You’ve got a Twitter account. Now what…

Mila won both the G-15 and G-16 Trade Marketing Campaign of the Year awards and, in between, also picked up the FIT Show Award for best Social Media and Digital Marketing campaign. Newly appointed digital marketeer Charly Venn gives some expert advice on how companies in this industry can get the most out of Twitter.

Probably the most important thing to remember about Twitter is that it’s not a sales channel. However tempting it might be to use it as an extension of your e-marketing, you should ideally be aiming for a conversation with your followers instead.

You need to keep your feed in line with your overall brand messaging but try to avoid being too ‘corporate’. You’re looking to build a personality for your business, so adopt a style and a tone of voice which is human and approachable. What to tweet:

  • It’s obviously useful to tweet your company news and to tie this in to any PR activity you are doing. Think about new product launches, company events, new staff joining, charity activity, or anniversaries.
  • Look at what’s trending – nationally, locally or in the industry. There are always national days, holidays or sports events you can reference in your tweets.
  • You can also follow relevant accounts and think about retweeting any content that is appropriate for your audience.
  • Ask your followers questions as well – that’s the best way to encourage them to engage with you. And make sure that you respond straightaway.
  • It’s good practice to include images or infographics to make your feed more engaging.
  • Don’t ever repeat tweets. Followers will very quickly get bored and think you have nothing new to say.

I always advise customers to have a social media plan and to analyse everything that they are doing to make sure it is as effective as possible. Remember, it’s all about engagement so you need to be able to analyse your engagement rates to see what is really working for you:

  • Keep a calendar of all your posts that tracks the day, time and any links or images that you’ve included.
  • Record the success of each of these posts in terms of the number of impressions and the engagement rates. Posts with high impressions but no engagement are not particularly valuable.
  • Then, analyse these figures to see if you can identify any trends. You will probably find that certain times or days of the week work better than others.
  • Identify influencers among your followers and try to engage directly with them.
  • Analyse what the rest of the market is saying – particularly your competitors.
  • Use Twitter Analytics as well. This will give you an overview of your success every month.

There are lots of free tools to help you get more from your Twitter activity that I think are really worthwhile. The most obvious one is Hootsuite, which you can use on a desktop or mobile to schedule your posts in advance. Hootsuite Academy is a good learning tool that can really help you improve your social media skills – everything from optimising your profile to growing your community.

I also like Moz Followerwonk which lets you see when your followers are most active online, and even shows the keywords and hashtags that are being used in any industry.

If you want to get some formal training, think about Google’s Digital Garage which includes lots of short, free social media tutorials, and which even earns you a Google certification once you’ve finished.


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