Getting Your Organisation Started On Twitter


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An outline guide to using Twitter as an integral part of your organisation's marketing and and commnications strategy.

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Getting Your Organisation Started On Twitter

  1. 1. A three legged horse in a dog show How to get your organisation started on Twitter Follow us @daemondigital Edition 1.0 / April 2009
  2. 2. Introduction About Twitter Twitter has hit the headlines and become Founded in California in 2006, Twitter is a micro blogging service which encourages users to post regular status the social media phenomena of the updates and interesting facts or links using 140 characters moment. From Barack Obama to Britney or less. Micro blogging is in reality part blog and part social network and, be warned, very addictive. Spears, people are capitalising on its ability Twitter has leapt to prominence over the past 12 months to publish messages to the masses in 140 as high profile individuals and organisations have adopted characters or less. It only takes seconds it in their marketing and communications strategies. President Obama’s innovative use of social media to write and seconds to read. But what during the general election has been well documented relevance does this new platform have for business and how are organisations As at March 2009, the top 10 most followed Twitter accounts, many of which started less than cashing in on the opportunities? a year ago, were: Among many organisations Twitter seems to have an Followers Joined unjustified reputation as a service for socially inept 1 @cnnbrk 695,940 27 months ago teenagers. Yet properly used and effectively targeted, Twitter can add significant value. This paper looks at 2 @britneyspears 599,758 6 months ago the benefits for business and how Twitter, and indeed 3 @barakobama 571,885 25 months ago other micro blogging services, can be used to better communicate and engage with stakeholders. It shows 4 @aplusk 561,580 how businesses can get started in this space, what and 5 @twitter 560,270 26 months ago how to communicate, as well as providing tips to help you get your messages seen by the right audiences and 6 @jimmyfallon 481,388 8 months ago start building a following. 7 @therealshaq 449,295 4 months ago And the title of the document? It was from the former, 8 @nytimes 438,198 25 months ago almost US Vice President Sarah Palin tweeted on 10 November 2008 9 @lancearmstrong 429,352 6 months ago 10 @theellenshow 426,085 This document is meant as an introductory guide only to an ever changing medium and will be updated on a regular basis. | 2 TwiTTEr BusinEss usEr guidE
  3. 3. Follow us @daemondigital Why should my organisation get involved? “I know, it’s totally silly and A UK based digital agency* has defined a useful list of ways through which Twitter can add value to an shallow, but that’s precisely organisation, which we have reordered, adapted and explained a little differently: why Twitter is on its way to becoming the next 1. Use Twitter to listen killer app.” 2. Use Twitter to ask questions This quote is drawn from an article by Anita Hamilton published in TIME Magazine, 27 March 2008. It shows how far Twitter has come in a very short period of time. 3. Use Twitter to extend It was Twitpic that broke the news story of the plane your contacts crashing into the Hudson river to the world. A passenger on a ferry heading to help took a photo on his phone 4. Use Twitter to invigorate and posted it to Twitpic 15 minutes before any major news outlet broke the story. your existing contacts If a Twitter application can do this, what can it do for your organisation, and more importantly, what might the 5. Use Twitter to sell your IP cost of not getting involved be? Many organisations will take the approach that they will 6. Use Twitter to sell your products wait and see how micro blogging develops before they or services get involved. These same organisations and individuals within them, said the same about social networking (in fact they may still be) and probably the web before that. 7. Use Twitter to help your The simple fact is that the speed of both adoption and customers do all of the above change in this space is such that most organisations cannot afford to risk not getting involved. Moreover, it is acceptable to engage with this space now and make a few mistakes as you learn your way around, largely because most people are also learning their way around Twitter. This will not be the case in a year from now when people will not be so forgiving. And finally, and most directly, the chances are that engaging with Twitter is almost certain to add value to your organisation as a whole, even if that engagement does nothing more than bring your messages to a new audience. * | 3 TwiTTEr BusinEss usEr guidE
