This guest post is written by Jonathan Jordan, President of Global Change Management, and one of the speakers at Virtual Edge Summit 2011. Jonathan is speaking on the “Integrated Social Media Strategies to Drive Awareness, Attendance and Post-Event Interaction” panel on Thursday, January 13, 2011 from 8:00 – 8:50 am. Click here for more information about registration and discounts.
Just about 18 months ago, I knew nothing about Twitter. Now I have over 90,000 followers – and I attract about 200 new followers every day.
Originally, in order to figure out what worked, and what didn’t work, on Twitter, I created a test account for my dog; KatieBichon is her Twitter user name. Through testing and measuring, trail and error, I grew KatieBichon’s account to over 7,000 followers in less than 6 weeks. Now KatieBichon has become a minor celebrity in Twitter and a spokesperson – spokesdog – for a number of dog-related charities. (Currently, KatieBichon has over 50,000 followers.)
After achieving success with KatieBichon, I focused on my business’s “real” Twitter account, MindfullyChange. Unexpectedly, this resulted in a 1,700% increase of traffic to our business website, www.MindfullyChange.com. Of course, as traffic increases to our website, so does our business. Our Twitter strategy is more than paying for itself.
The 3 key areas of focus in growing and managing a Twitter account:
- Acquisition of Followers
- Quality of Updates (Tweets)
- Responsiveness & Influence
Acquisition of Followers
This is the main key to successful use of Twitter. Few or no followers will result in few or no responses regardless of the quality of your updates. Therefore, acquiring followers is essential to market and/or be influential in Twitter.
The main way to acquire followers in Twitter is to first follow others. Of those you follow, many will follow you back. So who you follow determines who will follow you back. Therefore, it is very important to select Twitter accounts you really want to follow you. For example, when growing my dog’s account I searched for veterinarians in Twitter then followed their followers. I figured that people following veterinarians probably had an interest in animals and would be likely to follow a dog – apparently, this strategy worked. The level of response to your updates is greatly dependant on having the right people following you. Do not blindly follow just anyone on Twitter.
Quality of Updates
Surprisingly, by testing and measuring, I have discovered that actual Twitter updates (Tweets) attract few new followers. I estimate that well designed updates attract maybe 17% more new followers. However, good quality updates retain followers and make them more likely to “click” on links provided in the updates, which is a key element in responsiveness. The higher the quality of your updates, the more influential you will be in Twitter. Quality updates can include useful tips in your area of expertise, links to online articles and blogs that would be of interest to your followers, humor, motivational quotes, and public-service type announcements. What you had for breakfast is really not appropriate for an update. With the right mix of content your followers will begin to look forward to your Tweets.
Responsiveness & Influence
If you’re using Twitter to grow your business and/or attract potential attendee to your website or blog, responsiveness and influence are key to your success. Without responsiveness or influence you are probably just wasting your time – and the time of your followers. Responsiveness is measured by how many people do what you want them to do. For example, if you want people to click a link to an announcement on your website, the more people that do so the greater the responsiveness. One way influence can be measured is by the number of “retweets” your updates receive. A retweet is when someone else on Twitter repeats your update so it is seen by that person’s followers, too. Wouldn’t it wonderful to have others retweet your updates that promote your business, website or blog? Essentially, they are marketing for you and it costs you nothing!
In order to prevent Twitter and other social media activities becoming a huge distraction to you and your business, it is a good idea to keep your business purpose in mind. Always focus on what it is you’re attempting to achieve and measure your results to make sure you are achieving those goals. And don’t forget to have some fun along the way!