Getting the most out of Twitter for your brand
There have been many conclusive studies carried out that prove the correlation between social signals and SEO, but it may be fairly short-sighted to view your social media efforts with a solely search aim in mind. There are many other valid reasons why brands should be actively engaging with their customers via social media:
A forum-style dialogue with individual customers; cementing brand awareness; building a reputation as industry experts; keeping up with your competitors – to name a few.
Out of the big boys of social media, Twitter as a platform, encompasses all of these factors but only the more shrewd social media marketer can yield the true potential of the channel and utilise it fully for their brand.
There are some truly innovative applications, websites and tools that allow for a genuinely insightful use of Twitter. Any one of these could really help every brand refine its usage of the platform:
Zeebox is known as ‘Your TV Sidekick’, and has taken off in a big way. It seems the app is still in its nascence and not too many brands have come to see its full potential yet.
Zeebox is available as an app for your iPad, iPhone, Android mobile devices and as an app on your browser. It is said to enhance your TV watching experience as you are able to see what your friends are watching, through social media log-ins on the app, and invite them to watch TV with you.
Zeebox also offers users a stream of social media mentions about the particular TV show they are watching live from around the world. ‘Zeetags’ give you information on virtually anything you see on screen. You are also able to play along with TV programs and get live stats on sporting events etc. Your device can even be used as a remote-control with this app and is compatible with TVs from Sony, Samsung and Panasonic, and also with Virgin TiVo set top boxes.
Here is an example of the app in action during the opening ceremony of the Olympics 2012:
This is really good for brands who are hoping to engage with live tweeting, a practice more and more widely used within many brands’ social media strategies. The great thing about the app is not only are you able to monitor Twitter as a whole through searching by #tags etc. you are also able to split the mentions up by genre. During the Olympics opening ceremony, the categories on offer from the app were; All, Funny, Athletes and Stars.
As well as live tweeting, Zeebox is also a real-time televised advert, click-to-buy e-commerce tool. The application launched a feature named ‘clickable TV ads’ in January 2012. When a product is being advertised on the television, the viewer is able to visit the Zeebox tag stream and use the click-to-buy-button.
The user is then directed to a place on the web where that product is available to buy. Any big brands with scheduled campaigns that are premiered at prime-time televised moments; such as during high profile football games or the infamous T-Mobile Liverpool St Station flash mob campaign carefully orchestrated to be in the ad break for the first final of Channel 4’s Celebrity Big Brother in 2009, can benefit from this. With the help of Zeebox, TV ad premiers can also be supported by a fully saturated social media campaign as well as an e-commerce function.
InboxQ is the perfect tool for gaining customer trust and building a reputation in your industry. The tool allows you to scan Twitter for anyone asking a question that you, as an industry specialist, should be able to answer.
The process is really simple and easy to use, on visiting the InboxQ website you are invited to download the tool directly into your browser. Setting the system up is equally as simple; you just need to input terms for which you want to be seen as an authority. For example, if you were a used car salesperson you might want to input terms such as ‘used cars’, ‘car resale’, ‘automotive reseller’, etc. InboxQ will then scan Twitter for you and produce a feed of all users, worldwide asking questions relating to those terms.
You can have 10 search terms per campaign but you can have more than one campaign. If the used car salesperson also carried out engine checks for example, a second campaign could be organised around search terms in this area. InboxQ also keeps track of questions you have answered in the past.
This screen shot shows a campaign based around questions asked about Leeds and its surrounding areas:
This heightened engagement with users on Twitter not only increases your reputation as a brand, but also your following and reach. Users are often grateful for a seemingly random act of kindness and show it through retweets and following back.
Since its launch in 2009, there has been a lot of controversy around the use of Klout thanks to its questionable business model, but the site remains inherently noteworthy when it comes to analysing your social influence. The company initially aimed to provide social media analytics on data taken from sites such as Twitter and Facebook but has since come up with more and more insightful ways for brands to use its service.
Your social media influence is measured by the site’s idiosyncratic ‘Klout Score’ which is between 1 and 100. Klout claims to measure your “influence based on the ability to drive action, not potentially misleading metrics like follower or friend count” which is really handy in providing a clear outline of how much influence you have on real people.
Interesting developments on the Klout front include ‘Klout Perks for Business’, many of the bigger brands are utilising this product to enhance their online presence and this practice can be translated for any business size, type and model.
The Perks scheme allows brands to get in touch with social media influencers of a certain demographic, actively engage with those individuals as well as offering them promotional material in return for a mention of the brand to their audiences.
Disney, for example, has made use of the Klout Perks in their social media push over its ‘Tangled’, premiere. It targeted 412 influencers within the demographic of parents of young children over Twitter and Facebook. Its active engagement gained 15,234 mentions of the movie premiere on Twitter and 1,398 shares, likes and comments on Facebook and generated 39.8 million impressions in total. This practice can be translated for any business and Klout welcomes new brands under its Perks scheme.
There are many other tools that can enhance your business’ use of Twitter:
Allows you to conduct in-depth searches of Twitter users through profile data, providing you with a database of rich demographic information. It also offers a function that allows users to compare Twitter engagement with that of their competitors.
For data feedback sessions on the efficiency of your account, Followerwonk also provides you with the handy analytical data on followers and interactions such as mentions and retweets over a certain period of time in easy to follow formats. This can be really useful information when analysing your audience’s uptake of certain types of tweet.
Is a real-time mapping device of worldwide Twitter trends. It is useful in terms of tracking trends on a geographical sense and engaging with audiences in those locations based on the trends. The map interface makes Trendsmap really interactive and easy to use.
Is a great way to schedule your Tweets. The tool allows you to collate all of the information, content, links and videos you find interesting and automatically shares them with your followers at predetermined intervals during the day.
Engagement with followers works better when you send your tweets manually but if, like most people, you don’t have the time to Tweet all day, you can gather all the information you would like to discuss that day, add it to your buffer account and let it do the rest. Buffer also gives you a fairly detailed Twitter analytics insight, giving you information on how many shares not only your tweets have received but how many times a link, say a news article or blog post, has been shared.