Twitter has been on the scene for almost 8 years and has gathered a large user base that wants to know what’s going on in the world in 140 characters or less. People use the service to keep in touch with colleagues, industry professionals, and their favorite brands. Can a small business use Twitter to help meet their goals? Absolutely. You just need to have a strategy that suits your brand.
Choose a Voice and Handle
Just like the rest of the web, users use this microblogging site to tweet about everything from animal care to spoof news stories, so the first thing you need to figure out is how you want your brand to connect with its audience. Do you want to be an authority in your field? Do you want to build relationships with your audience? Do you want to provide customer service? All three?
The answers to these questions will define the voice that you should use when writing your tweets. The first expression of this is by what your Twitter username, or handle, is. Your handle can only be 15 characters in length, so choose carefully. Many companies choose to use their full company name or abbreviate it something easy to remember. For example, our Twitter handle at Active Web Group is @AWG while the New York Times uses @NYTimes.
The running theory to stay current on Twitter is that a handle needs to put out 15-20 tweets a day. These posts are divided between original content, interacting with other users, and useful resources for your followers. To keep accounts going, most social media managers schedule tweets to go out days ahead of time.
But how aggressive can you really afford to be in your tweets? Just finding 6 or 7 articles to share, creating and scheduling the posts the optimal times can take over an hour. And then you’ll need to troll Twitter’s main feed for applicable conversations to join in, which can take another hour or two per day.
This amount of time will be determined with what you’re using your twitter account for. If you’re just trying to connect and build trust among your current customers you can do less scheduled posts and more conversational posting, which means logging onto the service when you have a few minutes and chiming in on someone else’s question or discussion.
Twitter is all about tweaking and massaging your approach to make the experience what you’re looking for out of it. Part of this is figuring out the optimal times to reach your audience. And don’t believe that rumor circulating on the internet lately that there is only one window of opportunity to post on each social media site and it’s the same for everyone (currently being perpetuated by infographics like this one being taken out of context). Every account’s followers are different; therefore the times that they’re going to be on Twitter are going to be different.
The best way to try and connect with your users will be to look at their own timelines and to be online or tweeting for when they have been active in the past. Alternatively, you can also schedule your tweets between a specific set of hours for one week, then push the window an hour or two forward each week and see when you get the most interaction.
But What Is Twitter Success?
This will be determined by the goals you set out at the beginning of your campaign, but there are some standard ways to see if you’re heading in the right direction:
- Check your Follower/Following ratio: Authoritative accounts have a higher Followers number compared to the Following number. If your Following number is larger than your Followers number, you’re probably not resonating with your intended audience.
- How many notifications are you getting a day: In other words, you are remembering to be social, right? Twitter, like Facebook, is all about making connections and driving them forward. Ask questions, join conversations, and be genuine. The more often you do this, the more likely you are to get notified of someone responding to your posts or retweeting your tweets.
- How many clicks are your links getting: Most social media publishing platforms allow for at least a basic amount of tracking on links–how many clicks they got, which links were the most popular, etc. Give these reports a quick glance to determine whether or not people are finding the information that you’re posting of interest.
Feel free to contact AWG for assistance if you don’t currently have a social media manager or web design agency.