If you’re like me, you spend a solid amount of time reading.
Educating yourself about your business. Industry trends. New thinking. Old thinking. Learning about what the competition is up to. Listening to your consumers. And much, much more.
I’d be willing to bet that you’re not the only one in your organization doing this either.
Now imagine if you could have access to all of the best information, articles, whitepapers, reports, and resources that your coworkers are paying attention to.
Also imagine if they had access to everything you were checking out online.
You would all be better for it, right?
You’d all have access to the most interesting, thought-provoking thinking available, and be smarter and more knowledgeable as a result.
This might even save you a bit of time. Having a collective contributing to the curation of the best, most relevant content means that each individual isn’t left to their own devices (and lunch breaks) to do it themselves.
Let’s get into it. Here’s how you can use Twitter to enhance your organization’s collective intelligence.
Getting set up
First, you’re going to need a Twitter account (obviously).
Set up an account as you typically would, but I recommend adjusting your privacy settings to protect your tweets so that your competition won’t be able to benefit from your organization’s internal feed.
Organize curation, contribution and support
Volunteer to be the lead curator, responsible for collecting content and publishing it for everyone’s benefit.
Promote that you are doing this to your organization so they know how to experience the benefits and get involved by contributing their best finds.
Gain the support of senior leadership to really give this initiative a shot in the arm. Having the support of your leadership team will help this plan to really take off, and to gain the attention it deserves from the rest of your organization.
Establish a hashtag
Choose a relatively obscure, or very specific hashtag and have all participants use it so that you can easily find the content they think is relevant to the rest of your organization.
You don’t want to choose anything that is likely to be used by other Twitter users because it will taint your search results. You’ll be happy if your search results only yield your coworkers’ content and you don’t need to syphon through other conversations happening on Twitter to find what your coworkers tweets.
Search and retweet
Set up a search stream in HootSuite for your hashtag and retweet everything your coworkers are tweeting using that hashtag.
Soak up the goodness
And that’s it… contribute when you come across something valuable, and enjoy the flow of interesting content from your coworkers.
BONUS – Newsletters
If you have any interest in really going above and beyond with your Twitter content curation project, consider creating and distributing simple monthly newsletters featuring links to what you deem to be the most interesting pieces of content for anyone that may have missed it in their feed. I’m sure there will be more than just a few individuals that find this to be helpful if you’re up to it.
How do you share information internally in your organization?
Is that information collected anywhere for future reference?
As always, it would be great to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Do you pay any attention to the continuous flood of Tweets that fill your stream from the hundreds or thousands of people, businesses and brands you follow?
I don’t want to offend anyone, but if you’re like me, you probably don’t.
The simple solution to more effectively absorb content on Twitter is of course to create lists, or search streams in a service such as HootSuite.
This lets you focus on want you want to be paying attention to, and filter out much of the noise.
But here’s my question…
Why does there have to be so much noise on Twitter?
A stat I came across some time ago indicated that roughly 15 percent of retweeted tweets had zero clicks (Source: HubSpot).
People – many people – are blindly sharing content without even looking at it. If people are sharing content that they aren’t even looking at, then there’s an absolute zero percent probability that they’ll be able to add thoughts, a new perspective, or their take on the content. By not doing these things, they’re failing to provide additional value and added context to their audiences than the link alone would provide.
Consider re-thinking best practices for how many tweets to publish each day.
As I’m sure you have, I’ve been exposed to a number of ‘best practices’ about how many tweets a company should publish each day. The number given has varied widely, but I’ve seen numbers as high as 30 or more being recommended to maximize engagement.
What works best in the long-term is focusing on the value of your content.
Instead of being fixated on a particular number of tweets that need to be published each day, focus on publishing quality content that is going to be of value to your audience. Links to articles you haven’t even read I would consider as being not overly valuable. You don’t know what the content is, and you won’t be equipped to carry on a conversation about its main points should a conversation be sparked.
When making the suggestion to be less focused on the number of tweets your business or brand publishes each day, I’m of course not including conversational tweets such as @-replies. In fact, the openness of Twitter is one of its biggest strengths, and it’s an amazing platform on which to proactively reach out to a broader audience outside of your own.
What’s your take on the quality and value of content being published by the majority of businesses and brands?
Have you adopted any ‘best practices’ for how many tweets to publish each day?
If so, what caused you to land on that number, and what benefits have you experienced by sticking to it?
It would be great to chat with you about this more in the comments, or of course on Twitter @RGBSocial
How many blog posts have you read with tips about how your business can effectively use Twitter?
More than you can count?
Yeah, me too.