  4. 4. Getting started Use the right tools The basics There are numerous applications and tools being Like many social media applications, Twitter takes a while developed on a daily basis to help you and your to get used to. But it can be significantly enhanced by organisation gain greater benefit from Twitter. using some of the myriad tools and applications being Find your favourites and use them. built to improve the service. TweetLater for example, allows your organisation to Twitter works by following the posts of people you are add posts en masse and then spread out there posting interested in hearing from. Other Twitter users will follow through Twitter to add to your productivity and reduce you for exactly the same reason. In simple terms then, the time spent online. Alternatively, Tweetdeck allows if you have something interesting to say more people will a user to monitor their Twitter feeds from their desktop be interested in hearing and sharing it. Your number of and sort numerous feeds into a system which simplifies followers will increase, as will the size of the audience for the information received. your message. To determine what may or may not be useful to your Many people use an application which allows them to organisation review the available tools through a database automatically follow users who follow them. This is often application like which lists all known combined with search tools to follow people who post available applications and tools in the current Twitter tweets which include keywords they are keen to track. ecosystem. In order to help people find your Tweets, you need to extend your reach. Tagging your tweets for example makes Communicating in 140 characters or less them easier to find in search results and will feed them directly into other channels. Adding # as a prefix to any Saying what you want to in just 140 characters is not word in your post creates a keyword, which people can always as easy as it sounds, particularly if you are trying then search by. For example, #twitter or #australia. to sell a specific message. For more information on using hash tags see That last sentence for example was exactly 140 characters long and didn’t say much. In addition to posting information about or on behalf of your If your organisation spends too long constructing the organisation, don’t be shy in retweeting other user’s tweets perfect 140 character post, then you’re not approaching if you find them interesting. The logic being if they are of the medium correctly. Keep it real, make it timely and interest to you, they are likely to be to others as well. Add honest and you’re more likely to be in the right area. That RT to the front of the tweet before you post it and credit the said, a couple of simple tips can help make things easier: original source – that’s just polite after all. Try using TinyURL ( a simple and free To find people, or organisations, that your organisation service which reduces long URL links to smaller lengths. might be interested in following, try the search functionality It allows you to post links to your organisations products, within Twitter itself. Searching with @ in front of a word will services or IP without using too many of your 140 search for a specific Twitter account. ‘space ?’ will look for characters. For example, using TinyURL, the link: questions. Answering other users questions and monitoring @replies (or other users replies to your posts) is a great way of engaging in dialogue and enhancing the value of your wins-wine-deals/2009/03/21/1237526391007.html posts. Becomes simply: Alternatively, use Google’s advanced search and limit the By using Tweetburner, you can shorten URLs creating domain search to Twurls, for example, Then use the Finally, to make your Tweets easier to find, register your Tweetburner application to review usage and click through organisation with communities and directories for example rates from the URLs you post, see @wefollow and specifically for business executive’s A great way to measure the reach of your posts whilst @exectweets getting shorter URLs into your Tweets. | 4 TwiTTEr BusinEss usEr guidE
  5. 5. Follow us @daemondigital Your organisation’s brand voice Firstly, do not consider micro blogging as separate from Finally, if you’re organisation is going to engage with Twitter, any other marketing communications activity. In fact, it accept that you will not be able to control the conversation, has the potential to cement diverse channels rather than just participate. On a Boston Consulting Group matrix segment them. with an axis from controlled to uncontrolled bisected by monologue to dialogue, then Twitter, and indeed all micro Approach micro blogging as you would any other channel blogging would appear as pictured: and determine objectives, tactics and measurement criteria. Additionally don’t assume that one Twitter account Monitor Measure is enough, your strategy might require your organisation having multiple accounts. Consider for example, Dell’s 34 Controlled Twitter accounts as diverse as @delloutlet which posts Twitter only discount offers to @dellshares, the corporate’s investor channel: message activation Proof activation Monologue Dialogue Uncontrolled On the other hand, controlling how your organisation’s corporate identity is represented on Twitter is very easy to achieve. The background to every Twitter account is entirely customisable and can be very easily uploaded as Equally, you should follow in Dell’s footsteps and avoid only an image file. Some notable examples of interpreting an talking about your products and services. Daemon Digital organisation’s corporate identity on Twitter include: recommends a concerted Defensive and Offensive strategy when using social media. Your organisation’s Twitter • account is a microcosm of this approach. • • Offensive strategies focus on discussing core brand or • product/service messages while defensive strategies • concern the communication or discussion of proof points • around your key brand substantiators. • It is important to establish your brand in social media using defensive strategies before you start pushing sales messages offensively. You can find out more about this at | 5 TwiTTEr BusinEss usEr guidE
