By Chris Miller
SHAKER HEIGHTS — I tell my clients, “When it comes to social media, either you’re building your brand, or spinning your wheels.” Twitter has turned into a huge wheel-spinning exercise for many businesses! Here’s what I’ve found works for me.
Don’t Wait to be Followed
The best way to get followers is to follow first. Find people who like what you offer, and follow them. If you choose them well, a significant portion of them will follow you back. Simple, huh?
The most basic way to find potential followers is to use Twitter’s search feature, at search.twitter.com. Enter a key word that fits your station, and you’ll get a list of tweets that contain that word. You can then pick which accounts you want to follow. To do this more efficiently, I use a program (Tweet Adder) that lets me search in a number of different ways and follow folks more efficiently. There are a few reasonably-priced options like that if you’re willing to shell out a few bucks.
It doesn’t matter how many followers you have. What matters is what you can do with them. Your listeners are more likely to engage with you than folks who aren’t in your target, of course. The more they engage with you, the more likely their friends are to become aware of you. So the right list of followers … instead of the biggest list of followers … will help you get more from Twitter. Early in my tweeting career, I followed a large number of people for the flimsiest of reasons, and I won’t do that again. I got a lot of followers who were also looking for a large number of followers themselves, and I got zilch in the way of results!
Be Yourself (aka Unique)
Write in a natural, personable voice, and your followers will see you start to stand out from the crowd they’re following. Furthermore, don’t sell; share.
Aside from the tone you use, keep fairly narrow parameters on what you tweet about. If your station never does any news broadcasts, you don’t want to go tweeting every headline! Picture your core listeners and ask yourself, “What’s in it for them to follow me?”
Some things you tweet about will be more important than others. So tweet those more often! For example, on my @BrandMgrChris work account, I now come up with seven “core tweets” each week that focus on what I know and can offer. I schedule them in advance, one every four hours, for a full week. They get rotated through days and dayparts like power golds! Around those, I’ll do more timely tweets and retweets, but I always have a core of branded info consistently going out. You can find free tweet-scheduling programs online, like HootSuite and LaterBro. I use CrowdBooster, which is not free, but also gives me some great, instant info about the effectiveness of what I’m tweeting.
The Art of the Retweet
A great way to keep the engagement level up is to retweet other peoples’ tweets that relate to what your station does. The better you choose your retweets, the more engagement you should get. It’s all part of keeping a good presence in front of your biggest fans. Twitter moves fast and pertinent retweets become a way of getting in front of your followers more often.
Tweeting is not broadcasting. Respond when followers tag you or contact you. Often, I’m able to get on Twitter only two or three times per day, but I reply, retweet or mark it as a favorite every time I’m tagged in a tweet.
Chris Miller, owner of Chris Miller Digital, is a leading radio consultant specializing in research-based strategic planning and smart use of digital media. He can be phoned at 216-236-3955 or e-mailed at email@example.com.