Friday, April 4, 2014

Make the Most of Twitter: 4 Questions to Ask Before You Tweet

The average company on Twitter is looking to be something more than a content pumping machine. Most companies joined the platform for a reason: to engage prospects, build relationships, and ultimately convert leads to sales. Whether or not this whole process is done through Twitter may vary, but it certainly starts there. And it starts with engagement.

Every single tweet is an opportunity; an opportunity to build a brand, to start a relationship, to close a deal.
But every time you tweet, more than 9,100 tweets are sent at the same time. That’s a lot of competition. Instead of upping the anti in quantity, maybe it’s time to slow down the content for a second and focus on quality: evaluate what you’re tweeting. Here are 4 questions to ask yourself before every single tweet.

1.     Will it reach my audience?

This is the first question for a very simple reason: if your audience doesn’t see your tweet, they’re certainly not going to engage with it. So who do you want to see this post? When are they online? Where are they online – mobile or desktop, public or private location? What search terms will they use to find your tweet?
Tip: The top attributes to consider when trying to reach your audience are time, keywords, and hashtags.

2.     Does the content provide value?

This means real, honest value above and beyond everything else that’s easily accessible on the web. What problem does it solve or need does it meet for your customer? How is it different from your competitors (content- or business- wise)?
Tip: The most valuable content opportunity is the intersection between your business’ area of expertise and your target’s relevant interests, but certainly outside of the realm of your product.

3.     Is it optimized for engagement?

If engagement is a goal of publishing on Twitter, how will you ensure this happens? Asking for retweets is often helpful. But first you have to make sure the content you’re sharing is shareable. Is it? Is the way you’re sharing it compelling enough for followers to click through themselves?
Tip: Making your content shareable is one thing. But you have to get your audience to your content in the first place. Socially Stacked discovered the most retweetable words on Twitter. The list included words and phrases like “how to”, “new blog post”, “help”, “great”, “top”, and “please retweet”. Consider adding some of these to your tweet.

4.     Would I pay attention to this, if I were on the receiving end?

Put yourself in the shoes of your target. If you saw this tweet amongst hundreds or thousands of others, would you engage with it? People want to share content that will make them look good. Will your content do that?
Tip: If your answer to this is no, why not?  You might have to re-create and start at question one again. You’re busy, you have to get the content out the door, blah, blah, blah. Listen: it’s about quality, not quantity. Poor content just makes you look like a “me too” brand, or worse, an unknowledgeable one.
So take a little extra time. Write these down on a sticky note at your desk and think about them every time you tweet to the world. And if you need to, consider scaling back on the number of times you tweet to really nail the effectiveness of your tweets first. 1 tweet that receives 10 retweets, 5 click throughs, and 1 prospect is a heck of a lot better than 10 tweets with 10 favorites.

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