Twitter, who? Getting started on Twitter with your client
Olivia Hook, NASCIO Research and Digital Communications Coordinator
Social media has become ubiquitous in recent years, and Twitter, the current ‘king’ of social media has exploded. Twitter is no longer just a space for you to post what you had for lunch or what you think of the newest Star Wars movie. Twitter has become the interactive platform for corporate organizations and non-profits alike. Who knew that this simple, fun way of posting your thoughts quickly for friends and followers to see would take off in the professional world? So, how do you get started using Twitter for your client?
The number one thing to be aware of is that as the social media manager, you are posting as the client, not as ‘Jane Doe, social media manager’. Thus, each post that you make on Twitter (and every other social media platform) reflects the ideas and values of the association. Think about the organization’s mission and values and make sure that you are being true to the ‘personality’ of the client. My rule of thumb: when in doubt, don’t post it! If you have any question about whether or not the content you are about to tweet will be received well by your client’s followers, just don’t post it. This goes for original content as well as retweeted content from other handles.
So, how do you get started using Twitter for your client? The first step is to do some digging. I suggest searching for users who are professionals and experts in your field. These people and organizations will most likely be sharing relevant, appropriate information via their social media accounts that you can then retweet from your client’s handle. I recommend investing in a social media monitoring platform such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. These platforms are convenient in that you can set up searches for different hashtags and lists of prominent people and organizations you want to keep tabs on. I personally keep our social media monitoring platform pulled up all day so I can easily check it when I have a free moment. This makes your social media manager’s job so much easier!
It is so important to engage your followers. I set our client’s Twitter account to allow anyone to follow us, but I am very selective about who we follow back. The reason I am more selective with who we follow is because if you follow everyone who follows you, your ‘Home feed’ will be cluttered with information that is not relevant to your client. If you only follow people and organizations in your field or those who affect your client in some way, it makes it a lot easier to find information worth sharing via a retweet. Try to have a good mix of original content and retweeted information. Engage your followers by directing them back to resources on your website and ask them questions! You know you are engaging your followers when they are responding to you. Consider Twitter contests for a conference or to promote a release on your website. Everyone loves free stuff!
Finally, have fun with it! Take some time to play around on Twitter and see what’s out there. Don’t be afraid to check out what similar associations are doing with their social media accounts and model your own after successful ones. Happy tweeting!