Two more tips for building conversations, community and momentum on Twitter.
5. One voice only. Choose one person to be in charge of your Twitter presence, agree to rules, and let them—and them alone—be the Tweeter. If more than one person is Tweeting for a business profile, things are going to get messy. Repetition, inconsistency will ensue; it will feel spammy and the messages will step on each other…and on followers. This is a one-person job.
As for WHO? Well…depends. CEO Tweeting rocks, but it has to be authentic and engaging, and the CEO has to be willing to listen as well as to talk. Product people will learn a great deal about the marketplace and products in it; Customer Support experts will establish great exchanges with customers.
Choosing who Tweets depends largely on your overall Twitter goals, but once you’ve decided: make sure it’s someone who is excited to do this (the passion and enjoyment will show), who can write correctly and well, and who is comfortable with the tech, naturally. And encourage others in the company to Tweet on their own, to follow and engage in conversation. It builds momentum, really.
Worried about time? Fear not: this can be managed. Although you can spend tons of time on Twitter (and may feel like you do when you first start) as you get to know the system you can visit in interstitial moments, much as you might with email. Most people say that they can manage a lot of Twittering in 30 minutes/day.
To help build value and understanding, have the Tweet-er capture relevant content and share Twitter progress with team on a regular basis.
5. Tweet often. If you’re going to do this, take it seriously. Show up. Daily, at least, but I recommend more than once daily. Since there’s some “serendipity” to Twitter—meaning you don’t know exactly who and what will be shaping the conversation when you show up—you broaden your exposure by dropping in frequently.
To start, plan on Tweeting several times each day. Post an update or two each time: links to on-site information, reports from the office, questions you’d like to see discussed. Wine guy Gary V has elevated this to art, while Work.com, even with a quieter voice, also succeeds in conversing. Spend a moment looking at the dialog (and Tweet) frequency; these are good guides.
Be sure to check and respond to your replies (“@”) and direct messages (see basic Twitter Tips) whenever you sign on.
Although you can set your preferences (under “Settings”) to have Twitter tell you when messages come in, and to remind you to update, my advice is that if you’re going to rely on this you’re not going to maximize the benefit of being on Twitter
OK. I hesitate to mention Tweetlater because it’s no proxy for live Tweeting…but it can be very handy for travel days, big announcements, time zone issues, etc. Tweetlater lets you pre-schedule Tweets so that they post to your Twitter profile at specific times. Do not use this to replace an ongoing Twitter presence…that’s spammy. You will learn much from checking in and listening to what’s going on; be sure that’s part of your plan. But Tweetlater (and others; Google “schedule Twitter”) will help you remain consistent and current when timing isn’t your friend.
Stay tuned: Tips #7 & #8 on their way.