Here’s the scenario: A tragedy occurs unexpectedly, as these things are wont to happen, and the social mediaverse responds immediately with sympathy, immediate solutions and offers to provide assistance, and emergency details as they roll in. But your company’s Twitter account relies on scheduled tweets, and so your message of “You guys! We are dying over the details of this North Avenue pied-a-terre! Come see!” falls very, very, very flat. As does your follow-up fifteen minutes later: “Accessorizing with pompoms. Who’s into it?”
Answer: No one at this very minute. Surprisingly, no one wants to weigh in on which paint color you’re debating for a client’s nursery, or which doughnut should end your sugar fast.
Oh, it gets worse. By the time you check in the next morning to your social media feeds, the responses your company is garnering are less than ideal. In fact, they’re downright damaging to your brand. You’ve lost followers and credibility. Damn you, scheduled tweets!
Twitter can make or break your brand. Here are a few ways we avoid disaster:
- Don’t rely on scheduled tweets. (See above.) And if you do, make sure you’re close enough to pause them when real life warrants a different tone.
- Use real hashtags. It used to be cute to hashtag ironic sentences, but it’s not anymore. Pick one or two driver hashtags to use over and over again that your followers will soon equate with your brand. Maybe someday you’ll find your company #trending.
- Don’t retweet every single time your brand is mentioned. Not only does that practice seem self-serving to your followers, it also takes up precious space in your followers’ attention spans.
- Tell your story. If someone new to your list of followers surveys your feed, what is it telling them about you and your company? Every so often, pretend you’re meeting your brand for the first time, review your tweets as a whole story, and determine if you like where this story is headed. (If not, write a different plotline!)
- Don’t chase the numbers. Sure, a hundred thousand followers are amazing, but how loyal are they to your brand? The trend is now leaning toward leaner, more faithful followers who support you and whatever it is you’re selling.
- Be consistent. We all have off days, but your company’s feed must never reflect a random bad mood, dissatisfaction with an election, or the airing of a personal drama. Ever.
- Be active. Don’t expect to pop in once a month with a cursory “Here’s what we’ve been up to!” tweet and retain your followers.
Listen. It’s easy to tweet. Even our great aunt has an account used exclusively for documenting her garden growth and political angst. But it’s not so easy to tweet well and become a valued influencer with your followers. It’s important to know what you’re doing.
If you’d ever like some help with your social media stream – or blog, branding, or general content – we’re here. Just ask.