A year ago Twitter was still a relatively unknown technology. Now, “Twitter” has been added to the dictionary and more and more individuals and companies are joining if they haven’t already. There are now over 50 million accounts worldwide.
In fact, companies appear out of touch if they are not active on Twitter – not having a Twitter account is almost like not having a website 10 years ago. Interestingly, there are still a number of notable companies without an official online presence. Others have started accounts but haven’t yet tweeted anything.
Done well, Twitter can be an excellent marketing tool. However, many companies are still feeling their way and are unsure of how to best integrate social media with their marketing strategy.
PR firm Weber Shandwick recently did a study of Fortune 100 Companies on Twitter and concluded that many need a “Twittervetion.” The study found that 73% of Fortune 100 companies have registered a total of 540 Twitter accounts. However, 76% of those accounts did not post tweets very often and 52% were not actively engaged or were defined as place-holder accounts. Such detachment can be degrading to your brand rather than useful.
5 Ways to use Twitter Effectively – A Starter Guide
1. Have a Purpose and Integrate Twitter with Your Marketing Strategy
In order to use Twitter effectively, consider how it can be integrated into your overall marketing communications strategy. Define what your goals are – is to increase awareness, join the conversation, listen to what your customers are saying, use as a tool for recruiting talent, etc. Don’t leave your Twitter account to flounder on its own – connect it to your website and other social media accounts.
2. Create a Professional Image Inline with Your Brand
People will judge your company based on the appearance of your Twitter page – make sure it is consistent with your company’s branding and other touch points. Create a branded background and when possible be certified as an official twitter page. Have an easy to search name – the search function on Twitter for finding accounts is limited. Act quickly – your name may already be taken
3. Select Who You Follow Carefully
While it is positive to have a high number of followers, it is not always beneficial to follow a large number of accounts. Be thoughtful about who you follow and make sure your choices are in line with your strategy. Who you’re following says a lot about you (including your interests and positioning) and is reflective of your brand – be selective.
4. Tweet Regularly and Provide Useful information
Tweet a mix of both company updates – promotions, new products, etc - and useful information – industry trends or reports, etc. Be relevant and current. Position yourself as a leader in your industry. Tweet often (at least daily – 1 to 4 times throughout the day is effective) to be top of mind and to be seen by your followers. You can pre-write your tweets and us a service to schedule their release.
5. Participate in Conversations
Rather than just talking to your followers, be responsive, reply to other tweets and talk with them. This is an opportunity to build valuable relationships within your market.