The first thing to remember when utilising any social media including twitter is to make sure you have a strategy. Now, this doesn’t need to be pages and pages of business planning. A simple list of bullet points with objectives can suffice. Too many of us forget this basic step. Consequently, the result is we jump about between platforms, become distracted and forget the point of the original exercise.
Let us use my favourite social media platform, Twitter, to dissect a potential plan. Twitter is a brilliant tool to introduce strategic thinking for developing your business. Your Twitter strategy should consider:
- The audience – who you’re trying to reach
- Profiles and influencers, you want to connect, collaborate or be associated with
- Your twitter aims (e.g: my brand, generate clients or traffic to my website and services)
- What type of content you will be tweeting and RT; news, stories or your content.
- Schedule of your twitter activity, frequency
- Your voice or tone. Your tweets should reflect who you are and your business
- Engagement with your audience and followers
Having a strategic plan in place for your twitter will ensure you’re working towards your business goals. This is the difference between having a presence on social media rather than improving your business profile.
Make it daily
For twitter to work effectively for you need to tweet daily. Make it a habit. All social media networks move quickly and twitter is one that moves fast, very fast. Twitter is not a method to dip in and out, Neither is it something to fit in when you have time. You need to make time to tweet regularly. I appreciate this is a hard task but there are a variety of ways to manage this aspect such as scheduling your activity.
Engaging with you twitter feed is fundamental. The daily twitter tasks you need to monitor and check which contribute to engagement include:
- Acknowledge new followers
- Like other Twitter content
- Retweet and share content
- Responding to other twitter users who like and retweet your content
- Following new accounts
- Monitoring trending topics or major hashtags (#tuesdaythougts) and akin them part of your strategy
- Scheduling posts with different platforms (SproutSocial, ManageFlitter, Tweetdeck, or Hootsuite are a few platforms you can try but there are many free and at cost)
- Respond to DMs plus make sure you avoid auto responses
To help you make sure you complete all these daily tasks create your own checklist to ensure you get everything done. If you have a team helping you manage your social media the checklist can help your team share the workload. Plus don’t forget my earlier tip, as a rule, try to think Pareto Principle, you should be only posting 20% of your own content, the rest should be other peoples.
Make sure you and your team monitor the account throughout the day. Twitter is fast, moves in real time so if a client has a complaint they don’t want to wait too long for a response. All the data tells us that customers expect a business response within a few hours. Conversations happen quickly so make sure you monitor all your clients, customers, leads and prospects. You don’t want to miss anything vital to business growth.
It’s your brand
So much of our world is now about automation. Whether we are dealing with automatic responses to speak to a service provider or self-service at the supermarket. The irony of this is our craving to do business with other people. We are tired of faceless responses. Social media and twitter specifically can show your personality so let it shine. Your brand needs to reflect you whether that’s serious, professional or fun and upbeat. This element of reality strengthens your online character. Check out my blog on #askeddie explains this in a little more depth.
Once you decide on your tone, style makes sure is consistent. Don’t change it remember consistency and reliability are vital.
I know it sounds like a cliché but be you. Join the conversation, be genuine, authentic. Retweet what you like, what inspires you and provides a sense of truth. Be human, have fun don’t be boring or unresponsive.
Influence & Promote
When you RT or share a link do you think about credit to your sources. Always do this as it provides further opportunities to engage with others. This is one of the ways you can talk to your influencers. Often tweeters don’t track their mentions or shared content. What you can do is mention them in a tweet this way they will have a notification. Your influencers will take note, and they should if they follow twitter netiquette respond to you and share your content. This type of relationship is all part of the growing strand of influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is the major trend for the future particularly Instagram and twitter.
There are so many tools available to you to help manage and schedule your twitter activity. Now, these are great, and they are varied. They can help with spotting trends, identify hashtags, measure your influence, spot your nonfollowers and schedule your activity. Some are free others need payment normally monthly. Find a tool that works for you and helps you manage your twitter but avoid automation. It’s tempting but don’t do it, using automation can only do more harm than good.
Social Managers need to curate their social media content, manually search, monitor activity. They are learning to understand their brand and more importantly the brand audience. This overall picture provides a more comprehensive view of twitter activity. Not just something that can automate.
Avoid automatic responses for engagement and DMs. There are so many horror stories and PR nightmares of this going wrong so make sure it doesn’t happen. Don’t believe take a look at these examples.
You might be confused as we suggested using some scheduling for tweet activity. This is okay but alongside this, you should still be manually tweeting as well. Remember what we said about being real and authentic? Well, there ya go.
I’m still standing
How do you stand out on twitter? There are so many businesses using Twitter for marketing, thousands of tweets are sent out every moment. So how can you stand out from the crowd? Here are a few final tips for you to think about
- You only have 140 characters for a tweet. With URL, mentions and hashtags that don’t leave you a lot to play with so make your words count.
- Don’t abuse keep your tweets to a maximum of two hashtags only. Research and use the hashtags that work for your brand, compliment your business or use renowned hashtags to grow your audience.
- More and more visuals matter so always try to use a relevant image with your tweets. Research your images and use pictures that work with your brand, reflect your style and tone.
I hope this helps you think about your own twitter strategy and if you need help, you know where to find me on twitter.