5 Things You May Not Be Leveraging for Twitter
It’s hard to believe Twitter turned four last week. Since its arrival, Twitter and its cousins in social media have been shaping online communications. And continually, marketers have more opportunities to reach audiences as technologies evolve.
Some of the more recent changes to the landscape are worth reviewing in order to make the most of your online presence. Here are five features, resources or strategies related to Twitter that you may want to consider in your online marketing strategy.
1. Twitter is a Useful Hub
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We all depend on Starbucks and its ilk to keep us productive in the office, but did you know that along with a steamy latte, there are business lessons to be taken from the caffeine king pin as well? The man behind Starbucks’ Twitter account, Brad Nelson, spoke at a recent social media conference, sharing the company’s experience and strategy for the social network. A few highlights:
- “Everything emanates from Twitter, it’s their social content hub”
- “Things hit Twitter before they hit anywhere else and if it doesn’t hit Twitter it’s probably not as big of a deal as you think it is.”
- “Twitpic is more powerful than a DSLR (high grade digital camera) – Grainy camera phone pics are more authentic and better received than polished professional pictures.”
2. There’s Wisdom in Twitter’s Case Studies
It’s helpful that we can glean best practices from companies as opportunities for sharing arise, but did you know that Twitter has actually collected a number of business case studies that they’re hosting on their Twitter 101 for Business guide? The resource is a great starting place for business entering the network, and can be a helpful evangelism tool for Internet marketers to pass on to clients and organizations. A lessons in lingo, best practices, case studies and resources are all there. Among my favorite takeaways from the case studies is Pepsi’s outline of the process it follows to respond to negative criticism:
But if a person has had a problem with a product or is attacking the company in some way, Pepsi has a process in place to resolve the issue directly. The company responds once in public, and if the person stays negative, they switch to DM and then to email or phone if needed. Internally, a cross-functional team can help solve problems.
3. Automation May Work for You
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So this one’s shrouded in controversy, but if done right, automation can help you focus on the resource intensive stuff, like responding to replies and putting out fires, while simplifying some of the more passive activities, like pushing blog posts or event reminders. Though it’s worth stressing the if done right part since there’s a risk in alienating your audience or followers if you don’t maintain that human touch.
At SESNY last week, there was a session dedicated to the dos and don’ts of automating Twitter. Of note:
- “Don’t set and forget your automation tools. Falke recommended an 80/20 split between automation and human interaction.”
- “Be selective in your use of auto-tweets. Thomases thinks they work for news sites like @cnnbrk, which sends out headline alerts to nearly three million followers.”
- A Twitter experiment showed that when 1,000 people in the tech sector were followed at random, 667 followed back despite the account bio reading “Please don’t follow me. I am a bot.”
4. Real-Time Optimization Has Emerged
While Twitter has been around for four years, real-time search results have only been around four months, but that hasn’t stopped resourceful SEOs from figuring out how to optimize for real-time. Speakers at SES’s Where Search and Social Media Collide session explained that the strategy is more familiar than you might think. The main advice? Think like SEO. The factors for showing up in Google’s scrolling real-time search box include:
- Number of followers/retweets = authority
- Hotness of topic/clustering of tweets
- Semantics = don’t look like spam
5. @anywhere Hooks You Up