Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Why Do You Tweet? 6 Strategies for More Effective Tweets

Sometimes we are so eager to share information we just tweet.  Or something someone else posts is of interest to us and as content curators we share with our audience because we hope they will find it relevant.

How often do you audit your Twitter account?

  • Do you have too few followers, but lots of tweets?  This is a problem with Reach
  • Do you have plenty of followers, but not many re-tweets or mentions?  This is a problem with Influence.
  • Are you not tweeting enough to keep a following interested?  This is a problem with Frequency.
  • Do you only tweet when you want people to act?  This is a problem with Relationship.
  • Are you not getting anyone to click on your links?  This is a problem with Engagement and Conversion.
 I've identified 6 primary objectives for tweeting, and included some strategies you can apply to crafting tweets to meet each objective.

1.  Drive Traffic to Content (engage and convert):  Make sure your tweet includes a time/value proposition. What value will you be providing your reader for their investment in time.  If you are doing this and still not getting people to click, maybe the time/value balance is out of whack - too much time investment perceived for too little value.  Also consider where you place your link within the tweet. I have observed that when the link is at the end of the tweet, you are more likely to get high re-tweets but lower clicks.  Consider putting your link closer to the beginning of the tweet.  Also, make sure your selfish calls to action are limited to 1 in 4 tweets.  3 in 4 tweets can include links, but 2 of those must be generous links retweeting or sharing for others.

2. Grow Your Reach:  Move your link to the end of the tweet.  Consider using "Please Retweet" but avoid over-using it.  I would not use it more than 5% of the time.  So select the content with the highest value to your intended audience.  Spell out "Retweet"instead of " RT."  The results will be worth it.

3. Increase Your Influence:  You need to get mentioned.  Engage your audience. Ask their opinions.  Ask for feedback.  Ask for examples.  They will be more likely to mention you. This is also a good strategy for improving your reach.  When you are mentioned, their followers will see you and see the conversation taking place. They may decide to be part of that conversation and follow you.

4.  Network:  Are you looking to initiate new relationships?  Retweet people who don't follow you. And be sure to thank people who retweet or mention you.

5. Develop Relationships: If you look at the people who you follow and those that are following you, and you don't know who they are or what they are about, you need to do some more work.  Relationships are about 2-way communication and that means listening.  Spend time to scroll through tweets and develop an understanding of your following and those you follow. Then, interact!  Retweet them. Mention them. Thank them for the same. Mention them when you pass on content you truly believe they will be interested in based on earlier discussions (not content that you want them to be interested in - rather content that made you think of them)

6. Strengthen Relationships:  In his book It's Not Just Who You Know,  Tommy Spaulding  talks about "reactive syndrome" in today's business world where networking doesn't move beyond immediate need.  But he reflects on the strongest benchmarks of his success came from helping others.  I strongly recommend this book for all social media practitioners.  It captures not only the importance of building meaningful relationships, but strategies to enhance your relationship-building abilities.  That's what Social Media is all about.   Social Media increases your opportunity and ability to provide good service to customers, because you want to help them. That's what relationships are all about -  having people's best interest at heart, not when you need them - but when you have an opportunity to serve them.

Can you think of other strategies for tweets that may be missing from this post?  Please share them here in comments so we can all benefit from your expertise.  Follow/Subscribe to my posts for more Twitter and other social best practices to come.

Want to hire me to analyze and make strategic recommendations for your social media programs?  Check out Denise Burns on LinkedIn.

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