Hitting 20k followers on Twitter: A milestone

Social Media as an agency communication channel.

Since we joined Twitter in 2009 we’ve acquired 20,000+ followers and sent out 5,000+ Tweets. Wow!

Quite clearly, its a significant communications channel for Connected. And here’s how we use it; this is our crib sheet.

And in the beginning

It was a wet, dark December afternoon in 2009 when we first tweeted – a low-key launch of the 2010 version of our web-site. We’re a WordPress Agency, so our new site was a biggish deal.

We were user number 92,958,306 and initially Twitter was nothing more than a new social space to play in. Since that early tentative step onto the emerging platform, we openly embraced the network as our social platform of choice and over the next 6 years or so we’ve built quite a following.

At the time, Twitter was a totally manual platform and our tweets were erratic and, until we got a handle on the platform, fairly ineffective. Still, we had arrived and it looked like we were going to stay.

20,000 followers, 5,000 tweets, 6 years

Growth in terms of reach and tweets was slow until we started using Twitter platform to robotise some of the key functions such as tweeting, following, retweeting, liking and reporting.

What’s a typical month look like?

Typical Twitter Profile for a Month

We publish between 100 and 150 tweets a month, of which around 80 are automated via the fabulous Buffer Application. This drives between 60 and 120 mentions, reaches between 50k and 250k people and adds around 700 new followers every month.

Since 2014, we’ve nailed down how we use Twitter and how to effectively increase our reach and value. We’re careful not to over-tweet and we target our activity to fit in with our business audience in order to reduce follower-churn and tweet-blindness.

Integrated communications

Twitter is a core communication channel and we interact heavily with our community, sharing, retweeting and liking stuff we find. We’ve integrated Twitter into our existing communication channels including Zendesk (helpdesk), Slack (internal communications), Mailchimp (Email), Salesforce (CRM).

Almost of our non-confidential communication is shared openly on Twitter, every post, status update, social information and internally trending stuff – if we find it funny on Slack then it’s likely we’ll share it on our Twitter feed.

Using Twitter for WordPress Support

Although not widely used, we embrace incoming WordPress Support requests via Twitter and have even managed to remotely fix support issues purely over Twitter. Inbound requests are automatically moved from our Twitter channel into our helpdesk application.

Thankfully, we don’t receive too much abuse over the channel but when we get things wrong we’re quick to tell Twitter what we did wrong and what we’re doing to fix it.

Engagement, not broadcast

Critically, we don’t see Twitter as a broadcast channel – there is nothing worse than seeing a brand’s channel that consists entirely of outbound promotional tweets and zero community interaction.

Twitter, for us, is a bi-directional communication medium – This engagement-biased approach is a cornerstone of how we’ve grown our use of the channel.

Loving care, not begrudging

We love Twitter, we think it’s one of the stand-out applications of the web and that comes across in how we use it. We try to be helpful and open in how we use the channel. This love seems to be reciprocated both in terms of engagement (retweets, follows, likes) and cold hard cash – we’ve won a fair few support and development contracts as a result of Twitter.

Meaningful content, not crap

There’s too much crap on the Internet, and that certainly applies to Twitter so we avoid “plaguarising” other peoples stuff and pretending it’s ours. We *do* share other content when we feel it’s useful or valuable and try to add comment or opinion.