A few weeks ago I had the honor of being the guest on #AtomicChat, which is hosted by Atomic Reach. The chat occurs every Monday evening at 9pm EST. I encourage you to check out the chat especially if you are interested in how to be effective in social media and content marketing. The subject of this particular chat was “How Brands Can Win With Twitter Engagement”. Atomic Reach’s Summer Luu contacted me to be a guest because of my recent post, Seven Ways For Brands To Improve Twitter Engagement.
The reason I originally wrote the post was that I was observing more broadcasting and not enough engaging by brands on Twitter lately and felt it necessary to discuss what brands could do to improve their Twitter engagement.
When I say brands, I am referring to both personal and organizational brands. If you have a personal Twitter account, you have a personal brand. What you post and how you engage determine your brand voice.
Below are the questions that were posed in the chat.
Why is engagement important?
Engagement is important because you want to have conversations with people. For people to buy from you, you need to earn peoples’ trust. For people to trust you, they need to believe you (1) genuinely care about them, (2) get where they are coming from and understand their pains and needs, and (3) can help them. This is why relationship building is crucial.
What is the difference between engagement and broadcasting?
I think of broadcasting on Twitter as throwing darts. You keep throwing darts and you hope that you will hit the bullseye. Broadcasting usually is in the form of self-promotion. Engagement is about having two-way or multi-way conversations. Conversations are more about listening than speaking. You listen and respond. Your goal should always be to help the other person without expecting anything in return. If you listen and engage, you will know what your audience wants and be able to craft better posts and create/curate content that more effectively meets their needs.
Brands have to meet sales/leads goals, how much should they broadcast on Twitter?
Consider splitting up your Twitter posts into thirds: (1) one-third of your posts should be posts in your area of expertise and interest – content that you curate from other sources that is of interest; (2) one-third of your posts should show your personality – this is the section where you engage, such as asking questions and responding to people, retweeting and favoriting posts, etc.; and (3) one-third of your posts can be related to self-promotion, which includes blog posts you have created, and activities promoting you and your brand.
How much of an impact does influencer engagement have?
Influencer engagement has a huge impact on a brand. Everyone wants to work with influencers. However, many brands feel that all they have to do is contact the influencer, share content with said influencer and said influencer will share the brand’s content with their audience, and the content will go viral. This not only is unrealistic, but also is not a sound plan. If brands spam influencers with content, it will hurt, rather than help, them.
Just as in the case with prospects, if you want to work with influencers, you need to earn their trust. That starts with listening to, engaging with and helping them. Once they view you as a trusted source, they will want to help you. Also, remember to develop genuine relationships. Otherwise, you come off as superficial, patronizing and self-serving. You should be developing relationships before you make any kind of ask. Otherwise, the process of developing the relationship does not come off as genuine. This brings me to intent. Intent is very important. If your intent is to help, you will come across as genuine. If your intent is to get, you will come across as self-serving. Always make it about the influencer, take a one-relationship-at-a-time approach and give it your all. There is no instant gratification with relationship building – it is an investment that you must commit to if you want to be perceived as trustworthy and reputable.
How do you initiate engagement and interactions on Twitter?
My first rule is to listen, engage, help and broadcast, in this order. My second rule is to monitor your brand. Guy Kawasaki says he looks for people tweeting his name. He responds to them and even debates with people sometimes. There are a variety of tools you can use to monitor your brand, like Google Alerts, Talkwalker Alerts, Mention, HowSociable, and Meltwater, to name a few.
What are some engagement must-do’s for marketers who have a busy schedule?
- Start with the recipe I mentioned above: listen-engage-help-broadcast, in that order.
- Monitor your mentions religiously so you can respond to questions and comments, and re-tweet and favorite posts timely.
- Monitor your new followers and welcome them as soon as you can. Consider following them back.
- Recognize those people who provide interesting content.
- Diversify your communcations – build your network strategically, but make connections across multiple sectors and communities.
- Communicate consistently.
What do you think is the key to creating and maintaining high engagement on Twitter?
Those who keep their audience top of mind and deliver content that they want, and those who make it all about the other person by developing genuine and strong relationships with them, will be the ones who win.
A nice write-up of the chat along with key insights that came out of the chat is listed here.
What can you do today to help your Twitter engagement tomorrow? Let us know in the comments.