Technically, every tweet you see in your timeline is “real time,” since you’re looking at the most recent tweets sent by any person or brand you follow. Likely, the timestamp for the tweets at the top says they were sent mere seconds ago.
However, that doesn’t mean that every brand has a true real-time Twitter strategy. Here are some tips for making sure what you tweet now impacts your bottom line in the future.
1. Document your strategy
Are you scheduling holiday-related tweets but tweeting about sports events in real-time? Or do you use scheduling to share thought leadership, and conduct customer service in real-time?
Knowing how and when you’re going to leverage tweets sent in real-time requires more than a by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach – it requires a documented strategy.
2. Let your team know
Your entire team should be on board with your real-time strategy. They should know when and where you will be sending live tweets, and what will be scheduled.
Imagine showing up to a conference, ready to engage in real time, only to see – after the fact – that a team member had scheduled a completely non-related, less important tweet at the same time as you tweeted your take on the keynote. Avoid overlap by getting everyone on board.
3. Use data to your advantage
There is lots of buzz around “big data” for a reason: it can be an incredibly powerful input into any marketing strategy. When it comes to tweeting in real-time, you can use data about your customers’ behavior on Twitter to determine the best time to engage them, for instance.
4. Know your resources and limitations
If you’re a one-man social media department, it might not be realistic for you to live tweet every major industry event. But if you can select the most relevant events, or the ones your customers are most likely to attend and focus on those, you’ll get better bang for your real-time buck.
Likewise, if you have a huge social media team and lots of engagement on Twitter, you might want to dedicate one or more people to only tweet in real-time, acting as your Twitter customer service department.
5. Be relevant
If you love the Oscars but your audience is in high finance, you might not want to live tweet during the red carpet. Know your audience and what they’re interested in so you can combine your real-time tweets with topic areas that are important to them.
6. Sneak in CTAs
When engaging with a message in real time, your audience is primed to take an action – as long as they know what that action is. Don’t be afraid to include a call-to-action or two throughout your live tweeting, to let them know about your website, new product, ebook or sale.
7. Speak to a wider audience
Live tweeting can take a lot of effort. It requires listening to conversations on Twitter, commenting, adding value, paying attention to what’s going on in “the real world,” responding to anyone who tweets to you… so if you’re going through all of this effort, you want to make sure it pays off.
You can do this by including hashtags related to the event or topic you are tweeting about, so that a wider audience sees your tweets. You can also mention the usernames of high-profile influencers, and retweet others to get on their radar. Whatever it takes to put your live message in front of a large audience.
(Clock image via Shutterstock)