Knowing what to Tweet is such an easy dilemma to resolve. Apart from the fact that there is no need to reinvent the wheel, keeping an eye on results will help you get better but here are some basic Twitter tips for what to tweet about.
First and foremost, treat this like a party you go to. Would you go up to a total stranger and say, “Hi, I’m Herman. Are you interested in buying my stuff?” You’d find yourself in a corner with nobody talking to you in no time! Don’t be overly promotional; be social! This means not talking too much too. So for instance, Twitter allows you to send up to 1,000 tweets per day, but of course nobody likes to be bombarded, so keep it reasonable.
Direct Messages are limited to 250 per day, but realistically in an eight hour working day, messaging someone consistently all day every two minutes would be pretty extraordinary and could get you reported for harassment! There is an app that will not be rejected by Twitter that sends an automatic initial ‘hello’ post to new followers automatically, called Crowdfire worth considering.
Whilst we are talking timing, consider posting at key times of the day when you know your Twitter audience will be available: morning commute; mid-morning breaks, lunch hour, evening rush hour or evenings. An additional piece of software to automate scheduled Tweets that you can set ahead of time and forget is ‘Hootsuite’. At $9.95 for the Pro version it allows you to set up other social media accounts, to facilitate posting to each all from one platform.
This really enables you to plan campaigns around particularly significant peak sales periods – Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc. If you really want to stay topical and up to date with what is happening, apart from checking ‘Trending’ topics down the left hand side of your Twitter wall, consider dairying in regular annual events that relate to your audience and your product. Check out Project Britain, which highlights UK and global awareness raising campaigns of charities, or celebrations around the world for you to piggy back campaigns onto without having to come up with entirely new ideas.
This goes some way to suggesting the content of your posts, after which you need to consider proportionality in terms of sales messages to other content. Some Twitter gurus recommend a formula of proportionality in terms of messages. Remember, nobody likes spam, so don’t be overly promotional. Piggy back on current affairs, news happening that is relevant to your industry, celebrity events, inventions and innovations.
At all times add value i.e. give people quality insights and information i.e. content to boost your authority. Consider 30% of time sharing your own unique content, such as a link to your latest blog or video from your company. 20% of quality information from others in your niche e.g. share recent research, or industry commentary from leaders, insights or information indirectly related to your industry. Don’t be afraid of being funny and sharing laughs or sheer inspirational quotes or videos! Fun and inspirational videos are often the most viral i.e. widely shared and being seen to have a brand personality that likes to have fun gives your company a more human face and makes you accessible. The object of the exercise is to set you up as the go to business for expertise, integrity and professionalism, whilst projecting the image most appealing to your ideal customers.
20% of content sharing, is about right for retweeting other Twitter users’ posts. Devote another 20% of time to commenting or responding to others’ tweets. Only 10% of your posts should be about selling. If you know about upcoming promotions or sales cycle peaks, then plan proportionality of strategy into your posts ahead of time. If your audience like what you share, they will be ready to hear your latest offers when you broadcast them. Twitter allows you to establish a good relationship through being social and warms your followers up for the sale.
Obviously, these are not set in stone and you will find the right mix for your business, but these are not bad recommendations to start from and test what works. Keep results under review until you establish what works and a consistent posting rhythm. Finding the balance of themes and topics will come with monitoring your analytics. We go into this more later in this in a future post.
Aim for around half a dozen tweets per day at least. You can save time by building a list of shortened web page links you intend to regularly refer to, such as your home page or blog. Signing up to either Bit.ly.com, Yourls or Hootsuite lets you do this conveniently; Bit.ly lets you customise links and the Pro version lets you brand and customise to look even more professional.
So, in summary, you will find your voice by using what is already out there and build loyalty through retweeting, replies, reacting to trending threads, good use of hashtags, mixing media and keeping it proportional between sociability and driving sales. As a new user, potential followers are more likely to find your messages if they are Retweets or @replies.
Remember to credit those whose material you may be referring to with a ‘mention’ via the ‘@username’ option. This will really draw attention to you. This feature is particularly useful for getting the attention of industry leaders, potential project partners as well as customers. Posting a message referring to charitable events that you support also gains you brownie points by projecting a socially responsible and caring business.
As your expertise in Twitter management grows and you get more engaged, you will be surprised at how fast others will begin to find and follow you, especially as you diversify media shared. Learn how to include images or videos in your Tweets. The best way to gain followers on Twitter is to regularly contribute in a meaningful way, especially with instantly accessible media. Tweets with images get around 35% more retweets according to the Official Twitter blog. Since images show up as links, be sure to make it clear which link you want to be clicked.
Consistency is key to your success, especially when you use your Twitter account for customer service. Stay on top of your account to show you care and get the most from this platform to market your business. Real-time information is valued by your followers, so be sure to check your time line a couple of times per day and post topical content. Keep an eye on hashtags (#) to view all Tweets about that topic and understand the connections being made in your audience’s mind.
Twitter Trending is another useful device to hop on board, with your own take on a subject dear to your customers’ hearts, where it fits with what you do. Obviously, shoe-horning connections will come across as inauthentic, so employ this tool only where the trend is of genuine interest to your particular audience. The added advantage of talking about topical subjects is that if you have a ‘widget’ on your website which relays your Twitter feed to your website visitors, then the search engines will pick up the fact that you have fresh material scrolling through, which is rewarded with better ranking.