Written by Ted Rubin
The mistake I see being made is trying to measure Social engagement with the same tools we measure every other digital touch point. In my view email, search, even banner ads, have spoiled marketers into thinking everything can be and must be measured with the metrics used to gauge success in other mediums. I am not sure of what the next stage will be for you, but in the beginning, when you are building your Social Media audience, and testing, I have three stages with which I measure… #1 is Audience growth, #2 is Reactivity… getting them to take an action, and #3 Stickiness… keeping them coming back, engaged and interacting. After you achieve all these I feel measurement will easily follow, depending upon what is important to you and your brand.
If you want to continue to reach your market in this social media age, the marketing focus needs to be on building relationships, and metrics need to expand beyond ROI (Return on Investment) to include ROR: Return on Relationship™. If you are not engaging in your field of expertise on Twitter someone else is, so the first issue is that you are missing that opportunity and handing it to others. Second… if you are not talking about your business, your customers and prospects probably are, and you are not there to participate, engage, interact and most important for your business… listen and lead.
My philosophy is that Twitter is a tool that leads into other forms of social sharing. I consider Twitter a place to lay the groundwork where other people pick up things. Twitter is a seeding medium and a place to build engagement and interaction… it is not a broadcast medium, so it is not about the quantity of people listening at once, but the ability to lay it out there for those whose attention are drawn to what you have to say at any given moment.
Twitter is a river that continuously flows and flows. You add content one second, and the next it is gone. Tweet to keep your personal brand on your followers’ radar, increase your following, and provide value that keeps followers listening and you top of mind. Send the same tweet often multiple times in a day and send valuable content repeatedly over the course of time.
How you do that?:
- I suggest picking a hashtag for a brand to use on most tweets and encourage anyone involved with you to add that hashtag to their tweets.
- This allows you to track who is tweeting about you, more importantly for you to retweet, and to make your hashtag top of mind and used regularly by others if possible.
- Periodically check out your followers sites to find interesting posts and RT’s and show you are paying attention.
- Ask your team members to send you tweet ideas regularly.
How do you get/maintain followers?:
- Twitter has a cap to the number of people you are allowed to follow (gets particular around the 2,000 mark) There is a bit of a process to follow, to grow the accounts.
1. Sign into Twitter Handle
2. Make sure you are following back everyone who is following you
3. Search for a relevant and reliable Twitter Account
-Example: If you are in the Cooking vertical, search a celebrity chef or a cooking mag/site, and follow all of those followers, etc.
4. Twitter will stop you when you’ve reached the maximum limit of following
Sign into JustUnfollow (an unfollowing and follow back application)… http://www.justunfollow.com/unfollow.html
-Unfollow those who don’t follow you back.
-Unfollowing should be done every few days- not every day. You want to give all the people you just followed a chance to follow you back. If they don’t within 72 hours+ depending upon what level you are at and how quickly you hit your follower ceiling, you want to unfollow them to give you more room to find followers that WILL follow you back. People who do not follow you back have no value as far as building your presence. If you are interested in what they have to say you can simply follow them from an alternate handle that you only use to garner info, create a list using Twitter’s list functionality… or have a list of those you want to check daily and do so manually (which is a more efficient way of seeing what they have to say anyway). With JustUnfollow it is also possible to “whitelist” these people to avoid unfollowing them.
Email address & Passwords:
I suggest setting up handles with email addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org (i.e. cbFamily@gmail.com)
All passwords, if you are using multiple handles, can be the same for ease of use (or simply keep a spreadsheet) especially if you are inventorying handles for future use so you never forget how to log in.
Always remember: If you think nobody is tweeting about your products or services, think again. If you’re not tweeting about your business–someone else is. If you’re not setting your own business message on Twitter–someone else is. But more importantly, if you’re not listening to what your customers (and potential customers) are saying on Twitter –someone else is, and you are missing an incredibly valuable opportunity to engage and interact.
- Track Mentions: The major thing you should be tracking is mentions of your twitter name. Anytime somebody mentions your name, it’s an opportunity to start a conversation and acquire a new high quality follower.
- Track Retweets: You should also pay close attention to the people who are retweeting the tweets you have written. It’s obvious that they like your content, otherwise they wouldn’t be sharing it.
- Create a List: Have a list called your inner circle. Anytime somebody mentions or retweets you, make a point to add them to that list.
- Engage with the People on that List: Simply creating the list is not going to be enough. Once you have created your inner circle list, you need to start engaging with them.
- Have periodic conversations.
- Retweet their stuff and look to periodically RT others to get their attention and interact. I often choose some randomly and make a point at conferences, whether I am there or not, to RT many. If you follow event or group hashtags, and check in on them, you can RT those and it makes it easy to interact.
Where to Start When You Are at Zero: If you are starting at zero, some of the above might seem more challenging, but it’s not. Just start with bloggers who you have been reading. This is why it’s important to read more than just the a-list blogs. Find people you think are interesting and just reach out to them. They’ll be happy to hear from you… Bloggers, marketers, brands, etc.