how you follow their content
• Use Hashtags # to index and label your content in Twitter. ie. #TwitterTips and #Socialmedia for this Blog post will ensure that this content will appear in a Twitter stream of content related to using Twitter – and may then be seen by more people
• Set-up scheduled updates and manage your Social Media postings through tools like www.hootsuite.com or Sprout Social – or even through the Twitter APP. You can manage comments and messages directed to you on the go easily with the Twitter App.
• Monitor. Use tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite.com – Twitter also now has analytics that show you the reach of your posts. Deeper analytics are available for Ad posts or promoted posts within Twitter.
Twitter takes time and commitment but can open you up to brand fans, brand champions, and new customers far beyond traditional marketing communications channels.
Be authentic, show some personality, don’t sell, make sure to drive traffic back to your transaction point (your website, a phone number, email sign up, Blog etc) use Twitter as a part of your overall marketing communications strategy – and have fun – it is ‘social’ media after all!