  6. 6. Monitoring and measurement Enterprise solutions How you measure and monitor the impact of social media and/or Twitter to your business will depend upon Many organisations are conservative in nature and not your objectives. There are a number of techniques you keen to expose their messages to an uncontrolled audience can use and indeed applications are being developed with the ability to reply. Jumping straight into using Twitter to help you achieve that measurement. Some are simpler can be a step too far for many. than others to use, for a dip test for example, check out As an alternative route to engaging your organisation which is a great first step. Some with micro blogging, enterprise solutions may help. They other metrics or attributes for you to consider include: limit the access to a micro blogging account by your organisations email domain. In effect, these enterprise solutions, which are invite only, require a log in email • The conversation index which is a ratio between posts domain to match that of the administrator, effectively and comments, plus trackbacks creating a virtual private micro blog. • Reach, which is more concerned with influence Examples of this approach to micro blogging include than numbers Yammer ( or Flokio ( both of which have both enterprise and SaaS applications. • Relevance or how you sift through social media to position your organisation Software as a Service (SaaS) applications for micro blogging can be extremely useful and empowering for • Favourability or the value of negative organisations that want to embrace micro blogging but or positive content require the added security of keeping the information inside • Integration, effectively the simplest of all as it revolves the organisations firewall or WAN. around integrating your social and traditional media In itself, the enterprise solution is also an extremely measurement tools powerful internal communications tool as it relies on short, sharp and timely updates, not long winded company The important point is that regardless of emails or newsletters which more often than not do not get how you measure your results make sure read. The micro blog for example can be read and digested that you do measure them. in a matter of seconds, making it much more likely to reach a busy workforce. | 6 TwiTTEr BusinEss usEr guidE
  7. 7. Follow us @daemondigital How to integrate Twitter into your marketing strategy The most effective way of integrating your social media Without an effective strategy for integrating its use into your strategy into your marketing strategy is to define your marketing plan, Twitter is just an application. Determine marketing objectives and then determine which of them your communications strategy based on your business social media can help achieve. Social media should not objectives taking into account both offensive and defensive stand alone, nor is “we have a Facebook site” communications. a social media strategy. Establish your brand in social media through defensive Twitter as a social media application follows the same rules. communication and provide the proof of what your brand Define what it can do for your organisation, set objectives, stands for and how it behaves. Only then should you plan accordingly and then deploy. engage in offensive communication and start to push key sales messages. For most organisations, social media alone is unlikely to reach their business or marketing objectives, however, it is a powerful accelerant for most organisations if integrated Finally, consider Twitter in the context of our seven point effectively and managed efficiently. plan for managing your organisation’s reputation in digital It is also critical to ensure that your organisation media, namely: approaches Twitter, and the wider use of social media, 1. Find out where you stand; from a marketing/communications standpoint and not as a technology solution. 2. Know your audience; With all social media it is the content of the 3. Trust your people; communications, the ability to start and engage 4. Get involved and stay engaged; in conversations that is important. Pretty pictures and a well designed platform isn’t sufficient for people 5. Keep it real; to engage. 6. Get to the point; and 7. Measure what you are achieving. | 7 TwiTTEr BusinEss usEr guidE
  8. 8. For more information on developing and implementing social media strategies for your business visit: or follow us @daemondigital