In 2006, Twitter revolutionized the world's way of accessing real-time information when they implemented a 140-character maximum limit on social updates. It's clean and simple user-interface allows for sharing anything from worldwide politics, breaking news, sports updates, quality content, to meaningless images and jokes. Today, we are overly exposed to all types of media, but Twitter gives us the means to access what we need to know, or what we want to know. Because of all of this, companies and organizations are joining Twitter to promote their messages and even provide quick and direct customer support.
Twitter has become a channel for just about everything and everyone. From helping to orchestrate a mutiny of a government to sharing cute photos of your newborn baby, Twitter can do it all. From Hollywood stars, to hilarious comics, to high-powered athletes, people are using Twitter for all types of purposes. Consumers like you and I use the service to share and discover new content. For many people, Twitter has unknowingly replaced their RSS feeds and even watching the morning news.
Twitter is a very public platform, which paves the way for its most powerful tool, connecting people. This channel allows complete strangers to band together over common ideas and interests, as well as to have a voice in conversations that range from popular topics to important, trending issues. Twitter gives everyone a voice!
Some people choose to live-tweet their entire life--Tweeting constantly--while other people may limit their input to retweets, or sharing content. Your objective is to determine what types of users you'll be looking for and engaging with and obtain an understanding of how and why they're using the tool. If you understand why they are using Twitter, you'll be better suited to focus your content and Twitter marketing efforts in more effective ways.
Your specific goals dictate your success on Twitter, but there are some strategies that all businesses and organizations can use to get started off right. Keep these techniques in mind to speed up your progress toward achieving your specific objectives.
Voice and branding. Twitter only gives you 140 characters to convey your message, so every word matters. You need to be constantly aware of who you are on Twitter. Your brand and voice is incorporated into every interaction you have. As your brand on Twitter grows, you will naturally get a sense of how your brand should speak on Twitter. How would your brand, if it was a person, talk, joke around, respond to issues? Your voice needs to be consistent, as people like to know what to expect from their interactions with your company. This consistency will help you build confidence and trust with your following.
A big part of your managing your brand and voice on Twitter, or any social platform for that matter, is making sure that your account name and profile image are set according to your brand guidelines. These fields set your first impression for people. Your bio should be relevant to your brand and voice as well, and your Twitter handle (@your_name) should be branded as well. If you aren't on Twitter yet, at the very least go claim your company's name before someone else does. Your location and website should also be accurate, these are all a part of your Twitter bio.
Measurement. Data is readily available on Twitter, the hard part is setting up the appropriate measurement frameworks and dashboards so that they coincide with your business goals. Data influences your social media bottom line, because it helps you tell your own story and find both success and opportunities. You'll never know how success you are, until you start measuring your success.
Responsiveness. It is crucial to respond to your community as quickly as possible on Twitter. It is a fast paced social channel, so it is easy for things to fall through the cracks, on your end and your followers' end. Many companies get customer service requests via Twitter that should receive your immediate attention. If you ignore, or miss, an important tweet you may find that that one tweet has been duplicated by many other followers. Questions and emergencies should not be your sole focus of Twitter, it will also be important to give shout outs to people praising your brand, and post relevant content that can help your following base.