By now, most high-tech marketing and PR professionals have figured out Twitter or, at least, have heard of it. We all approached it differently though. I don’t claim to be a social media expert (and a lot of the ones doing so should not), but I am involved in it, I read a lot about it, and I participate in many seminars/webinars covering social media topics. In this post, I will share a few well-researched and tested steps with you, the startup founder or VP of marketing, or the larger company employee trying to get acquainted with Twitter.
So, you understand that a corporate presence on Twitter is vital for the company; you sign up and create a corporate account. The problem is that if you don’t have a social media strategy in place and you are not interested in social media (by that, I mean that you do it because it’s “trendy,” or your boss asked you to get involved, but you wouldn’t do it otherwise), you will discover in only a few weeks that your number of followers is not increasing even though your posts are. Here are a few ideas to create a voice for your corporate account on Twitter and get things going:
1. In your profile, provide basic info about you/your company and add a link to your website, because people are more likely to follow you if they know more about you and/or your company. Use keywords to make your bio appealing to the right people, who will eventually become your followers. If you are the only person behind your Twitter account, sooner or later, the account will acquire your personality, and it’s best that you show more of your professional side, and less of your personal side in your tweets. Your tweeps will know about you as much as you want to share with them. You control your tweets. You can’t control though the way they are shared or interpreted, and, also, keep in mind that vendors have more work to do in order to get people to listen to them, because, oh, well, they are biased. This takes us to #2.
2. Engage in conversations to increase credibility and get your (corporate) name out more. Yes, we know how tempting it is to post links to your own press releases, but, if you are planning to do so, please tweet only major news (by that, I mean, “newsworthy” information). Also, tweeting or retweeting industry news can be a good start. Let’s say that you sell a storage virtualization solution; you may want to tweet links to recent press articles, analyst findings, or partner announcements in this space. Retweet what other people are saying, assuming it’s interesting to you, the business person.
3. Follow the right people. Twitter may seem like a popularity contest, but, for you, it is a marketing tool, which , like any marketing tool, will give you the the best results if you are able to reach your target audience – industry influencers and potential customers or partners – and disseminate the right message to this audience. Search for people in your industry, follow them and some will follow you back. If others don’t, don’t take it personally. Show them you bring value and once you start tweeting more, posting interesting content for the Twitter community, they may start following you.
4. Know how to tweet. Hashtags (so people can find you when searching), keywords (so the right people can find you), referencing people already on Twitter, and adding links that you can later track to see how many people opened them should be part of your tweets. “I am having lunch” is not interesting, but “I am having lunch at #vmworld with @leecaswell of @pivot3inc, talking about #virtualization in #surveillance implementations and LINK TO ARTICLE” may be for some.
5. Nothing confidential should make it on Twitter. Share only public info, so please keep the roadmap or the next press release to yourself.
6. Promote your Twitter account. Have links on your website, in your newsletter, and maybe in your email signature. I have also seen it on business cards lately. Talk to people about being on Twitter. Attend tweetups if you want to go a step further.