Managing social media is an exciting job—I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend hours on Twitter and get paid for it?
Community management is thrilling and challenging in equal measures. Managing a corporate Twitter account requires a clear vision, a thoughtful strategy and dedication in order to keep a brand in front of established customers, while attracting new ones.
Here are seven practical tips on how to manage a corporate Twitter account:
1. Set expectations for content—and follow through.
Amid millions of social media accounts and billions of conversations taking place every day, getting your corporate Twitter account noticed can be challenging. Grabbing the attention of your target audience starts with establishing your social brand profile, which is achieved by constantly publishing relevant content.
Consistency helps build a routine that helps your followers know what to expect from your account. Users tend to unfollow inactive accounts or accounts that tweet only once or twice a week.
Relevancy and consistency are essential to keeping your audience engaged.
2. Keep your content as diverse as your community.
People who follow a corporate Twitter account are interested not only in company news, but also in the brand story, product updates, offers, “how to use” videos and industry news. By monitoring your following base, you can segment your audience into subgroups, each with its own interests and needs.
It’s important to tailor your content to meet those diverse needs and interests. Media monitoring tools can help you understand the topics your followers are interested in and create content that meets their interests.
Sometimes it makes sense to divide your audience into more than one account. Comcast did this early on with @comcastcares, which is specifically for customer service.
3. Prioritize honest engagement.
Many simple and perhaps common sense methods can drive engagement, yet in handling busy jobs filled with endless to-do lists and deadlines, we tend to forget them.
In real life when we’re greeted by someone, we greet them back. Social media should be no different.
When you attract new followers, welcome them. Ask them about their jobs and their interests to learn more about them. Do not use an automated “thanks for following” reply-that’s a hollow welcome. Honest engagement requires real people behaving like real people.
By starting real conversations, you can find out what your most engaged audience is interested in and how to make their experience better. For example, ask them what made them follow you and what type of content they would like to see.
4. Timing is everything.
The shelf life of a tweet is about 30 minutes. Levels of engagement change greatly depending on the time of day, however the “always on” nature of social media—Twitter in particular—means that you should keep your accounts active at all times.
Media monitoring tools can help you schedule tweets to ensure your account stays active, even beyond office working hours, including weekends.
Scheduled posts do only so much. If your corporate Twitter account reads as though a robot is running it, that’s not going to garner honest engagement.
5. Hitch the wagon to a star.
We don’t always have to initiate the conversation. Engagement can happen when you join a conversation.
For example, Meltwater monitored the conversation following Zayn Malik’s announcement that he was leaving One Direction. Using our online Media Intelligence platform we created a heat map of the most engaged parts of the world. This heat map, accompanied with the trending hashtags, resulted in a tripling of brand impressions.
That doesn’t mean you should capitalize on all social media buzz; you must be selective in order to benefit from trending hashtags and news that’s relevant to your brand. Hijacking news that your followers find offensive will do more harm than good.
6. Use visuals.
Adding images, infographics and videos to your tweets will encourage users to click through and engage with the content. It also will make your corporate Twitter handle a lot more compelling, even at a glance.
7. It’s not all about you.
The 80/20 rule works: About 80 percent of the content in your corporate Twitter account should be about other people. Retweeting influential experts’ posts, for example, is a great way to engage them and to deliver great content to your own community. That leaves 20 percent of your content for self-promotion.
Understanding who matters within your community and what folks are interested in helps you engage your community and further your strategy with one tweet.
Farah Souhail is a digital marketer at Meltwater. She’s passionate about social media, PR and marketing. Speaking three languages, she loves observing marketing’s impact on society and takes a special interest in the social media landscape in the Middle East and North Africa. One of her ambitions is to master cupcake making. A version of this article first appeared on the Meltwater blog.