Image by Rachael Smith
Twitter is unique from Facebook in the way its news feed works. For most users, the Twitter news feed is based only upon time; that is, the most recent posts appear at the top of the news feed. Facebook, on the other hand, has a somewhat secretive algorithm that attempts to guess what users want to see. This means that businesses are going to need to create different social media marketing strategies for each platform. I have discussed some basic rules for posting Facebook content here, and give a little insight into their algorithm here. Below are the 3 basic types of tweets that your business needs to know about and how you should employee them.
What are they?
These are tweets that you should have planned ahead of time. Broadcasting tweets are used mostly to inform or to entertain. An informative tweet should position your business as an expert in your industry. Take time to determine what type of information that your followers are interested in, and use Twitter to deliver that information 140 characters at a time. Similar to an informative tweet is an entertaining tweet. This is something that is simply designed to amuse your audience. Your type of business will determine if you need to focus more on informative tweets or entertaining tweets. The great part of each is that these can be scheduled in advance. Twitter can be a full time job, but companies like hootsuite allow you to schedule these in advance, saving you time.
You should be making these posts 3-5 times a day. There is no "magic" number, but there is a range. Some businesses have more information to share, and some have less. How much content you are able to create will determine how often you will post. When scheduling these tweets, you will want to pick times that your fans are likely to be using Twitter. Peak times are 7:00-8:00am (morning commute), 12:00-1:00pm (lunch break), 5:00-6:00pm (after work), and 10:00-11:00pm (right before bed). Each fan base is different, so you will want to use these times as a starting point, and adjust your strategy based on your audiences reactions.
What are they?
I will assume that if you are reading this that you are familiar with a retweet (RT). A Targeted retweet however, is a RT with a purpose. RTs are complimentary, as it suggests that what someone else said is so valuable that you need to share it. Now, I cannot stress this enough, RTs are NOT "check out this cool thing someone said about ME." Many businesses RT fan compliments. This is not what you should be using the RT button for. Instead, target two types of users to RT. First, find experts in your industry that have large twitter followings. They have large followings for a reason. Find some of their best content, and share it with your followers. Similarly, use key word searches to find people likely to purchase your product. RTing their content will make this person notice your business. Again, aim for people who are "influencers" on Twitter, in that they are active and have a large amount of followers.
You want to RT each of these once a day. Timing here is not as important, as it will more depend upon when you find content worthy of a RT. The only rule is that try not to post several tweets in a row. So if you know that you have a tweet scheduled for 1pm, and you find something to RT at 12:59pm, wait 30 minutes to RT the new content.
What are they?
These are tweets where you interact directly with your followers or use key word searches to find new followers. Use these tweets to join conversations. That is, when you find someone tweeting about something relevant to yor business, take advantage by contining the conversation that they have already started. The goal shouldn't be to steer the conversation in a direction that you want it to go, but instead let the conversation happen naturally by being genuinely interested in what they have to say.
You should make time at least once a day to look through your news feed to find something relevant to discuss. Similarly, take time once a day to search for potential customers. The total amount of tweets will differ with each conversation, as no two conversations are the same. Do not worry that your tweets are clogging up your fans' newsfeeds, because if your tweet starts with "@" it only goes on the news feed of people who follow both of you.