By Jeff Kline

Blog

5 Twitter Strategies for Chambers

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How To Engage Your Audience On Twitter


clientuploads/twitterbird.pngLast week’s blog post provided a step-by-step beginner’s guide to using Twitter for chambers - that was training camp. Today we open up the Twitter playbook and start implementing Twitter strategies to engage your chamber’s target audience!

But first, what exactly does the term “engage” mean? It’s tossed around frequently in reference to social media marketing, but often without a clear definition. So before I begin using the term freely in this blog post, I would like to offer up my definition:

Engage - to participate in conversations with members of your target audience, for the purpose of establishing meaningful business-to-consumer relationships.

5 TWITTER ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES

1) Use hashtags #

A hashtag creates a public conversation on a specific topic, to which any Twitter user can contribute.

Twitter users place hashtags in their tweets to indicate keywords. Hashtagged text becomes a link, which, when clicked, provides a user with a live stream of other people’s tweets containing that same hashtagged text.

You can adopt the hashtag of an already-trending topic or keyword, or you can create your own. The JAX Chamber established their own hashtag, #ilovejax, to encourage people to come together and talk about their favorite city. 

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2) Use the at sign @

Placing an @ before a Twitter username in a tweet sends a public message to that user. 

When you use the @ to mention another Twitter user in your post, that user receives a notification that she has been mentioned by you. The tweet will post to your own profile page (not hers), but you will also show up in searches for that user.

Under each tweet, you will see an option to Reply. Clicking this automatically loads the @ into your tweet, making it easy to start a conversation with another user. Replies are visible to all Twitter users – simply click Expand and then Details.

Be sure you are using the @ to mention members of your audience in your tweets. And when they mention you and ask a question (or make a complaint), be quick to reply. The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce used the @ to give a shout out to new members.

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3) Retweet

You can post other user’s tweets as your own by clicking Retweet.

Retweeting is a form of flattery on Twitter. When a user receives a notification that you retweeted his post, he’ll feel valued (and he might give you an @ mention back).

Retweet posts that are interesting and relevant to your business. You should also use the retweet function to endorse your members’ tweets. The Muskegon Chamber of Commerce retweeted a local organization’s upcoming event.

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To get your own posts retweeted, be sure to post upbeat, interesting content that people will want to share. There are two benefits to getting retweeted:

  • Your tweet’s reach is extended to a new audience of potential connections
  • Your tweet shows up more frequently in your followers’ streams

4) Pick favorites

Click Favorite to show your interest in another user’s post without publicly retweeting it. The “favorited” tweeter will receive a notification and understand that you value her content. 

In the below example, the first image shows what to click to “favorite” someone else’s tweet. The second image shows what it looks like on your notification page when someone else “favorites” your tweet!

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5) Quote someone

Quoting is another way to retweet a post.

Instead of clicking the Retweet button, quoting allows you to add your own comments when you repost a tweet. Place the other user’s tweet in quotation marks; use brackets or arrows to separate your comment.

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Twitter apps on smartphones include a quote function that automatically formats your tweet. But if you’re quoting from a computer, you may have to manually copy and paste (be sure to use the @ to mention the tweet’s original author).

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The 5-Tweets-A-Day Plan

To break through the Twitter clutter, your chamber must tweet relevant, valuable information at least five times per day. (Any less, and you might as well be invisible.) Use this 5-Tweets-A-Day plan as a starting point for implementing the Twitter strategies discussed today:

1) Provide a link to your latest blog post or news article.

2) Post a fact that’s valuable to your audience. 

3) Thank important followers for following you (use @).

4) Retweet (or quote) an interesting post from a new follower. 

5. Promote an upcoming event.

WRAPUP

Today we took a deep dive into Twitter strategies for chambers. You learned how to use Twitter tools like the hashtag # and the at sign @ to connect and communicate with your audience. You got to see how other chambers are implementing Twitter strategies. And you received a five-step plan to jumpstart your daily tweeting! Now it’s your chamber’s turn to contribute to the conversation on Twitter and make meaningful connections within your community.

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