Hear ye, hear ye those who are new to social media or veterans that need a reminder on Twitter! Below are the Ten Twitter Commandments. Read them, commit them to memory, and Twitter shall not fail you in your social media marketing endeavors:
1) Thou shalt not neglect profile creation – When you sign up for Twitter, make sure that you completely fill out your profile. That means you cannot shirk on
a. Putting together a tightly knit bio
b. Providing a working link to a functional, presentable site
c. Uploading beautifully designed profile and cover photos
2) Thou shalt create a comprehensive content strategy and schedule – Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself while crafting your strategy
a. What kind of tone should your brand have?
b. What are your brand’s core values?
c. How can 140 character messages accurately reflect your brand’s values?
d. How can your tweets stand out in cluttered news feeds?
e. How much money should I set aside for any future paid campaigns and what would the scope of those campaigns be?
3) Thou shalt focus on quality of followers, not quantity – We are all quick to judge and a high follower count makes a profile seem popular and credible. But take a closer look at these followers and ask yourself these questions:
a. Do these users have profile pictures and bios?
b. Have they tweeted anything?
i. If they have, are the tweets real or spam?
c. Do these users seem like the kind of people that would benefit from what my brand has to offer?
If you answered “No” to any of those questions, then that means you shouldn’t waste your time or money buying followers. There is no solution that will guarantee genuine, engaged followers; fake followers contribute nothing to your business. Your real audience, people that actually care about your brand and what you have to offer, will not care about how many followers you have.
4) Thou shalt foster a community – Make sure that your tweets are not only meshing with your overall content strategy, but are resonating with your audience. One way to measure resonance is to go into analytics.twitter.com and see what tweets invoke the most engagement at given times of a day. Once you know what works well, optimize your content accordingly.
5) Thou shalt find key industry influencers and engage with them – Don’t be afraid to reach out to the noteworthy people in your industry. Whether it be journalists, experts, or even sales prospects, take the time to send out thoughtful tweets so you appear on their radar. As enough time goes by, your engagement with them will pay off and they could become an advocate for your brand!
6) Thou shalt not blatantly sell – If Twitter is used correctly, it can certainly be a great platform to drive sales. But that doesn’t mean that every tweet you send should be structured as a 140 character sales pitch! Save the sales promotions for actual promotional campaigns instead of clogging up your news feed.
7) Thou shalt not abuse automated tools – There are some great tools that can make your job easier as they range from cleaning up followers, sending out automated tweets and direct messages, and so on. But, not all tools are created equal and if they are misused or used excessively, they will make for poor user experiences. For example, repeat tweets that are sent every minute or vapid auto direct messages begging users to follow you elsewhere. These interactions are off-putting and need to be phased out of your plan.
8) #Thou #Shalt #Not #Make #Every #Word #Into #A #Hashtag – This commandment speaks for itself; not every term, phrase, or especially word needs to be a hashtag. Reserve hashtag usage for trending topics or topics relevant to your industry so that other relevant users can find, follow, and engage with you.
9) Thou shalt respond quickly to mentions – Whether you are mentioned in a positive or negative light, make sure you follow up as quickly as possible. This is especially true for negative comments, as delaying your response to them will do more harm than good. Quick response times will reassure your audience that you are listening and care about addressing their concerns, and not just tuning the bad out in favor of the good.
10) Thou shalt participate in relevant trends – John Oliver delivered an excellent and hilarious monologue on this topic. DiGiorno was one of the examples he used when they tastelessly sent tweets responding to the trending “WhyIStayed” hashtag that went viral in response to the Ray Rice scandal. Users tweeted with that hashtag to share their painful stories about domestic abuse. DiGiorno responded to these victims by saying “they had pizza.” If you choose to tweet a hashtag that is currently trending, be sure that you understand the context behind it and craft a compelling message that isn’t self-promotional. In short, don’t do what DiGiorno did.
There you have it esteemed marketer, the Ten Twitter Commandments! Follow them accordingly and prosperity will come to you!
Andrea Misir is a Staff Writer and Social Media Strategist at Venerate Media Group. When she’s not busy writing about the wonders of social media and marketing and making social media and marketing wonders happen for her clients, she enjoys yoga, going to the gym, and sipping on an occasional Old Fashioned Mad Men style. She is based in NYC and has worked with a variety of big and small brands, including Sprint, J&J, Showtime, and more.