Introduction to Twitter


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A presentation about Twitter and how it can be used for PR, communications and marketing. Presented internally for my Weber Shandwick colleagues but applicable to an external audience also.

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Introduction to Twitter

  1. 1. @WeberShandwickUK Here’s an introduction into Twitter and how it can be used for PR! Prepared by Jonny Rosemont 29 April 2009
  2. 2. Agenda • What is Twitter? • How’s it work? • Strategies for clients • Twitter etiquette • Twitter resources and tools • Case studies • Questions
  3. 3. What is Twitter?
  4. 4. What is Twitter? • is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users' updates •Twitter messages “tweets” are composed of 140 character and answer the question “What are you doing?” or “What are you interested in right now?” •A registered Twitter user “Twitterer” has people that they follow “following” and friends/people that follow them “followers” Video: http ://
  5. 5. What is all the fuss about? •Twitter now has over 19 million users globally and is growing at a rate of 1,700% in the UK •Twitter is now in the top 50 most popular sites in the world in terms of traffic (46th ) according to Alexa •In the UK it is the 17th most popular site (6.4% of audience) •In the US it is the 16th most popular site (47.9% of audience) •The UK has 1.78 million users already signed onto •Twitter can help with the following: •Getting real-time updates and news immediately •Connect with people who you may have been connected with •Broadcast real-time updates immediately to your network
  6. 6. Demographics Twitter not a young person’s game... Strong male bias and older demographic than other social media 71% of Twitter’s UK audience is over 35, more than ¼ over 50
  7. 7. How has Twitter become “it”? •Mass consumer adoption •Mainstream media and celebrities have flood to Twitter, using it as a broadcast tool •Important news worthy events are well documented and break on Twitter •Brands have begun listening to and joining Twitter – with differencing scales of success Effect of Oprah on Twitter
  8. 8. How has Twitter become “it”? •Users have seen the site as a new way to engage with friends, interesting people, parties and brands •The geek 'A-List' early adopters have so far remained faithful to the site despite words to the contrary •Ongoing rumours of acquisition e.g. Microsoft, Google and Facebook •Twitter is proving to be an effective PR and communications tool
  9. 9. Why Use Twitter? Twitter offers us and our clients a new communications vehicle that allows you the opportunity to directly interact with and disseminate information to members/supporters/friends What YOU can do with it: • Build Relationships • Manage Your Reputation • Promote Events/News • Advocate for Issues
  10. 10. How’s it work?
  11. 11. Getting started • Register your account – Choose a username – Choose a photo (headshot, logo etc) – Choose a background (customise if required) • Build your network – Find who’s already using Twitter – Follow people you’d be interested in • What to tweet about – What are you doing? – Interesting facts – Interesting links – Build conversations @ @ @... – Listen and learn
  12. 12. Types of tweets • My Tweets – • @replies = public conversations
  13. 13. Types of tweets (cont.) • #hashtags (tagging tweets) • RT = retweeting tweets
  14. 14. Integrating Twitter with Life • Mobiles: – Connect it with your text messaging – Use 3rd party applications to tweet – iPhone / Android / Twitterberry • Blogging: – Use to push your blogs to Twitter automatically and RSS the other way • Facebook – Connect your tweets with your Facebook Status using the Twitter Application
  15. 15. Strategies for clients
  16. 16. Register your account • Register a Twitter account for clients that provides interested parties with details or updates on client opinions, news and initiatives – Only tweet to add value – Where possible get the client to do this activity themselves – the personality, not necessarily the brand – Customise the account’s design to make it as close as possible to the client brand’s colours and guidelines – Complex branded environments can be created – Monitor and update your Twitter feed on a continual basis, engaging with the community that is directing messages towards it – Report to client on number of engagements i.e. following, followers, @Replies, RTs and direct messages
