By Sabiha Khan
Senior Account Manager
Twitter is a tough nut to crack and most of us struggle on improving our brand’s presence on it. Keeping that in mind, here are a few insights that I have gathered post through my experience from the accounts that I handle.
1. Your brand’s Twitter account needs to look active
By this I mean, you need to put up more than the cursory 2 -3 tweets that you put up on a daily basis. The total tweets that you post should be at least 5-6 in a day + conversations with followers and influencers. Technically you should put up a tweet once in every 1.5 – 2 hours. For example, you start with a tweet at 8, next at 9.30 or 10. This works, seriously, as you appear to be a brand that is present and active throughout the day, rather than at set times.
2. Do not maintain set timings to post.
As a person, you don’t go and tweet at sharp 12 every day, right? Same goes for your brand. Don’t make it look like its being managed by a social media person. Keep it fluid. However if you conduct an activity on Twitter at a set time, then yes make sure you stick to that one. For example, if you have a contest at 2pm daily, then it should start then, don’t delay it even by a minute, in that case.
3. Stay Active when your Followers are Active
Take the time out to analyze what time of day most of your followers are active. Tools like Socialbro help here. This is important because tweets have a very short shelf life and if you are tweeting at a time when your followers are not active, then there’s no point really, is there? ‘cos your message no matter how important it was, just got buried in their TL. This will also help you in increasing those much wanted interactions and getting some brand mentions and RT’s that our clients so dearly want.
4. Facebook and Twitter should be similar yet different
Juggle your content. Don’t put up the same content that you put up on Facebook at the same time on Twitter. Why would someone want to follow you on Twitter otherwise? Unless its an important announcement or news flash, this is a strict no-no.
5. Conversation is the key to engagement
5.1 What you talk about and how you talk matters on Twitter. Stepping out of the norm but staying within context helps. For example, if your brand manufactures locks, don’t always talk locks, you could play with the word ‘lock’ or associated terms. For example, The key to success is determination.
5.2 Secondly, try to be humane while staying relevant. Talk about day to day life and plug your product in the tweet. Mind you product, not brand.
5.3 Thirdly, your followers are human too, talk to them. They know there’s a person behind the handle. Be humane. It helps. But don’t get too personal. For example, if someone on your TL has tweeted – Had a pathetic day today, aargggghhh, you could reply to them saying – Tomorrow will be great, don’t worry or something like that.
5.4 Humor works. Always. Funny twitpics, video links which tie in with your industry if not brand will work. Use them often.
5.5 Don’t always preach, ask as well. You never know what fabulous insights people might come up with.
6. Use dedicated hashtags to induce engagement
We started doing this for SHRM, wherein we used the hashtag #LetsDiscuss and tagged 2-3 influencers and put out a link from the website as the topic for discussion. It took a while to take off, but today it works brilliantly and people actually discuss in depth over the topic we put out.
Similarly for GSS, we use #Ifeelsecurewith, #securityatitsbest, etc. as dedicated hashtags which we keep seeding in conversations/ content that is posted on the TL.
Manners help. A lot. If someone says Thanks, respond with a welcome. If they compliment, express your gratitude. If someone retweets you, thank them for the gesture. If you have a lot of followers, and its not possible to do it for all, then do it only if some tweleb (or twitter celeb) RT’s or follows you.
Another thing don’t just retweet tweets that mention you. RT stuff that you think may help your followers or is relevant to your brand/ brand’s industry.
8. Know the brand/ industry/ sector in depth
Research on your brand, go deep in terms of know-how on the industry. It will help in understanding what your audience will be interested in. Remember it is possible that your followers are already aware of mundane stuff or the top-level info that you post. Maybe they are looking for something extra, and you won’t know what is termed as extra unless you understand the industry thoroughly.
9. Monitor who’s following whom
This one’s for the B2B guys especially. One trick to find whom to follow, is to look up the top publications in your brand’s industry and map them on Twitter. Then go into their followers. Chances are 90% of these will be relevant to your brand as well, as these are people who are interested in news which is relevant to your industry and hence may be relevant to your brand.
10. Contest Basics
Ground rule: When running a contest on Twitter, always make sure you ask people to follow you in order to be eligible to win a prize.