Are You Tweeting Me?

7 Ways to Make Your Tweets Count

Congratulations! Your firm has decided to use Twitter. Now it’s up to you to decide what to tweet. For some companies, this isn’t a problem, there’s always news, gossip and/or promotions to share with followers. Unfortunately for many organizations finding interesting things to tweet about isn’t easy.

Tweet rule of thumb

Since Twitter’s audience changes through out the day, it’s okay to retweet some of your messages once or twice (but not endlessly). The rule of thumb is one promotional tweet about your firm to ten tweets about the community. To ensure that your firm has coverage, schedule one to two tweets per hour for the time zone(s) in which you’re located. (Note: Beware of over tweeting since you don’t want to get thrown into Twitter jail.)

7 Ways to make your tweets count

While there are a variety of Twitter strategies you can follow, here are seven different approaches to create useful and/or appealing tweets.

  1. Provide original content. With Twitter as with other social media platform, the goal is to help the community. Therefore, share content and links to information that delivers news, educates and/or entertains. By using a shortened URLs, you can include links to a wide range of content formats such as photographs, video, presentations, audio, PDFs and others.
  2. Curate other people’s content. You are not limited to sharing just your internally developed information. On Twitter, establish yourself as a person who’s in-the-know. For example, Christopher S. Penn of Blue Sky Factory is good at this. He tweets the #the5. These are the top five articles he thinks his followers should read each day.
  3. Distribute promotions. Broaden the audience for your marketing messages. It’s critical not to just blast messages about your company. The rule of thumb is one tweet about you for every ten tweets about others.
  4. Engage thought leaders, customers and public. Build your position as a thought leader by using Twitter to distribute your content. Twitter is a useful platform for interactions with your audience. While you can’t direct message someone who’s not following you, you can tweet their content and/or retweet their tweets.
  5. Answer customer service queries. Provide customer service information as well as answers to customer inquiries.  Comcast does a great job of this. Alternatively, offer customers time-sensitive information like flight and gate changes. Bear in mind that once you start, you need to keep this going.
  6. Recognize customers and fans. Use Twitter to give customers a chance for their 15 seconds of fame. For example, recognize followers on Fridays or other special people.
  7. Participate in social media dialog. Engage in  the Twitter conversation and in Twitter chats.

The best way to apply these Twitter options is to use a variety of them every day. This keeps your stream interesting for your followers and gives them a reason to keep coming back for more. The one exception is customer service questions that require constant monitoring once you decide to use it. Here are three factors to include.

  1. Use an editorial calendar. It’s helpful to plan out your tweets over the course of the day if you’re planning on using a variety of sources. It helps ensure that you’ve distributed a balanced mix of content.
  2. Consider using different personnel. This is particularly useful when you’re using Twitter for different functions. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to have different Twitter accounts such as customer service versus marketing or PR. Don’t overlook the need to have a back-up person who can fill in when someone’s away or sick. (Here’s more information on social media managers.)
  3. Have a set of social guidelines in place. Especially if more than one person is tweeting for your company, it’s important that everyone knows what they can and can’t do as an employee.

On Twitter, you must think about making your tweets count in order to retain and build your following. Three tweets a day written by your agency may be a step in the right direction but they’re just as likely to get lost in the tweet stream. Twitter requires a cross section of communications and content throughout the day to get your followers to notice your messages when they dip into the stream.

Do you have any suggestions that you’d add to this list? Do you have challenges composing your tweets and getting them read?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Here are some related articles about Twitter.

image credit: hongkiat

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