Tag Archives: twitter tips

Top 5 Twitter Tools for Social Media Community Managers

31 May

#1: Schedule your tweets more efficiently

Not everyone agrees that scheduling tweets is the best approach. Twitter is, after all, a platform based on real-time interaction. However, offering tweets of relevant industry news content for your community is a way to brand yourself as a resource or thought leader and give people an incentive to follow you. Scheduling tweets of this curated content frees you up to answer questions from your community and monitor search terms.

With Buffer, you can select times throughout the day to send your tweets and load up your “buffer” with your key messages. There are three pricing plans – free, $5/month and $30/month, with the premium plans offering more accounts, users, tweets and times.

Scheduling tweets with Buffer is easy. First, you set your times in your dashboard.

tweetsSet times in your dashboard.

You head on over to your Buffer section and schedule the tweets. A Chrome extension makes it easy to schedule tweets right from articles themselves.

chromeSchedule tweets of your favorite content with a Chrome extension.

Finally, Buffer offers some basic analytics that are quite helpful. It shows you number of clicks, reach and retweets (plus who retweeted) for each tweet that you schedule. At the very least, it shows you which tweets and headlines resonate the most with your audience. This is especially helpful when it comes to driving traffic to your own content.

buffer metricsBuffer offers some basic analytics about the performance of your tweets.

Although just about every other mainstream Twitter client like TweetDeck or HootSuite offers the tweet scheduling function these days, I like to use Buffer for this task. Not having to select a time for individual tweets that I am scheduling is a great component of the interface. Give it a try.

#2: Create easy and interesting content for your community

Tweetwally helps you create great content for your community through tweets. Tweetwally helps you highlight the contributions of your community members who participate the most by including them in your content. Here are some potential uses for Tweetwally:

  • Engage your Twitter community by asking a question and showing off their responses in a Tweetwall.
  • Share a few tweets from a conference hashtag in a conference wrap-up blog post.
  • Share some takeaways from your webinar with your participants’ tweets.

You may recognize this digital storytelling tactic from blog posts that feature a somewhat similar tool, Storify. Why choose Tweetwally? Tweetwally lets you customize the look of your tweet story, so you can create an embeddable image consistent with your company’s branding.

First, you type in the hashtag or username you want to use to create your story.

tweetwallyTweetwally is a digital storytelling tool.

Next, Tweetwally will deliver all of the tweets for your chosen search. You can edit the look of your Tweetwall under Display Options.

tweetwally display optionsCustomize the look of your Tweetwall in Display Options.

You’re done! Just embed your Tweetwally code into the HTML tab of your blogging system to display your Tweetwall. Here’s just a sample of what a collection of tweets can look like on a Tweetwall.

#3: Make social media listening easier

As a community manager, you’re the eyes and ears of your company.

Monitoring searches for industry keywords and phrases is an important tactic, along with keeping an eye on your competitors. However, with so much real-time community engagement to take care of throughout the day, it’s hard to keep an eye on all those search terms in real time. You need to prioritize and scale. That’s where Twilert comes in.

twilertTwilerts are like Google Alerts for Twitter.

Twilerts are like Google Alerts for Twitter. Set up searches for the keywords or competitors that you want to learn about and get those emailed to you in a daily digest. There are even advanced search options for geolocation, which is perfect for local businesses.

twilert advanced searchCreate local searches in the advanced search of Twilert.

#4: Keep up with social media news

Keeping up with social media news can be tricky, right? There’s so much information out there to stay on top of for your professional development, as well as important information to share with your community. That’s where Summify, a news curation tool, comes in.

summifySummify shows you a summary of the most shared news stories from your network.

Summify sends you a summary of the most shared news stories from your Twitter network right to your inbox.

In your settings, you can sync this with your Google Reader account and select certain feeds you’d like included in the summaries and customize the frequency that you get them. It’s a great way to keep current on the news you want to know without overwhelming you the way an unread pile of articles in Google Reader or Instapaper can.

#5: Measure your progress

All of the tools listed above will help you effectively manage your community and social media strategy, but measuring what you’re doing beyond “fans and followers” is critical. You want to make data-driven decisions, know how your conversations and content are contributing to your business and pin down the elusive ROI.

Marketing analytics company Performable offers an array of tools to help you measure your activity. Their reporting tools help you understand what actions people take on your website and how they arrived. This helps you see how your Twitter, Facebook or email campaigns are driving engagement on your website or conversions, like event registrations or ecommerce sales.

Here’s an example of Performable tracking engagement on our site, showing that most people came from an April newsletter email campaign sent to community members.

performablePerformable tracks which campaigns are successful at driving conversions on your website.

Performable also features handy marketing and community tools. You don’t have to be an HTML ninja to quickly create targeted landing pages to promote events or webinars to your community.