Many of these posts place emphasis on how to encourage retweets, and after reading so many, it’s easy see patterns emerge.
Unfortunately, for all of the awesome Twitter tips that are shared, there are a number of recurring tips that I feel are ill advised.
Following are 5 common Twitter tips that your business should ignore:
1 – Ask for retweets
If your content is valuable, people will retweet it, or share it on other social media platforms. If you’re finding that you need to ask for retweets, maybe you should focus on getting to the core of why your content isn’t being shared. Alternatively, maybe your audience technographics are such that they are much more inclined to consume your content, and not necessarily share it.
2 – Tweet between time X and time Y to maximize retweets
Instead of picking the right time of day for a retweet, you should be picking the time of day to publish tweets based on when your audience is likely to be on Twitter, or checking their Twitter streams. There’s not much use in tweeting between time X and time Y in hopes of getting more retweets if nobody in your audience is on Twitter between those times.
3 – Include retweetable words or phrases (i.e. use the word X to get more retweets)
Sure there are words and phrases that statistically get retweeted more than others, but you shouldn’t let those words and phrases influence your content. Focus on providing valuable content and if there are ways to optimize tweets, consider testing various phrases to see what your audience responds to.
4 – Publish your tweets on day X to maximize retweets
Similar to picking the right time of day to tweet for your audience, picking the right days of the week to tweet should also be dependent on when your business’ audience is using Twitter. Also, it would be ill advised to limit your tweets to a certain day of the week just because you might be able to increase the likelihood getting retweets on that day.
5 – Tweet the latest news
If you pay any attention to trending topics on Twitter, you know that high-profile breaking news frequently makes the list. This said, just because there is news that is garnering attention and retweets on Twitter doesn’t mean that it is going to be relevant to your audience, business, or achieving your pre-established social media marketing goals and objectives.
For many businesses, number of retweets is seen a highly important quantitative measure of success.
The problem with this is that the relevance of these retweets is often ignored in favour of sheer volume, which is a flawed method of measuring success.
Retweets by people that are completely irrelevant to your business, to audiences that are completely irrelevant to your business, won’t lead to any meaningful business results.
Additionally, if your tweets are tailored specifically to achieve as many retweets as possible, but deviate from a meaningful and strategically relevant content strategy, the sharing of that content also won’t lead to any real business results.
Try to stay focused on sharing valuable content with your audience and you will be rewarded with loyalty, sales, affinity, advocacy, and other meaningful business results.
How do you maximize the effectiveness of your tweets?
What metrics do you use to measure the effectiveness of your Twitter activity?
What common Twitter tips do you find to be of most value?
What are some uncommon Twitter tips that you find to be highly valuable?
Let me know what you think in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial. It would be great to hear from you.
There are many components that make for great business Twitter profiles.
The name, handle, bio, location, link, profile and header images all contribute to either increasing the likelihood of being followed, and thus giving you a larger audience to engage with, or being overlooked.
Here’s what it takes to have a great Twitter profile that will convert viewers to follows, and maybe even followers to customers:
NAME: What’s in a name?
As a business, there are two primary options for what the name on your profile should be: it could simply be the name of your business, or it could be the name of the person who is mainly responsible for engaging and interacting with your followers.
The benefits of it being the name of your business is that it will provide brand consistency, and it more easily allows for more people to be involved with the day-to-day operation of your Twitter account.
The benefits of using the person’s name that runs the account is that it will humanize your brand, and give followers a deeper sense of connection with the content you publish and the correspondence they have with you.
There isn’t really a right way to go here, it’s entirely your call. Weigh the pros and cons and make a smart decision that will work best for your organization. This said, my personal take on this is that business names work best for large businesses, and personal names work best for small businesses.
HANDLE: If your audience needs to reach you, they’ll do it @here
Choosing your @ handle is very important. This should be a permanent reference to your business and should be chosen carefully to ensure that your current and prospective audience members can easily attribute your content to your business.
The trick is that there are hundreds of millions of Twitter accounts, so chances are pretty good that you may need to get creative with what your handle is going to be. If the name of your business is taken, consider adding a word that describes the nature of your business following your business name, your location, or some other descriptive term to make your handle unique.
I recommend staying away from numbering your @ handle (i.e. @TakenHandle3) because it lacks creativity, looks unprofessional, and doesn’t have any meaning.
BIO: Bio is short for biography, so make it one
Twitter gives you 160 characters to describe your business, so take advantage of every single one. Your bio should give your audience a sense of what your business does as well as the nature of what you will be tweeting about. Give interested people a reason to follow you by making this as compelling and relevant as possible.
LOCATION: Where in the world are you?
