I heard this quote a while back and it’s stuck with me:
Twitter is not a micro-blogging service;
it’s a macro-listening service
Not that this quote has any particular poetic value, but that it completely and correctly characterizes how Twitter can be used at the center of your social business strategy.
But please think of how you can apply Twitter to the many existing marketing activities you use in your work.
Those who are new to Twitter often ask me “what’s the point?” Or don’t want to “know what I had for lunch.” Or “Kardashian who?” It’s understandable. With the tool over 5 years old, I think it’s old hat, but often forget Twitter has only recently come into (pop) cultural significance.
It’s not enough that you tweet out press releases, whitepapers, webinars, blogs and so on. That’s all very important content, but ask yourself, “How can I make this content valuable for my Twitter audiences?” A lot of folks will be turned off by a lot of the buzz you might broadcast out of your Twitter account. Go to that audience that might not be so receptive to a lot of marketing spin and ask them what they want to see from you.
You can be quite literal:
“Hey, tweeps, thanks for following me. What sort of content would you like from me?”
Or be a bit more subtle:
“Fill-In-The-Blank Friday: Monday I want to learn _______.”
Or just lurk your own followers to see how they’re talking about things that might or might not align with your content. The tone of the conversation, any camaraderie between your tweeps will be very apparent. Adjust your style to match.
If you’re asking folks to participate in a contest, RT them with a comment when they contribute. It shows you’re actively listening and their time is valued:
— EMC Corporation (@EMCcorp) May 31, 2012
The ’33’ Rule
Tweeting should be as smooth as a Larry Bird lay-up.
And your “buzz” is only a third of the content you should generate. If you’re all buzz and broadcast, that’s fine, but don’t expect a lot of engagement or follower growth. Think of the content your following shares with the masses. Does it match your marcomms goals? Could you comment or retweet what they tweet? There’s another easy lay-up. And don’t be afraid to tweet conversations. Without links. Let folks know you’re interested in them and let them see that you’re also interesting.
Buzz + Conversation + Retweet = Lay-up.