Use Twitter to Engage, Connect & Influence
Those are your marketing communication goals. Now how do you get there with a Twitter account? As with most marketing communications goals, it's all about the content. You should carefully consider what you want to post on any social media with these three guidelines:
Social media content guidelines
1. Content you believe will help your audience: Call it thought-leadership to use a buzz term. You know things that are of value to your audience. It might be directly about your product or service. It might be something that influences your product or service. It might be advice on how to get the most out of your product or service. This content doesn't get stale. This is the content that reaches out to people who may not know about your product. These ideas are the ones that get passed on (retweeted) to new prospects. This is how you engage. This example from Runner's World illustrates sharing an opinion and information about a topic that is important to its audience:
2. Content based on current issues: The best example here is retail - in November you start seeing Christmas decorations. They are giving their audience reasons to interact based on timing. In your business that could be seasonal but it could also be related to something in the news. Keep your ear to the ground and interact based on what's really happening. There is certainly something engaging about this type of content and you can expect some spreading of the word but this content takes the next step and connects with people. It gives them a reason to interact with you. This post is being written in August and Walmart is capitalizing on the back to school time of year (and also Shark Week on the Discover Channel just for fun):
3. Promotional content: There's a reason this is last. If all you do is hawk your wares on Twitter - you will turn people off. With that said, there's a time and place and people who are following you like your product or service. They want to know when you're having a sale or event. This is the content that can influence action. See the second post from Diet Coke below. They were running an event and giving people clues only on Twitter - if you're a fan of Diet Coke, that's a great incentive to follow and pay attention to their tweets:
- Advantages & disadvantages of Twitter
- Five twitter tips for businesses
- Learning to tweet - advice for Twitter newbies
Use Twitter to Listen to Your CustomersA good social media plan isn't all push. Successful use of Twitter requires listening and many organizations are discovering a lot of value in social listening. Social Listening, defined as social media monitoring or measuring if you're a data geek, is determining what is being said about your organization online and assessing its value to your marketing strategy.
One of the biggest shifts in the business-consumer relationship has happened with the explosion of social media. Twitter, Facebook and the like have given consumers a megaphone to tell the world what they think of your service or product. It's important that you hear what they have to say - both good and bad.
You will be more successful at achieving your social medial goals if you're listening to customers and prospects. That doesn't mean inserting yourself into every conversation or tweet about your company. It does mean jumping in where you can be helpful or to thank someone for a compliment. Good social listening helps you improve your service and builds relationships with people. Listening and appropriately engaging people online creates advocates. And their grassroots marketing becomes invaluable down the road.
More on social listening:
- Not all it's cracked up to be
- Damned if you do, damned if you don't
- Why social listening is important for brands