Want To Win On Twitter? Think Like A Good Host

By Jeff Cann, 

It’s often said that social media is much like a cocktail party: intimate, engaging, and an opportunity for the host to meet new people and give guests a truly memorable evening. For a brand, social media is not much different. While it was once impossible to imagine that your favorite running shoe company or baseball team could ever talk to you personally, brands and customers now have that opportunity each and every day.

So that all brands can be incredible hosts, I would like to share three best practices for throwing the best Twitter cocktail party you can.

1)     Don’t always talk about yourself. 

A very quick and easy way to audit what type of content your Twitter handle creates is to look at the proportion of Tweets that are Re-Tweets, @Replies and Regular Tweets.

McDonalds

MAP - from-mcdonalds

What should your mix look like?  Because different industries will see different levels of engagement, as well as utilization of Twitter as a customer service channel, there is no magic formula. But ensuring that you’re proactively and reactively engaging with customers and potential customers more than you’re broadcasting news about yourself is always the first step to becoming a good host.

2)     Work the room and play to your audience

One thing all of your customers have in common is the fact that they have purchased your product or service. While this may bind the whole crowd together at a very basic level, there will always be very distinct groups and interests within that crowd, making a one-size-fits-all approach not only difficult, but largely ineffective. Cocktail parties are no different. Guests all share something in common, but groups of folks can and will congregate and engage in very different conversations. In a nutshell, it’s the job of social analytics to show brands who these groups are and what the people in those groups are talking about.

Heartbeat - Scripps - Food measure

Using the Communities report in Sysomos Heartbeat, brands can uncover who the most influential community members are, and what the theme of their group’s conversation is. By leveraging this information, you can provide value to the group’s conversation and spend your time (and resources) wisely by targeting the folks who know the most about a topic.

3)     Host your party at the most convenient time

Depending on where you are in life, a 6pm cocktail party may be infinitely more appealing than one that starts at 11pm. A brand’s audience is no different.  So if you’re going to host a party, you may as well do it at a time that works well for the majority of your guests.

rolling rock

MAP - Rolling Rock

Given that your followers are your guests, look to make announcements, host online chats and execute campaigns based on the times when their base engagement rates are highest. Sounds simple, but it will give a big boost to your chances of success.

 

While social brings with it new challenges and opportunities, the overall objective from a marketing standpoint has never changed: get the right message to the right person at the right time. Following the three best practices above will ensure that you’re not only a good host, but that your brand is positioned for success and capitalizing on the tremendous opportunity that social represents.

 

Since joining Sysomos during its startup days in 2009, Jeff Cann has experienced the impact and spread of social across virtually all industries and job functions. With 14 years of client service and client management experience, including seven years exclusively in web and social analytics, Jeff brings a unique data- and client-focused lens to Sysomos. In his current role as Sr. Director of Client Experience, Jeff manages a team of Social Media Specialists responsible for client usage, adoption and success of Sysomos applications.