  17. 17. Build your network • Anyone who has members or supporters can use Twitter to listen and create an online rapport with existing and new audiences • Identify Twitterers to follow ( that are interested in you client and/or the area in which they exist – Begin to follow key members or supporters who are interested in your client or their issue – Make sure you fully analyse a Twitterer’s appropriateness before choosing to follow them – Only choose to follow a small number of appropriate Twitterers at anyone one time, spamming is simply not on. – You could stay close to a 50:50 ratio for following/followers as a guide
  18. 18. Listening on Twitter • Go to, enter a keyword or phrase into the search box and click 'search‘ • Review the results page to get a sense of what people are talking about • Utilise RSS: click on 'Feed for this query‘ you see at the top right of the search results
  19. 19. What to tweet about? • Engagement in the Twitter community can benefit business through researching, networking, promoting, news broadcasting, story testing, SEO and crisis management • Tweet subjects could include: – Interesting facts about your industry – Exclusive news and views – Content and link sharing – Specials or promotions – Information and updates about events – Handling customer service via Twitter “Social CRM” – Responding to public criticism – Questionnaires/polls
  20. 20. Relationship building tips • Personality is paramount! Remember that people expect to tweet with a human being, not a robot • Be professional and keep in mind the overall perception of your client (professional?, quirky?, cheeky?, etc) • Keep long URLs short by using URL shortener tools such as tinyURL or
  21. 21. Relationship building tips (cont.) • While you’ll be providing your followers with information, be sure to let them know they’re being heard by replying (@client) to their questions or their interesting tweets • If you’d like to communicate privately with followers, send them a direct message (DM), which is similar to sending them an email but through the Twitter service
  22. 22. Managing your reputation • Twitter offers your client an opportunity to showcase its personality and humanity via real people who are behind the messages being tweeted • People are likely either already talking about your client or at least the issues that matter most to them. Twitter offers you the ability to see what people are saying and insert your client or issue into the conversations • Follow people who are talking about your client and their issues • Follow thought leaders in your industry. Think about how you can join them in conversation
  23. 23. Managing your reputation (cont.) • Follow news and media twitterers (i.e. journalists, bloggers, media outlets) to keep you ‘in-the-know.’ This will help you brainstorm new ideas for fresh content – also pitching via Twitter is a growing trend • Remove the organisation-speak and offer your community content that gets directly at their needs • Become a thought leader in your area of expertise. Offer them new insights and information • Keep the company/organisation updates to a minimum (Remember: It’s as much about your audience as it is about you)
  24. 24. Managing your reputation (cont.) • Find your biggest fans – those who tweet most often about you and their love of your work • Maintain relationships with these unofficial ‘advocates’ and find interesting ways to fold them into other aspects of your work • Update as often as possible but don’t over-tweet as that’s very boring
  25. 25. Promoting events Live-tweeting an event offers a new channel of conversation on-site that enhances the physical experience of the occasion •Find others who are tweeting about the issues that will be covered at your event; they may provide valuable word-of-mouth about the occasion •Create an event-specific hashtag for a specific period of time or create a Twitter account solely devoted to the event e.g. #G20 or @G20 •Your spotlight will shine on the day of the event. This is your opportunity to provide on-the-ground updates as they happen
  26. 26. Promoting events (cont.) • Make sure to focus on providing value to people who are in attendance and to those who are following online - anecdotes, new announcements, inspiring debates, ‘celebrity sightings’ and other interesting tidbits will be of interest to your audience • Promote your account or hashtag at all aspects of the event in order to generate conversation • Ask your followers questions and be sure to stay on top of theirs’ • Organise Tweet-ups (real-life meet-ups) at the event for your followers so that people can meet one another face-to-face
  27. 27. Twitter Etiquette
