From 0 to 140: 3 Tips to Boost Your Nonprofit Twitter Following

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Twitterheader2013By now you probably know the power of Twitter to effectively expand a brand. 77 percent of Fortune 500 companies are active on the social platform, but Twitter is just as important for small business and midsized enterprises. Growing a Twitter presence was a main goal for our client, the Greater St. Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB).

When we started working with the CVB last March, they had just 29 followers and daily interaction hovered at a steady 0-1%. Since engaging a fresh, focused strategy, the CVB’s following has increased to over 300 users who participate daily through @ mentions, RTs and posts.

The Number 1 Twitter goal for any brand is to grow an engaged and relevant following. Numbers matter only insomuch as you are able to create an infectious, engaged community. But where do you start?

Here are our three practical tips to uptick engagement on Twitter:

#1 Post and interact frequently.

Keep in mind: automation is not necessarily a bad thing. An analysis of Twitter accounts shows those with the most followers average 22 tweets-per-day. For many brands, that number of tweets can be difficult to fit in on a daily basis. That’s where scheduling comes in: as long as you are planning relevant and interesting content, automated tweets can give your followers more of what they want and save your brand a lot of precious time.

But remember, scheduling your content in advance does not mean you can skimp out on the monitoring process. As social media specialist Dan Zarrella points out, “supplementing automated messages with personal, hand-crafted replies will prevent your Twitter account from looking like spam.” If you want to retain followers, this is absolutely essential.

We generally develop our client’s content map and schedule it for a month at a time, but we invest in daily channel monitoring, focusing on engagement goals that can be specifically measured each day (20 RTs, 30 @ mentions, etc.)

#2 Focus on others.

If you want a healthy following, don’t just talk about your products and services. Too much of this will make your Twitter account look strictly like an advertisement, and your users will not be engaged. Make sure you tap into the passions of your audience and understand the sort of content they want and expect.

This rule also includes sharing the best information. Hopefully, one of the main goals of your Twitter account is to spark conversation and relationships among your community. Follow other users tweeting content that fits well with your own, and be willing to share that content. This not only gives your followers more relevant information, but it helps you create important relationships in the Twitter community.

#3 Post consistent content.

This is crucial in differentiating your brand on any social platform, including Twitter. Whether it’s a newsletter, a contest, or anything else special to your business, consistent content encourages your followers to “tune in.” Over time, users will grow to not only expect this content but will hopefully seek it out as well.

Again, figure out what speaks to your audience and craft unique content to fit. With the CVB, for example, we create a set amount of tweets each month for different topics, including family travel, Wine Wednesday, VisitMO content. By doing so, they are providing their followers with fun, fresh content that adds a family-friendly approach to Missouri tourism.

Do you have any tips of your own for growing a Twitter presence? We’d love to hear them.

Contributed by purePR Account Associate, Paige Foerstel

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