Deliver a line drive for your company tweets
So you or your company has been on Twitter for a while, and the results you wanted are just not there. You are thinking about giving up because, well, what’s the point? I say do it! Not permanently, of course; it would be a ridiculous idea to cut one of social media’s top brands. But give up a day or two, reassess your tweets, and figure out the goal of your Twitter game plan.
The purpose of being on Twitter from a professional standpoint is to sell you or your company and gain online awareness. The problem with that is people do not want to feel like someone is trying to sell them something. Think about advertisements by Nike. What makes their ads different, and why are they so successful? They do not shove their product down consumer throats, yet their brand is everywhere. Consider this ad:
Sure Nike does not need to sell their product now, but it was this innovation that made their brand what it is today. They took advantage of human curiosity (which I will get to further down) and did it without the hard sell. So how do you do the same on Twitter? The trick is to be ubiquitous yet subtle. Nike is everywhere, but they are not in your face, annoying you.
In honor of pitchers and catchers reporting this week to spring training in Major League Baseball, consider these Twit Tips to help make your social media presence more effective and worthwhile, with a baseball twist:
1.) Chicks Dig the Long Ball
You are too boring and no one gets excited to see your tweets. Think of it as a baseball game. The casual fan wants to see the ball go deep and the score run up more so than a pitching duel that ends up 1-0. Sure there are fans that love the duel, but some people also loved your boring tweets too, and that’s why you have 10 total followers. More fans end up in the stands when the game is exciting and more people will follow when you stop boring potential followers. If you are having “tweeters block” or are not that fascinating, I would suggest reposting an interesting article that relates to your business that was written by someone else. Make sure to give that author and/or company the credit. Sure you did not write it, but potential followers will start seeing you as an interesting news gatherer and follow you in the future for more.
2.) Make a Web Gem with a Great Catch
I have to admit, I took advantage of your curiosity. Think about it, what made you click on this link from Twitter? The tweet asked a question that you did not have the answer to, followed by easy access to that answer. Now, I have your full attention, and my time is not wasted writing this piece. Ask a question and give easy access to an answer. It’s all about the catch that excites people to look on.
3.) Short and Powerful Swing
Traditionally the most successful baseball hitters have had a short and powerful swing. A 90 mph fastball takes 0.6 seconds to make it to home plate from the pitcher’s hand, and that is roughly the attention span of a Twitter user looking at a given post. To hit your post out of the park, you need that quick, effective tweet. At this point you may be wondering, how is it possible that a 140 characters can be too long? Sounds strange, but it is true. It is the same reason why Facebook usage is down 20% with a sharper decline predicted in 2013, people either do not have the time for long posts, or lose interest quickly. Did you ever describe a great novel to someone only to have them say “I’ll wait for the movie.” That’s because that person, along with the majority of Twitter users, want the build-up, climax and conclusion right away. Summing up your tweets is great when combined with the second topic above. Case in point, the tweet that brought you here!
4.) Relief Picture
Here are some good clichés for you: “seeing is believing” and “a picture is worth a thousand words?” Sometimes you can talk until you are purple and hoarse and still nothing comes of it. At times, a picture with a simple caption brings more attention. When PR NewsChannel was at a conference in Vegas earlier this month, we did not just tweet about it, we took pictures and video! People have a tendency to be wary of others, and a picture gives evidence to the contrary. In other words, your starting tweets mean nothing if you do not have an adequate relief picture to back you up. If you cannot come up with any pictures, than you are just not interesting enough to be successful on Twitter.
5.) Hey Beggar,Beggar, Beggar
Did you ever want to be someone’s friend so badly that you begged them to hang out with you? The vast majority of you are going to say “Heck no,” while the very small minority gets red in the face as they remember the reaction of that person who found them so creepy that they never talked again. The same rules apply for social media. A relationship will form over time as long as it is not forced and you are interesting.
If you have few followers and zero hashtags, you are not reaching a wide audience and are minimizing your list of prospective followers. This does not mean add in a hashtag that is currently trending, though I do not discourage it as much as other social media experts (Think of it as your 0-2 pitch in the dirt, you
don’t expect a lot out of it but if it gets results, then it was a successful pitch). What you want is to find a hashtag that is applicable and regularly used. For example, PR NewsChannel uses #PR and/or #PublicRelations at times because one, they are tweeting about public relations, and two, current and aspiring PR professionals are using the hashtag as well. By doing that, we are increasing the chance that our tweets are reaching Twitter users that are interested in the company, instead of swinging aimlessly with our eyes closed hoping we hit a homerun.
7.) Extra Innings
Social media can be your business’s best friend, but when you treat it wrong, it can be your worst enemy. Take care of Twitter like you would your friends. Commit to them, be interesting and fun to be around, and be patient. Your online awareness will not transform overnight, but if you stay in the game and execute the plan, your team will be victorious.
As the adapted to baseball saying goes, hope springs eternal. Today can be a fresh start for you and/or your company. Take a few practice swings and work on making your pitches more effective. Now that I am out of cheesy and sometimes forceful baseball puns, I am done.
Okay, one more…Play ball!
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