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Why Bother with Corporate Twitter?

social media strategyIf every corporate Twitter account was deleted tomorrow, what would happen?

Social media has come to define the way many people use the internet. But even two years ago the terrain looked much different (RIP MySpace) and it’s anyone’s guess what the next two will bring (good luck, Google+).

Twitter is currently the third most popular social media platform, so it provides a huge potential audience for companies. But realizing that potential may take more effort than we’d hoped.

That’s why we’ve been investigating what best-in-class Twitter strategies look like. CEC members we’ve spoken to so far have had some interesting things to say about the evolution of their Twitter strategy and plans for the future.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

What’s the value of followers?

  • CEC Hypothesis: The size of your Twitter following is not important; the degree to which your followers share your message is. Followers are a crude metric of popularity but we have an inkling that winning the Twitter game really won’t have much of anything to do with how many people click ‘follow’ on your profile. How do you value your followers? Do you have monthly objectives to increase your followership? How do you do that?

How can Twitter ROI be measured?

  • What We’re Hearing: It can’t — well, sort of. The great social media metrics question doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. While tracking followers and retweets is an easy way to map the growth of your audience and effectiveness of your engagement, translating that into a bottom line isn’t possible yet unless you’re selling something. What’s on your Twitter dashboard? What data is convincing your executives that a Twitter account is worth it?

What should companies do on Twitter?

CEC Hypothesis: Twitter should be a part of an overall social media strategy and anchored in a business problem or opportunity. Here are the core things you can do with social media and Twitter:

  • Listen: Capture insights and feedback from stakeholders
    • Twitter is an unparalleled source for candid, real-time monitoring of stakeholder sentiment. Some companies have designated individuals who monitor company mentions on a Twitter client, such as Hootsuite. Others are enlisting their digital agencies to listen and share feedback with the corporate center.
  • Talk: Share information with stakeholders
    • The most effective talking is the result of a clear understanding of what your Twitter audience wants to hear about and presenting that information in an engaging way. Most corporate accounts post company news and links to their web content, but creatively thinking about what will interest your audience offers even more possibilities.

  • Connect: Build relationships with and among stakeholders through responses and dialogue
    • Twitter conversations may be a mile wide and an inch deep, but people really love to have their voices heard. Some communications teams are focusing their Twitter efforts on responding — to an impossibly varied range of comments and questions — as an engagement tool.

So, what do you think? What big questions have you been wondering about your Twitter strategy? What are your plans for 2012?

CEC Related Resources:

CEC Related Blogs:

Comments from the Network (3)

  1. Craig Burkart
    on October 20, 2011

    We’ve developed a concept we call Twitter Reach. It’s a measure of the number of impressions delivered by not only the tweets, but all retweets and mentions of a particular “tweet” campaign (referencing one web story or article, but can contain more than one tweet).

    Since there is no App that actually gives this number, we use our monitoring tool to bring back all our tweets, retweets and mentions then count the number of followers (impressions) that could have seen the tweet for that campaign. We’ve determined that even though we have only about 800 direct followers – an average tweet campaign delivers 18,000 impressions. A recent campaign was picked up by some high end media outlets and delivered over 1 million impressions for us.

    The value of Corporate Twitter is not in the number of followers you have, but in how influential and connected your followers are and how much they are willing to propagate your corporate message so that it can be seen, thus driving total impressions.

  2. CEC Insider » Banking on Social Media
    on October 24, 2011

    [...] Why Bother with Twitter? [...]

  3. CEC Insider » How Not to Waste Your Time on Twitter
    on November 28, 2011

    [...] Twitter is a powerful information sharing network. When your supporters actively spread your messages with their networks on Twitter, they reach a broader audience. And whether it’s in the form of a retweet, mention or hashtag, the message gains credibility since it isn’t coming directly from the company. We’ve taken our analysis even further than the last time we discussed the value of Twitter. [...]

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