So I haven’t blogged in a while because… I have been busy as all heck.
Many have blogged and twittered and videoblogged and webinared how to work with twitter. Some of the more egregious “click my junk”ers even charge users for the “inside information”.
I advise clients on strategies in integrating digital and social tools within their marketing architecture and inside the enterprise. Finding, implementing and using tools like blogging, twitter, video, wiki, etc is what I do. In the last 24 hours I have had 2 conversations around guidelines for working with Twitter (and a big thanks to @Micah on twitter and http://learntoduck.com/ and who got me thinking about this). How to jump in, use it, not abuse it, get something out of it and connect with people. This isn’t a post about getting to 25,000 users (I only have 1000+) or making money with Twitter, or how Social Media saved my
1. Be human. Have a real person behind the @name – even if it is a brand, you need someone there, a real person and preferably someone in the org and not the agency (ghost twittering isn’t authentic). BestBuy’s developer group has Keith Burtis, @Comcastcares, etc. are all real people. They talk about real stuff. Sure, sometimes it is more corporate, but its nice to see the human behind the curtain.
2. Listening, listening, listening – whats the point of having this live, 24/7 stream of distributed consciousness/conversation and dozens, hundreds, or thousands of followers if you dont bother to listen to the users when they mention you, your product, your brand, your category you are leaving money on the table. Pandora does a great job of listening, so does JetBlue (who responded to me via DM after an incident at the gate for one of their flights). Start with Summize or take a big-boy step up to use search in tweetdeck or go nuts with Radian6 or one of their competitors and really start paying attention.
3. Attention is a currency. Following back is a gesture. Retweets are a powerful way to say to your followers “I dig this” and to the person you are retweeting “I dig you”.
4. 50-50 rule, Pay-It_Forward, etc . Do you want fail at twitter? Talk about yourself all the time. Me, Me, Me, is Boring Boring, Boring. Spend half as many of your tweets on your followers and the people you follow as you do yourself. Spend the time to show you are listening by paying into the shoutout economy – celebrate what your users are doing, congratulate them for a job well done, or send your condolences when their dog dies. You can do this publicly w/ an @ or privately with a DM. If one of your followers says something interesting, profound, funny or worthwhile, RT (retweet it). Add value and then your followers won’t mind checking out your new blog post, or youtube video, or “hey guys can you take my poll”. My friends don’t ask me to “click their junk”
5. Consider following back other real people. Someday your ratio might matter
6. If you can’t commit to twitter its OK. Don’t force it. Don’t make the intern run the twitter feed. Don’t agonize over every tweet. If you are the agency, don’t drop this on the client as the next big thing without helping them understand it. Walk them through it, have them open their own personal twitter accounts. Even better, get their internal team on Yammer to use microsharing INSIDE the org first.
7. Make your tweets inherently “retweetable”. Brevity is the sole of wit and kindof a requirement when you only have 140 characters. Take advantage of a URL shortener, there are a bunch (and some are built into tweetdeck and the twtiiter architecture itself uses tinyurl). Supposedly bit.ly has an interesting measurement capability if you want to see the reach of a tweeted URL – i need to look into it
8. Auto DM is generally bad. Especially if you have a “click my junk” in your autoDM. When you go on a blind date, do you start with a “free e-book offer”?
9. Fill out your whole profile. Make a background image with your URLs (linkedin, facebook, website, blog, etc.). Make sure your main URL is part of your profile so it is clickable.
10. You can leverage twitter if you build trust. @skydiver is on there a lot with urgent HARO requests, because he has paid it forward. Macheist recently did a giveaway for Devonthink software. You can ask your followers questions and they will respond – see #2 above
11. Rinse, repeat, make mistakes, learn from them, get better and don’t give up.