To Tweet or Not To Tweet

10 Twitter Tips Every Firm Needs to Consider

Before you jump on the Twitter bandwagon, realize that three tweets a day won’t cut it as a Twitter marketing strategy. A strong Twitter strategy requires on-going engagement and related human and financial resources to support your efforts and drive profitable results. Like other forms of social media marketing, Twitter requires a human voice that vocalizes your brand and what you stand for.

To help you, here are ten Twitter tips every firm should consider.

  1. Establish Twitter goals. What do you expect to achieve with your Twitter presence? How will on-going , 140 character communication snacks help your firm’s objectives? Are you building your brand, expanding your prospect base, answering customer questions, establishing your firm as a thought leader, preparing in case of a crisis, or just having fun.
  2. Build your tribe. While it’s possible to expand your engagement, you still need to build your audience. Just because you set up shop on Twitter doesn’t mean that thousands of your customers want to listen to you there. Follow experts in your field, targeted media entities, research organizations, and friends and colleagues. As you build your list, check who the people you respect are following to find new tweet streams to follow. To build influence through exchanges, it’s important to follow people back so that you can direct message them (aka DM). The goal isn’t to amass the most followers; it’s to establish yourself as a leader of your tribe.
  3. Map out your Twitter plan. Don’t just broadcast promotion after promotion. As a social media forum, members of the Twitter community expect participants to engage. Just blast your message multiple times a day and they’ll unfollow you. Generally accepted practice is to tweet ten times about others to every one time you tweet about yourself. Therefore, it’s important to plan out how you’ll use the platform to create & distribute content and engage with customers and the public.
  4. Strut your stuff. Just as you’d dress up for a party, it’s critical to brand your Twitter handle and page. This extends to the design of the page as well as the voice and tone of your tweets. Most importantly, determine who is going to lead this initiative and represent your firm or brand on Twitter. (Note: It’s critical to have a set of social media guidelines in place to help your employees.)
  5. Invite your customers to join you. Use your other marketing platforms, such as offline advertising, direct mail, emailings, customer communications, packaging, signage and website, to promote your Twitter presence and build a following.
  6. Can we talk? Twitter is about conversations and engagement. Understand that these conversations can occur in a variety of directions, including many to many and one to one. Where possible, add to the collective knowledge. Follow conversations of interest to your brand and company, respond to questions and retweet other people’s tweets that you think might interest your followers.
  7. Show you care. Use Twitter to thank others publically for their help. Use #MarketerMonday (#MM) where marketers spotlight experts and #FollowerFriday (#FF) to highlight Twitter users worth following. Think of new ways to delight people such as birthday wishes. Where possible, pay it forward in  the way you respond to customers and the public.
  8. Make a date. Curate a Twitter Chat to create a conversation around a specific topic. Extend the love by inviting experts to moderate the talk. The Social CMO does a great job of this on MMchat.
  9. Invite Twitter to Your Conference. Extend presentations, conferences and other events by creating easy-to-use hashtags for the event and make sure that there’s easy to connect to WiFi. Sharing the tweet slurp on a  screen during the show adds another dimension to the conversation. Include your Twitter handle on slides and craft, short tweet-worthy phrases. Ask virtual attendees for questions.
  10. Measure your progress. Remember that Twitter, like other forms of social media, isn’t a time-bound campaign. Don’t limit your analysis to follower counts and tweets. Think broadly about influence and other more sophisticated forms of monitoring and measuring.

Twitter is a platform that can help you accomplish your business goals by distributing content, and engaging with customers and the public. Its 140 character format and simple command structure are easy to learn. Further, as you become adept at using Twitter, you’ll find new ways to extend its use across other functions in your organization.

Is your organization using Twitter? If so, what suggestions can you add to this list?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Here’s some related reading on Twitter that you may find useful:

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