TIPS FROM THE TWITTER TRENCHES

by Yasmin Ben-Dror on September 30, 2009

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Practical advice and down-to-earth expectations on launching and running a Twitter campaign by Yasmin and Katie.

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For the past few months, my colleague, Katie Safrey, and I have been drowning deeply immersed in launching and running some exciting (and successful) social media programs for our clients. We have finally surfaced to take a breath, and thought we would share a few downright practical tips from the Twitter trenches.

Note: These tips apply to both B2B and B2C Twitter programs. There is little difference, in our opinion. Why? It’s all about talking to the INDIVIDUAL! That individual (1) is making the decision, (2) is recommending (3) is talking about your company, products, or services.

Remember: Companies don’t buy, recommend or talk about products. People do!

So, for starters, we are fanatical big on research, preparation and launch plans before executing a program, and this, believe it or not, goes for Twitter too.

The following prep work has made it really easy and smooth for us to launch successful and sustainable Twitter programs for our clients, and keep us all focused:

• Define your goals and objectives
• Research your target audience and target market
• Define the boundary of your conversation
• Create a launch plan to include all components of setting up a Twitter handle
• Research and create a list of “first 50” people to follow before the account launches
• Create an “editorial calendar” to use as a source of themes and tweets so you can begin with valuable tweets
• Create a Twitter Usage Policy
• Define who is going to be tweeting on behalf of your company
• Determine beforehand metrics for measuring the success of the campaign (more to follow on this in an upcoming post!)

We are also big on setting real expectations for our clients. While everyone is excited that there is finally a “free” and easy marketing channel, here’s what we remind them:

• Twitter is not a magic formula that will bring awareness, branding or leads overnight
• It takes time and consistent effort for you to build a true, valuable following
• Start by setting a goal of a minimum of 5 tweets per day
• You must engage with other users to build your following (Re-tweets, follow Fridays and conversation go a long way!)
• You need to be committed with a long-term steady time investment
• Yes, its takes time and resources to consistently tweet; make sure these resources are in place before launching the program
• Valuable content is key to your success
• Don’t concentrate on quantity, but quality of your followers

And keep in mind, Twitter is not an end unto itself, but compliments and works well in tandem with your other marketing and social media efforts.

We would love to know if this is helpful to you – or let us know your experience. Leave your comments or shoot us a DM on Twitter: @yasminbendror or @ksafrey

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