What’s your Twitter strategy?
If you tried answering this question with “Ummm, we tweet a lot, and we use hashtags,” that’s not good enough.
To be successful on Twitter – whether you’re tweeting on behalf of a Fortune 500, the small mom-and-pop down the streed or your own personal brand – you need a well-articulated content strategy that covers the who, what, when, why and how.
Who is tweeting? Who are you tweeting to?
The question of who should be one of the first ones you answer when coming up with your Twitter strategy. You’ve got to determine who is in charge of your Twitter account, and who you’re trying to reach.
You may be a one-person social media shop, and so you’ll be tweeting on behalf of, well, yourself; or you might be part of a 12-person team representing a major brand. In either case, establish a clear ownership of your Twitter account, and identify other team members who might also participate in content creation, curation and engagement.
If you’re clear about who will be managing the Twitter account off the bat, you won’t run into as many roadblocks when you go to launch a specific campaign, or when two people send conflicting tweets because they didn’t know who was supposed to be manning the account at that time.
Once you have your Twitter dream team in place, it’s time to pinpoint your audience.
This is a two-step process: 1) Identify your target market and 2) Find your target market on Twitter.
Hopefully you already know who you want to connect with your brand – if not, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and figure this out. But once you know that your market is mothers in their 40s with at least two kids and an interest in yoga, you can take step 2: find them on Twitter. Using Twitter’s search or a service like Social Mention , enter keywords that are associated with your target market. You can start following some accounts, lists or hashtag chats this way, to get to know your audience more closely.
What are you tweeting?
Next up is what: what are you going to tweet?
Here are some types of content you might want to consider:
- Your own (created) content – including blog posts, promotions, etc.
- Others’ (curated) content – including retweets, sharing articles, etc.
- Polls, Q&As
- Multimedia – including photos, videos (such as Vine), podcasts, etc.
- Promoted Products (for more on Twitter’s ads: go here)
Of course, there’s a whole wide world of content out there, so come up with a variety of content pieces that represent your brand well.
When will you be tweeting?
There are two parts to figuring out when you’ll send your tweets out: timing and frequency.
When, and how often, you tweet depends on a number of factors. How much time and effort can you spend on Twitter? If you only have 5 minutes a day, you might not be able to tweet as frequently as someone with a dedicated social media team at their disposal. When is your audience online? Because of the real-time nature of Twitter, you want to send tweets out when your audience will see them, so try using a service like Tweriod to figure out when they’re online.
Why are you tweeting?
OK, this is quite possibly the most important part of your strategy: answering the question “Why am I on Twitter, anyways?”
Doing a little introspection is good for the soul, and it’s good for business, too. If you haven’t set you goals for Twitter yet, now’s the time to do so.
You might be on Twitter to sell your latest ebook, to promote your cupcake shop or to provide customer service. Whatever your reason, write it down and be as specific as possible. This will help guide the rest of your strategy, so it’s important to give it some serious thought!
How are you going to be tweeting?
Lastly, any good content plan needs to outline the tools and tactics it will use in order to succeed.
If you have more than one team member accessing your Twitter account, you might want to consider using a dashboard like HootSuite to manage everything. It’s also great for scheduling tweets and for analytics.
In this part of your strategy, you’ll also want to clarify any short-term campaigns you’ll be running: are you going to do a Starbucks giftcard giveaway? A photo caption contest?
Lastly, included your analytics plan here as well. How are you going to measure the success of your content strategy?
No strategy is complete without a solid understanding of how it will be implemented and measured, so this section is crucial.
All of these elements will come together to give you the foundation of a successful Twitter presence, and will help you achieve your social media goals. Good luck!
(Strategy image via Shutterstock)