I’ve written before about the importance of including your business’ location in your social media profiles. To summarize, the inclusion of a location can help to dramatically increase the conversion of interactions on Twitter to your audience including your business as part of their consideration set when making a purchase. Think about it, many of the purchases you make on a regular basis are made where they are in part because of the location of the business. You wouldn’t travel 100 kilometers to buy milk, right?
LINK: Where do I go for more information… or to buy your product?
Providing a link to your main website, blog, sign-up for your email list, or e-commerce store is absolutely critical to helping you convert Twitter followers to customers. You should make life as easy as possible for those audience members that want to have deeper involvement with your business, or who want to purchase your product or service. Do this by providing the pertinent link.
PROFILE PICTURE: Let’s see you
Your profile picture is another critical element. This is arguably the most visible element of your branding on Twitter, so make it count. Your profile picture is attached to every tweet you publish, so you’ll want to ensure that it catches your audience’s eye and clearly makes a connection between your business and the content they are absorbing.
HEADER IMAGE: Show the world a bit about your business
The header image gives you opportunity to showcase what your business or brand is all about. Additionally, there are a number of creative ways to take advantage of this visual space including creating consistency with a current campaign that is in market, highlighting a current promotion, introducing a new product or service, and more.
What components of a business’ Twitter profile do you find to be most important?
What portions of Twitter profiles do you most often find lacking?
It would be great to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Astronaut Chris Hadfield has successfully returned from a 5-month mission as commander aboard the ISS and has undoubtedly inspired a generation through his unprecedented use of social media and content creation.
When reviewing the history of his busy orbital publication calendar, it became clear that there are many important lessons and reminders about social media and content development that businesses, brands, marketers and advertisers can benefit from.
Here are 7 things that stood out to me from Chris’ success on social media:
1 – Even a tweeting astronaut needs a little help from a social media team
Chris’s son, Evan, was responsible for helping his father carry on conversations, post updates, link to related content, and more.
Establishing, nurturing and engaging social media communities can be significant work and can benefit from having multiple people not only contributing to day-to-day management, but also to strategy, content ideas, creative approaches to using social media platforms, content curation, production management, and more.
2 – It’s okay to laugh a little
With relative frequency, Chris posted updates that were light and humourous.
Humour is a fantastic way to entertain an audience, demonstrate personality, add variety to your content mix, make yourself seem approachable, and attract new audience members to your community.
3 – Even if you’re in space, you should remember that your audience is on Earth
Virtually all of Chris’ social media updates satiated the appetite of average people to learn the fundamentals of what it is like to experience living in space.
Oftentimes, the best performing educational content will not be the most advanced. The reason why most people seek out information online and through social media networks is because they don’t have a deep understanding – such as formal education or vast experience – of the subject matter that is of interest to them. Therefore, they’ll benefit most from what you might consider to be fundamental.
4 – Plan ahead to optimize your production value
It is clear that some of the content Chris produced while on the ISS was pre-planned, and it showed in the production value (view Chris Hadfield’s fantastic reimagining of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” here).
Planning the creation of content affords you the ability to think about optimal production techniques and processes, refine ideas, edit for superior quality, be comfortable and confident in your performance (if applicable), assemble a team to assist you, and achieve greater production value than would otherwise be possible.
5 – Involve your community of Earthlings
Throughout his mission, Chris responded to questions, video conferenced, and encouraged his audience to engage with his content.
It seems a bit silly to say, but don’t forget that social media should be social. Businesses and brands frequently operate in a vacuum on social media, treating it more like a broadcast platform than a tool through which to interact and engage with their audiences. Be social and get your audience involved.
6 – What seems mundane to you, can be fascinating to others
Many of Chris Hatfield’s most popular social media content is of his everyday experiences in space, which proved to be fascinating.
You are an expert in your field for a reason. You have experience and knowledge that others do not possess. You probably are chalk full of information, ideas, and experiences that your audience would find fascinating for you to share, even if to you it seems mundane and relatively basic.
7 – Add value by offering a new perspective
When you think of an astronaut engaging an audience on social media from space, you probably think they’ll be focused on the stars, planets, the vastness of space, and more otherworldly things. While Chris could have published content about these things, he chose to focus much of his attention back at Earth, effectively giving us a new perspective on ourselves.
Sometimes there is huge value to offer by giving your audience a new perspective on subject matter that is familiar to them. Whether you are creating content, or refining the value proposition of your business, try not to overlook what your consumers might think they already know, and try offering them a new view on the familiar. It can be extremely powerful.
What are your most memorable moments of Chris Hadfield’s mission and activity on social media?
Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial, it would be fun to geek out with you about this.