How we use Twitter
By: Andrea Trapani
Twitter is a great social media tool for growing bigger ears, sharing links and connecting with individuals. However, many companies are still scratching their heads and thinking, “How can we make this work for us?” To help answer that question, here are a few ways we use Twitter as part of our marketing strategy.
Position our agency as a resource.
One of our primary goals is to position our agency as a great resource for content related to communications, marketing, business and social media. In order to build our authority and generate interaction, we continually tweet tips, case studies and interesting stories that we find from online publications, blogs and various news sites around the Web. We’ll also throw in our own blog posts every week, but really try to keep the self-promotion to a minimum. As David Meerman Scott would say, “nobody cares about your products or services (except you).”
To measure our success, we track our level of engagement. Specifically, how many Twitter users interact with our brand or retweet the information we share. Each conversation and retweet is cataloged and added to our favorites. For example, in the past 90-days, we have had 230+ mentions of our brand on Twitter. Based on our desired engagement goals, which is about 40 positive mentions a month, we feel these numbers are a win. (Note: we do not count mentions and retweets from our own staff.)
While we do track other qualitative metrics, such as link clicks and our follower count, our engagement level really showcases how well we are connecting with the Twittersphere. Additionally, we can use services like Twinfluence or Twitalyzer to measure the reach and impact of specific users who engage with our brand.
Monitor location-specific activity.
We like to know what conversations are taking place online, especially if it’s happening in our own backyard. To monitor location-specific activity on Twitter, we feed search queries from search.twitter.com into Netvibes and use it as a monitoring dashboard.
While most free applications like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite can make searching for keywords and conversations on Twitter very easy, they lack location-based targeting capabilities. By creating a specific search net within a certain square mile radius, we filter out unwanted noise in the Twittersphere. We can now pay attention to the markets that are important to us, like Metro Detroit. We use a similar strategy for reputation management, keyword monitoring and checking out what the competition is posting/tweeting.
While you don’t receive the robust features, in-depth analytics and immediate notification of updates that can be found with subscription-based services like Radian6, this is a great, cost-saving alternative for smaller organizations.
Generate website and blog traffic.
One of our more quantitative approaches to using Twitter is measuring the amount of referral traffic it sends to our website and blog. As our presence has grown, Twitter has become a key traffic source for our agency. Using Google Analytics, we review and measure the number of visitors to specific Web pages and blog posts. We then compare that number to e-mail blast subscriptions and various other prospecting strategies. The important thing here is that our blog and website support our Twitter activities and provide channels
As Twitter continues to evolve, we are constantly looking for ways to tweak our strategy. While we currently focus on more qualitative goals versus prospecting, we made sure that Twitter is connected to the various channels that help us generate leads.
How are you using Twitter as part of your marketing strategy? Are you simply experimenting or do you have metrics tied to your Twitter use? The floor is yours.