Whether you use your Twitter account for personal or business reasons, one of the biggest challenges is deciding what—and when—to tweet. Tweeting your every move can turn off your followers, while failing to tweet at all can cause those once eager followers to lose interest.
Fortunately there are some techniques your business can use to make the most of your online presence. Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are the wave of the future, and it is important for companies of all sizes to use the power of these sites to grow their brands and please their customers.
- Think about what you are interested in and use that as the basis of your tweets. Keep abreast of the latest developments in your organizations topic areas and pass that interesting information along to your supporters.
- Spread your tweets out among several different staff members and maybe even volunteers, rather than doing all the work on your own. Having more than one person tweeting will also bring a number of different viewpoints to the table as well. You can do this easily with Hootsuite or Cotweet.
- Use Twitter to promote your blog posts, but be sure to provide some background information along with the link. Make your followers want to click your links by providing interesting and useful content. Use a shortener service like bit.ly so you can get more room for your descriptions!
- Solicit the opinions of your followers, and don’t be afraid to let them ask questions. You can learn a a great deal about how your organization is viewed in the outside world by interacting with your Twitter followers. If you want hardcore surveys check out Wufoo, it lets you create any kind of forms you want.
- Follow interesting people and companies, both inside and outside your industry. Twitter is a great place to build your organization and your personal network.
- Tweet about non-cause related items as well. While Twitter is a great place to promote your organization, it is also a great place to learn from the experiences of others. If you find something interesting, tweet it to your online followers.
- Make your tweets useful, especially when you are promoting your own programs and services. Make sure that the information you provide will be interesting and useful to your followers. Try to answer the standard questions like “who, what, when, and where”. Also if your so inclined answer the “why”.
- Share your organization’s human side, including any outside activities and cause marketing endeavors. Encourage your staff to tweet about their personal lives as well as the business side of their lives.
- Resist the urge to promote your organization constantly. It is fine to use Twitter as a marketing tool, but the site should be much more than just promoting your business. We can’t stress this enough because even though you probably have many passionate followers that love you, they don’t really want to only hear about you.
- Post interesting articles from both inside and outside your niche. The people who are following you on Twitter will have many different interests, so be sure to tweet the things you find interesting. Chances are good that someone on your list of Twitter contacts will find the information you post interesting and relevant.
- Share images and video. Everyone wants to see what your organization is up to. Make it easy for folks to then share those images and video with their followers as well by using an online service like Flickr, YouTube, or Vimeo.
Twitter is a powerful marketing tool for your cause, but it is much more than that. The world of social networking has transformed the way we interact with one another, and smart non-profits who were able to get in on the ground floor of this new media sensation are already reaping the rewards. Overall, we’ve found that its really just laziness that gets in the way of most organizations following a content plan like this. Break that cycle now and if you need help feel free to get in touch!
Image courtesy of Twitter Buttons on Etsy