With all the talk and advice out there on what companies should be posting on Twitter, get back to the roots of social media and start by listening. Following are five categories of people that will give you the most insight on what you should be communicating about on Twitter and in other social media channels.
1. Trade Media. Many publications have branded Twitter accounts dedicated to disseminating breaking news. Pick the top outlets covering your industry and pay attention to what they tweet to get insight on current events and trends. Use this information to develop relevant content for the media and your social media sites.
2. Employees. Employees dealing daily with customers, vendors, co-workers and entrenched in industry news can provide first-hand knowledge about the small details that make your business tick. Also, you’ll want to ensure employees are following any company social media guidelines and not sharing trade secrets.
3. Competitors. Whether or nor they are doing a good job on Twitter, you need to know how and what your competitors are communicating. Follow competitors to study their Twitter strategy, and then track correlating changes in their Twitter followers, Facebook fans, website traffic (compete.com is free) and media coverage to determine what works and what doesn’t. Learn from someone else’s mistakes, and improve on their successful strategies.
4. Customers. Finding your customers on Twitter may not be as straightforward as identifying a media outlet or competitor. But you can use Twitter search and other key word tracking tools to identify the most frequent users of your products and services.
Also, you can import email addresses from your customer database and have Twitter do the work finding their Twitter names for you, or ask customers for their Twitter handle when appropriate. The key is to listen to what they are saying beyond commenting on your company. Find out what is important to them and use that information to drive new product development, contests, customer rewards programs, etc. And when they ask you a question, compliment you or even complain… respond.
5. Industry Experts. This can include leading journalists, industry bloggers, well-known professionals and self-proclaimed experts in your industry. Start by casting a wide net, but then trim the list down to a few who provide the most insightful commentary and who share the most detailed and current industry information.
These are people who already know how to generate compelling conversation. Study their technique and then use your own expertise to start a conversation or provide a different viewpoint on one that is in full swing.
Need help developing your social media strategy? Contact me at kayleigh at sweeneypr dot com or 440.333.0001 ext. 105.