Performable also offers easy-to-create call-to-action buttons. Offer an ebook or webinar related to your blog post or an invitation to sign up for your newsletter. These are all ways to drive engagement beyond your blog by offering value to your community with content. Because the buttons are so simple to make, you can test several to see what resonates with your community the most.


5 Quick Ways to Liven Up Your Twitter Stream

28 Apr

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

With a billion tweets per week, Twitter has become a place for people and organizations of all types to share their thoughts, reading lists and whereabouts. Real estate prospoliticiansnon-profitsjournalists and small businesses are all using the social platform to connect with their communities and meet organizational goals.

Whether you’re a Twitter novice or tweeting pro, there are always ways to improve your presence on the microblogging service. Here are five ways to make your Twitter stream more valuable and dynamic for followers.

1. Get Visual

A sampling of photos recently tweeted by Gregory’s CoffeeIf you’re at a loss for words, try sharing pictures or videos instead. Multimedia adds a new layer to your tweets and lets followers into your business’s otherwise-unknown world.

Gregory’s Coffee, an espresso bar with three locations in New York City, operates a lively Twitter stream, loaded with behind-the-scenes photos of latte art, pastries and employees. The photos give the coffee shop a warm and cozy persona, inviting tweeps to venture over to the shop for a nice cup o’ Joe.

Brands are using photo sharing apps in creative ways to bring fans closer to the action. Using apps, like Instagram and PicPlz, smartphone photographers can take advantage of photo-editing tools, including filters, that can make any picture look more interesting.

2. Get Physical

Social technologies such as Twitter aim to connect people. But the digital world has, in some cases, made it more challenging to genuinely connect with those around us. At tech events, for example, it’s not uncommon to see a group of people standing in a circle, tapping away on their smartphones. Business people should be cognizant of how they are using social media and understand if their behaviors are hurting or benefiting their relationships.

One way to use Twitter for physically connecting with colleagues and customers is to tweet out when employees or reps are attending industry events or making appearances at related venues. Such tweets invite real-life interaction.

The GEM Hotel, a boutique hotel with three locations in New York City, maintains an active presence on Foursquare, checking in to nearby venues that embody the lifestyle of a GEM patron. The hotel occasionally shares its checkins via Twitter and automatically tweets when it “becomes mayor” or unlocks a badge on Foursquare, adding a bit of playfulness and humanity to its Twitter stream.

3. Get Personal

With humble beginnings, many small businesses live on their stories. Talk to a small business owner, and you’ll likely discover a passionate individual who is happy to share every small detail about his or her company’s founding. You’ll learn where it all began, what the founding idea was, how the company grew throughout the years and what unexpected lessons were learned along the way.

In the spirit of that small-time, homey feeling, small businesses on Twitter can tweet about family events, employee softball tournaments and personal anecdotes. There’s a fine line between adding a personal touch and going overboard, though. Boloco, a Boston-based burrito chain that has grown substantially since its first opening in 1997, understands that balance.

Boloco’s Twitter stream is mainly composed of tweets to individuals. Tweet after tweet, marketing maven Sara Steele-Rogers and CEO John Pepper answer questions for and converse with Boloco fans. The two add a more personal touch, though, when special occasions arise. For example, a couple recently got engaged at a Boloco location — and the team was quick to congratulate the love birds on Twitter. Tweets such as this add a personal and intimate flair that showcases a business’s appreciation for its fans.

4. Get Inspired

It’s difficult to be creative all the time — when you’re in a linguistic rut, turn to other tweeters for inspiration. For small businesses, the first stop should always be those who are tweeting about you. When a jewel of an @mention appears, retweet it. Besides sharing a customer’s positive story with your followers, you’ll also be empowering that tweeter. It’s a great feeling when a brand you admire acknowledges your tweet with a simple retweet.

Trapp Family Lodge, a 2,500-acre resort in Stowe, Vermont, spends most of its Twitter stream on retweeting satisfied guests and upcoming visitors. When a user posts a image from the estate or calls out a great experience, you’re sure to find it on the Trapp Family Lodge Twitter account. Such tweets also double as customer reviews for the company, which can drive your business even more.

5. Get Smart

Twitter is all about value — users want value out of the accounts they’re following. Value can come in the form of exclusive deals, contests and even expertise. While deals and contests may take a bit more legwork to get off the ground, expertise is something that any small business owner or rep should be able to share at the drop of a hat.

Face Place, a spa with locations in Los Angeles and New York, dedicates its Twitter stream to providing daily skin care tips. Most recently, the spa has tweeted about makeup-removal tips, how blood sugar levels affect complexion and which foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your skin.

Try spicing up your Twitter stream with tips and trivia related to your business. Your followers will appreciate the random facts you’re providing and tune in for the next tidbit.

%d bloggers like this: