Many companies are using social media these days. It is the “in thing” and for a reason. If hundreds of millions of people use it to make friends, find new business contacts, and compare products, it must be the place to be. But, do you use it correctly? Social media is hard. Even if you have a good staff member to run your Facebook and Twitter campaigns, the content needs to come from somewhere and that involves you in some way. I have personally been using various channels of social media since 2010, and it is hard to create an endless stream of great content. You have to figure out what people in your network like to read about, and write endlessly about it in a way that makes them want to interact.
THE GOLDEN RULE here is to tweet only 5% about promoting your products and the rest should be about stuff that the people on your network like to read about!
What I learned is that none of the books about social media that I have browsed through, or the magazine articles that I have read have helped me to become a better social media writer. But, there are things that I have done which helped.
(1) I read OTHER PEOPLE’S twitter profiles to see what they are doing. 99% of the content is rubbish, but there are a few accounts which have amazingly good content. I learn from what they are doing.
(2) Humor and wit makes your Twitter do better. Remember, put some Wit in your T-Wit-Ter. People are looking through hundreds or thousands of tweets and accounts when they visit their Twitter. If your tweets don’t stand out, then you will be overlooked.
(3) Juicy stories, gut wrenching tragedies, and drama will get people’s attention. Remember, most people are EMOTIONAL and not analytical. Just because I like to analyze, I should not assume that others do too, because only 1% of humans are the analytical type, but at least 70% are emotional. You get a bigger crowd by spending more time focusing on emotionally rousing topics. This works especially well on Facebook and blogs as you can get great responses.
(4) Quick Tips: Information is king on the web. But, do you tweet the type of information people want? The most popular type of information across the board — irrespective of what industry you are in would be QUICK TIPS that get big results. Hire someone who is an ace on the phone and watch your sales double. Spending an hour a day on analyisis can save you 40% of total costs in your business. The gas station at such and such a location sells gas at 40 cents below the average cost in your metro — save a mint. These are very vague samples I am giving, but this QUICK FIX information is popular. It is something people can understand, use, and benefit from quickly. People have little patience for having to actually learn something — quick and dirty is the key to popularity in information these days, especially in the A.D.D. generation.
(5) Rewrite the title of your blog in your tweets. You can tweet the same blog entry once every two days, each time with a different title. Since you have 140 characters to play with –that is much longer than a typical blog title length. You have a lot to work with. Take some of the juiciest content from the body of the blog, and make a twitter title out of it. Then, find some other content and do it again.
(6) Specifics sell. Although most people don’t like analytics, they like numbers that pop out at them. If I tell people we got 78% more clicks this month — nobody cares. But, when I tell them we got a MILLION clicks in the last 42 days on a particular site of mine — their eyes almost pop out. And this is true information. Understanding the emotional impact of information stated in different ways is paramount. Say the same thing three different ways and see which way more people react. Percentages require aptitude to comprehend, and most people don’t have aptitudes, but large numbers like a million is something even kids understand — and it presses on an emotional trigger point as well.
(7) The WOW factor. Anything that can make people say wow works. I’ll leave that up to you.
(8) Write 200 tweets and then look at them in perspective. If you just tweet whatever comes to mind, you are missing the birdhouse here. Twitter is not about tweeting anything. It is about gaining attention and losing it. A single bad tweet can lose followers and sour people who will still follow you. Go through your proposed list of tweets and peck at them a bit. See which ones to cut from your list because they won’t fly up to speed. Find others that will ruffle people’s feathers the wrong way and cut those. Organize your tweets in order of how effective they will be for gaining (or losing) followers and test them out. When I look at my last month’s tweets, I see a bunch that make me say wow, and a few others that make me ask, “Why did I publish that?”.
(9) Promoting your products. People use social media to promote their brand. But, most companies miss the point. They tweet self-promoting boring stuff that nobody will want to follow. Nobody will want to retweet their stuff either. Not rubbish, but boring. You need a ratio of stuff that your followers want to here compared to self-promotion. I suggest 20 tweets about quick tips, infromation, stories, etc., for every 1 tweet about what you are selling. That way you keep people interested. I am quickly turned off by self-promoting Twitter acounts. Boring and uninspiring.