Managing social media is an exciting job – I mean who wouldn’t want to spend hours on a Twitter account and get paid for it, right? Community management is both thrilling and challenging in equal measures. For every tweet or Retweet there is both a potential for virality and failure - you just need to learn how to steer the odds in your favor.
Managing a corporate Twitter account requires a clear vision, thoughtful strategy and dedication to be successful in keeping a brand in front of existing customers, whilst attracting new ones. We’re here to share practical tips on how to effectively manage a corporate Twitter account to ease the challenging aspects of the job, and endear you to your customers who are Twitter users.
1) Set Expectations for Content – and Follow Through
Amidst millions of social media accounts and billions of conversations taking place every day, getting our corporate Twitter account noticed can be challenging. Grabbing the attention of our target audience starts with establishing our social brand profile, which is achieved by constantly publishing what's relevant to our followers. Consistency helps us build a “routine” that helps our followers know what to expect from our account. Users tend to unfollow inactive accounts or accounts that tweet once or twice a week. Nothing can put potential followers off from following than a corporate Twitter account whose last tweet was published a week ago. Relevancy and consistency ensures followers are not confused and is essential to keep our audience engaged.
2) Keep the Content as Diverse as the Community
People that follow a corporate Twitter account are not only interested in company news, they’re equally interested -if not more so - in the brand story, product updates, offers, “how to use” videos and industry news. By taking a good look at our following base we will see that our audience can be segmented into subgroups, each having their own set of interests and needs. It’s important to tailor our content to meet the diverse needs and interests of our followers. Media monitoring tools, such as Meltwater, can help us understand the topics our followers are interested in and create posts that meet their interests. The analytics will show that engaging and tailored posts will directly and positively affect our bottom line at the same time.
There are times when it makes sense to split our audience into more than one account. Comcast did this early on with @comcastcares, which is specifically for customer service. This is a good way to put the needs of the customer first, as it serves a very specific function.
3) Prioritize Honest Engagement
There are many simple and perhaps common sense ways that can help drive our engagement level – yet, amidst our busy jobs filled with endless to do lists and deadlines we tend to forget them! In real life when we’re greeted by someone, we greet them back. So, why do we act so differently on Twitter when we have easy-to-access direct messages and replies? Social media shouldn’t be any different. When we receive new followers on any app, we can welcome them. We can ask them about their jobs and their interests so that we can get to know more about them. This does not mean that we should have an automated “thanks for following” reply – that’s a hollow welcome. Honest engagement requires real people acting like real people.
The great thing about starting real conversations is that we can get a good feel as to what our most engaged audience is interested in, and how to make their experience better. For example, we can ask them what made them follow us and the type of posts they would like to see.
4) Timing is Everything
The shelf life of a tweet is approximately 30 minutes. Levels of engagement change greatly depending on the time of day, however the “Always on” nature of social media – Twitter in particular – means that we need to keep our accounts active at all times and engage with trending hashtags, whether they are corporate or personal. Media monitoring tools, such as Meltwater intelligence, can help us schedule tweets to ensure our account stays active, even during weekends or outside of office working hours. That said, scheduled posts only do so much. If our corporate Twitter account reads as though a robot is running it, that’s not going to get us honest engagement.
5) Hitch the Wagon to a Star
We don’t always have to initiate the conversation. Engagement is also achieved when we join a conversation that is already happening. For example, Meltwater decided to listen to the conversation following Zayn Malik’s announcement that he was leaving One Direction. Using our online Media Intelligence platform we created a heat map of the most engaged parts of the world. This heat map, accompanied with the trending hashtags, resulted in brand impressions tripling! Now, this doesn’t mean that we should capitalize on all social media buzz, we must be selective so that we benefit from trending hashtags and news that’s relevant to our brand. Hijacking news that our followers find offensive will obviously do more harm than good, proving that not all Twitter engagement should be celebrated.
6) Use Visuals
Be sure to add images to tweets. A picture says a thousand words, after all. Adding images, infographics and videos to our tweets will encourage users to click through and engage with the content, and will make a first glance at our corporate Twitter handle a lot more compelling.
7) It’s Not All About Us
The 80/20 rule is a good one for Twitter: about 80% of the content on our corporate Twitter handle should be about other people. RTing target influencer posts, for example, is a great way to engage them and to give great content to our own community. That leaves 20% of our content for self-promotion. This is where a great media intelligence tool comes in especially handy: understanding who matters within our community and what folks are interested in helps us engage our community and further our influencer strategy with one tweet. Understanding and meeting our audiences needs is what makes marketing such a crucial support to traditional advertising.
Social media management is about more than simply being seen. It requires a deeper understanding of the social networks that matter to our brand and our audiences. As a marketer, you can tap into potential customers through brand awareness but the job of growing your Twitter followers is more complex. It involves offering real value, which is easiest to achieve with the right tools and insights.