Twitter is awesome. But we rarely see organizations using Twitter effectively, and we often hear from our clients that they don’t really get what to do with Twitter. The reason for that, we think, is they haven’t completely decided what they want from Twitter and haven’t committed to doing anything specific.
Twitter can help you do many things: Learn about your competitors or trends in your market. Get media attention. Solve customer problems quickly. Establish expertise or extend and enhance your reputation. Create awareness or trust with certain experts or leaders who are important to you. Create a grassroots movement. Get some attention even when media ignore you. Gain fans. Find resources. Connect with influencers. Once in a while, you can use Twitter to create a phenomenon. Like this guy did.
For many organizations, Twitter is not reliable for at getting important information to specific people in a timely way, like a school cancelation. Twitter stinks at getting students to apply to your school or college, but it can help you fill seats at an event. And Twitter quickly gets boring if you tweet as if your followers are a special club.
If it’s reach you’re after, remember that Twitter takes off only when you tap into its power as a force multiplier. The currency of Twitter are links, photos, videos, hashtags and the “quip.” If you aren’t committed to these, don’t bother. Twitter won’t work for you.
If you’re going to spend time and resources on Twitter, start with a clear goal. What do you want to happen? How much are you willing to put into it? How are you going to assess if you’re getting results? The more focussed you are and the more clearly you can measure, the better and more effective your Twitter campaigns can be.
This month we’re offering to offer a little consulting on your organization’s use of Twitter. Send us your Twitter handle and an email explaining what you hope to get out of Twitter—what your goals are and any other details you’d like to share with how you use, measure or manage your Twitter account. We’ll do a little research for you and some noodling—and send you a few recommendations for better results. Available only to the first 3 educational or nonprofit organizations who email us. Offer expires at the end of the month.
PS: In case you were wondering…The N+S Twitter account is not used for marketing. Instead, we use it to learn about (and bookmark) new tools, products, trends and services that might be interesting to our customers or help us do even better work. We also use it to watch what some of our clients and their competitors are doing in social media. Follow us as we transition to something more interesting…
PHOTO: Les Haines