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I haven’t been keeping up with this blog for the past few weeks and my reason is going to sound odd — I’ve been SWAMPED with social media! So wait, that means I’ve been doing so much social media that I couldn’t keep up with it all? I guess that’s it. My company has five separate Twitter accounts. Yes, five. We have a general company news and activities one that my boss, the VP of communications runs. The VP of government affairs has his own account and he gives updates as to what he is doing on Capitol Hill for our industry. Two of our membership programs have their own accounts to build the brand, get out messaging about specials and generate membership. Finally, our trade show has its own account to generate excitement and attendees for the show. Each has a distinct purpose and they show our members who are generally over the age of 50 that our company is moving with the times, we are invested in learning what we can about how the industry is growing and what new ways our members can expand their outreach to increase their business.
Back to the point, my neglect of this blog came from a meeting I went to a few weeks ago where I volunteered to run one of the membership programs Twitter accounts. It was easy, fun and a new aspect of my job that I was excited to grow in. Tweeting for a company is very different from tweeting for yourself and I was eager to try my hand at it. Suddenly, a week later, my boss was taking a few weeks off so I’ve also taken over the general company account while she’s been out. Then, the girl who was handling the trade show account wasn’t really attending to it because she was too busy, and some how I ended up taking that over as well. At the moment, I am running three of our company’s five Twitter accounts. Needless to say, I’ve been a little distracted.
It has been quite interesting juggling all of these different ‘voices’ but that all have the same essential message – to join our company. I started using HootSuite because it lets me schedule Tweets which is by far the most valuable tool for a corporate Twitter account.
Try these tips for your business Twitter account:
- Schedule Tweets. I have found that you usually have multiple messages that you want your followers to get, but it’s best to space them out. You never know when people are reading their Twitter feed, or if they are following a lot of people, your Tweets can quickly get lost in the shuffle.
- ALWAYS provide a link. Even if it’s just back to your homepage, you want your followers to have some reference, a way to find out more info. If your Tweet gets re-Tweeted(RT)ed, then the info needs to be available.
- Create Hash tags. If you make a hash tag from your company’s name, show names, program names, etc. this will not only reinforce your brand so that others know the acronyms, but allow others to follow news about your topics if they are later followers. It’s an easy way to stay in control of what Twitter searches bring up about you and your company.
- Play well with others. You have a few followers and you are following a few people. So RT what they say if its relevant (hopefully that’s why you’re following them, they are relevant to your company). This way they will RT for you (hopefully) and get your message out and you both learn and build a relationship. The relationship is key.
Here are a few things I have learned:
- Follow with intent to interact. Don’t follow someone unless you care about what they say. First of all, there is a ratio you have to maintain. in order to follow more than 2,000 people you must have X amount of followers. Plus, it just become clutter to follow people you aren’t going to read from or talk to. The point of social media is to interact and be social. Following someone because you’re hoping they will follow you back JUST to increase your number of followers, doesn’t work and defeats the purpose.
- Don’t double dutch. That’s right. I made up a new term. It means don’t schedule the same tweet for multiple accounts at the same time. If you’re Tweeting for one company or client from multiple accounts, chances are both accounts have similar followers. If they see that two accounts Tweeted the exact same message at the exact same time, it takes away from the interaction and both accounts lose their individual voice. Each account has a separate purpose, and while they have the same larger goal at the end of the day, the point is that they should have slightly different target audiences.
A small pet peeve of mine is I’ve noticed some people who RT the same messages often. They have a brilliant blog, but seem to just use their Twitter account to promote the blog posts. That’s great and a good use, BUT it’s not good or helpful to RT about old blog posts that you’ve already Tweeted about using the same messaging. This makes me not want to interact with you because I feel like you’re not reading what other people are Tweeting, you’re just mechanically RTing all of your old Tweets.
The most important thing is to remember voice and target audience. The rest is gravy.