  28. 28. • Find out where your supporters are • Listen to your community • Don’t be a bore but do be professional • Engage with your followers • Monitor your account and update frequently • Avoid taking offense – there’s always a few bad apples • Be authentic; involve a personality from your company/organisation (Source:
  29. 29. Twitter resources and tools
  30. 30. • Search – Search.Twitter – complete an advanced search on keywords, within specific dates and handles – Twazzup – a great alternative to the official search – Twitterholic – Keep track of the top 100 Twitter users. Updates in real-time – Twitscoop – Find out what is hot on Twitter right now. Live monitoring of the hottest search terms on Twitter • Twitter clients – TweetDeck – A desktop app that helps you organize your followers into specific categories – Twirl – A decent alternative to TweetDeck • URL Shorteners – TinyURL – The original URL shortener service – – A new URL shortener which includes analytics on its backend • Photography – TwitPic – Post pictures to Twitter via your phone, email or the site
  31. 31. • Polls – TwitPoll – Poll your users on a variety of topics • Stats – TweetStats - Takes your Twittering for the last week, including posts, replies and timeline, and turns them into a lovely graph – TwitterGrader – Measures the power and authority of a Twitter user by calculating the number of followers, power of network followers, pace of updates and completeness of profile – Twitalyzer – Twitalyzer is a tool to evaluate the activity of any brand in Twitter and report on relative strength, signal-to-noise ratio, favour, passion, clout, and other useful measures of success in social media • Other – Twittervision - A map of the world, which not only displays tweets, but shows you where they’re coming from – Muck Rack – A list of journalists that are on Twitter – TweetMinister – A list of UK politicians that are on Twitter
  32. 32. Case studies
  33. 33. A selection of brands that Tweet
  34. 34. CNN CNN (@cnnbrk) uses its Twitter account for breaking news worldwide, connecting interested parties with a network of virtual reporters. The Twitter feed was highly active during key news stories such as the Hudson River plane crash and Presidential Inauguration
  35. 35. Sky News Sky News, the broadcaster, has a dedicated Twitter-based journalist @SkyNews to help cater for its large community of over 13,000 followers
  36. 36. Comcast Frank Eliason started @comcastcares in April 2008 in response to the customer conversations he and his team found on Twitter through monitoring. Feed offers customer troubleshooting tips, online resources, new product info and customer relations support
  37. 37. Dell Richard Binhammer (@RichardatDell) tweets on behalf of Dell sans an official title. Richard is quick to respond, straight to the point, and a great advocate for Dell and their other twitterers. When asked to describe his role with Dell, Richard explained that he has “…no title. for the past two years I have been focused on listening, learning and engaging with blogs and others in social media.”
  38. 38. Innocent Drinks Innocent Drinks is a pioneer in using social media for its marketing efforts. The company’s Twitter feed (@innocentdrinks) is a great brand engagement exercise, with a large amount of interaction between the brand and its followers
  39. 39. Part of the successful marketing initiative, those at created a twitter feed for Aleksandr Orlov. A huge amount of brand engagement has happened as a result
  40. 40. Ask Jeeves Very recently SLAM PR, Weber Shandwick’s sister agency, was tasked on re- launching the Ask Jeeves brand in the UK. Part of the strategy has been a successful campaign where people can interact with the Jeeves character @askjeevesdotcom
  41. 41. Twestival In September 2008, a group of Twitter users based in London organized an event where the local Twitter community could socialize offline, have a few drinks and tie this in with a food drive and fundraising effort for a local homeless charity Around the world similar stories started appearing of local Twitter communities coming together and taking action for a great cause. Twestival was born out of the idea that if cities were able to collaborate on an international scale, but working from a local level, it could have a spectacular impact
  42. 42. Questions? Presentation by Jonny Rosemont Consulant @ Weber Shandwick Digital Communications
  43. 43. Key Thanks/Credits • Hitwise • comScore • • Nielsen Online • Caroline Preston • Neville Hobson • Teachstreet • Powell Tate • Interpublic Emerging Media Lab • Jeremy Owyang, Forrester Research • Mashable • Drew Benvie, Hotwire PR