Monday, March 25, 2013

Twitter best practices for brands (#infographic)

Twitter and brands should go together like bread and butter or hands and gloves. Twitter could be the best way ever for a brand listen to and react to its customers. But sadly some brands and their social media strategy approach are missing opportunities.

See full infographic below
A report from 2012 is worth revisiting if brands (and those who operate Twitter accounts for them) have not seen it.

Between December 11, 2011 and February 23, 2012, Buddy Media analyzed user engagement from more than 320 Twitter handles of the world's biggest brands.

The company measured success by quantifying:

  • Reply Rate: number of replies as a percentage of followers.
  • Retweet Rate: number of retweets as a percentage of followers (includes manual retweets).
  • Engagement Rate: a combination of the replies and retweets in the number of followers.

The result of the data analysis was the mid-2012 report "Strategies for Effective Tweeting: A Statistical Review" (the link also takes you to key findings and a "Tweet Cheat Sheet" for brands).

Some of the key findings:

  • Tweet during the day: Tweets during "busy hours" (8 a.m.-7 p.m.) receive 30 percent higher engagement than Tweets posted at other times.
  • Don’t overdo the hashtags: Tweets with hashtags receive two times more engagement, but those using more than two hashtags actually had 17 percent less engagement.
  • Keep it short: Tweets containing less than 100 characters receive 17 percent more engagement than longer tweets.
To see the data boiled down into an infographic see "Maximize Your Tweets" from Fusework Studios:

twitter infographic best practices maximizing your tweets infographic

Related posts:
5 Ways Brands are Tone-Deaf on Twitter
9 Steps Toward a Twitter Strategy
Twetiquette: 10 basics for Twitter politeness
Twidiots and Twools and Other Twitter Types

Sunday, March 24, 2013

5 Ways Brands are Tone-Deaf on Twitter

Brands on Twitter should be social
As Twitter increasingly becomes an important tool for brands and their social media strategy it is also increasingly clear that many brands don’t "get" how to optimize their Twitter time.

Seven years after Twitter launched and more than two years since it started to become widely used by businesses and organizations it is still not uncommon to see these Twitter accounts making mistakes. These errors cost them followers, poor reputations and, ultimately, business.

So what are brands doing wrong? Let me count the ways ….

5 Ways Brands are Tone-Deaf on Twitter (and ways they could do things better)

1. Talk too much about themselves: Seems obvious, right? But some brands seem to think that talking about themselves and their products and services is somehow helpful. Even brands who limit this kind of talk to 25 percent of the time are taking a risk and likely getting fewer followers than they could. Better idea: Do a daily or weekly check to see if brand messages are 10 percent or less of the conversation. If not, make it so.

2. Inviting people to connect: The word connection implies a two-way activity and yet most brands that invite people to connect really mean "follow us" because they won’t follow back. Better idea: Say "Follow us" and give people an idea what might be in it for them.

3. Using auto-respond DMs: A direct message (DM) back from a brand implies a form of engagement. And yet more often than not responding to that DM is impossible because the brand has not yet (or may never) follow back. Better idea: Never use auto DMs and go out of your way to follow back many of your followers and get to know them.

4. Not responding to @ messages: If your brand is on Twitter and people talk to you with an @ message you need to respond. Would your brand ignore a phone call or an email from a customer? Better idea: Have whoever manages social set aside time each day to do nothing but respond on various social networks including Twitter (even a simple "thank you" is better than nothing).

5. Allowing anyone to follow the brand account: In their hunger to have more followers some brands allow just about anyone to follow them. If you want to assess a brand’s attitude to Twitter look at who follows the brand. Find too many spammy, porn, "take-this-deal" or incomplete accounts and you know they care more about numbers than people. Better idea: Have your account manager block inappropriate followers.

So, what do you think? Are there other things you've seen brands do on Twitter that make you wonder why they're really there?

Related posts:
9 Steps Toward a Twitter Strategy
11 Reasons I Won’t Follow You on Twitter 
Twetiquette: 10 basics for Twitter politeness 
Twidiots and Twools and Other Twitter Types