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Hey, over here! We’re on Twitter

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Everyone has a Twitter feed these days. Not all use it well.

I thought I’d share how we use it, and who for. Not that I am claiming we are the world’s best, but we’ve had great engagement – particularly during 2013. We’ve had an inactive corporate presence on Twitter for a few years now with a few posts and a few tweets but decided in Summer 2012 to give it a big push to drive real clients at our site and to utilise it for support. About 10% of our support tickets now come through Twitter and over 15% of our web traffic. We utilise Twitter Advertising and actively broadcast tweet around 30 items per week. It’s proved to be a great tool for learning too, as we now have a nicely curated list of follows within our space we stay up to date and often break news early to our followers. Some things that we have learned that works includes:

Stand Out

Twitter is the personification of the Internet information hose. To get people to engage and follow you’ll need to stand out. Use unconventional language, original imagery, a stand-out avatar and hashtags to make you look different. If you scan down a list of tweets and miss your own tweets then you can’t expect anyone else to see them.

Tone and voice

We have a slightly irreverent voice as we poke fun at the dinosaur agencies that are too slow and carry too much baggage. It anchors us and our followers in a place where we can all “nod our heads” at the idiocy and lack of common sense that pervades the digital industry (see, we’re doing it now!). The tone is then adjusted according to the subject or Tweet type. If we’re responding to tweets and or wading into a discussion we stay respectful, even to those that we might suggest fall into the dinosaur category.

Frequency and timing

It’s fine to duplicate your tweets. Twitter engagement falls into Pareto’s “Law of the vital few” that dictates a small percentage of your tweets will engage and generate interest, the vast majority will fall onto stony ground. You can stack the odds in your favour, though, by repeating the tweet, maybe 4 or 5 times over a short period of time, much like the BBC News which repeats endlessly all day long. Twitter is a stream so great pearls of wisdom can fly by when you’re not watching.

Fishing

If you have ever fished (angling) you’ll also get the next analogy. Engagement is much like a “bite” when you’re fishing, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll have food on the table but suggests you are fishing in the right place, with the right bait. To understand what food is generating bites you’ll be needing a good analytics applications. We use BufferApp and it allows us to see which Tweets got engagement and which ones didn’t. You also need to consider your target audience, our market is B2B so we need a strong business audience so out tweets are designed to appeal to business people, specifically marketers.

One to One

Despite it’s “broadcast” feel, Twitter is remarkably intimate – you can easily carry our one-to-one conversations with peeps when the whole world is watching. In fact, it’s very useful to do so; people buy from people and one of the best ways to cutting through the marketing bullshit is to scrap monologues have conversations. This does mean you need to respond, and pretty sharpish. You’d expect a B2C business like Nike to respond to a Tweery (Tweeted Query) within a few hours – smaller businesses or B2B probably has a day to respond. If you can’t listen to what’s being said about you in Twitter, then you cannot expect people to listen to you. Think about initiating conversations, directly addressing folks and businesses on Twitter sometimes elicits a fab response. Think also about advertising on Twitter as you can target your Tweets directly to named users (and their followers, nice!).

Still stuck?

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