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A Guide To Building Community & Engagement on Twitter Twitter Engagement Strategy For Techsys Digital Shelley Mason

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Building Community & Engagement On Twitter

TWITTER ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY FOR TECHSYS DIGITAL SOCIAL MEDIA It is important to understand each network before attempting to use them. By knowing your audience and the audience of each network you will, one is able to strategise with the bigger picture in mind. Just like you wouldn't show up to a black-tie event in a bathing suit, you shouldn't arrive on Twitter with a Facebook mentality. Networks differ in many ways, but they do have in one thing in common: they are all a two-way street. This means that if you want to be successful, you will have to pull and push. Pull the users in to your conversation, and push yourself into theirs. No one respects a strictly selfpromotional brand on any of these networks, people respond well to brands that are human and engage with them on a personal level. If you can increase your engagement, then automatically reach and following increase. TWITTER – THE BASICS Techsys’ Twitter content strategy should be well rounded and include a mix of sharing information about the brand, the founder (Andrew), its products and services, the industry (this includes sharing informational articles/pictures/videos), conversations about fans, reviews, and responses to fans. Many of the rules that apply to creating engagement on Facebook are the same for Twitter. Ask questions and respond to questions/comments/concerns, and engage in social listening. Conversations should be looked at as an opportunity to be heard and to join in on the social conversation. Discussed below are the two phases that need to be executed in order to increase engagement on Techsys’ account. PHASE 1 – BUILDING THE COMMUNITY 1. FOLLOW STRATEGICALLY Techsys’ Twitter account is new, and therefore still in the development stages. So to start off with research needs to be done on four frontiers; technology, digital, marketing, and social media. The next step would pose two questions; who are the main players in these industries? And are they on Twitter? If they are on Twitter, their account needs to be studied. First on the list for things to note would be the number of followers they have. Knowing this information is imperative because it immediately indicates how big their reach is (based on the number of people following them)

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Building Community & Engagement On Twitter

which would then determine if they are worth following. Second step is to look at who is following them. Their account following could be 10 000, but these 10 000 followers could be a mix of normal people and business irrelevant to Techsys’ industry and product/service. An account like this would not be worth following. Keep in mind that although an accounts number of followers is an important factor to consider, quality always trumps quantity. In other words smaller accounts with 500 followers should not be written off, because their list of followers could be a goldmine and Techsys would need to find a way to tap into it through the content of their tweets. 2. STALK YOUR COMPETITORS Knowing what your competitors are up to in the Twittersphere is key in creating acompetitive edge and just a general means of measuring your brand against others in the social media realm. Techsys doesn’t have to follow their competitors on Twitter, but can keep an eye on them by creating a saved search for them on Twitter, to monitor their activity regularly. Another way to monitor competitors is on Tweet Deck. One can set up a monitoring feed for saved terms or the name of a brand e.g. ‘Hellocomputer’ and mentions e.g. @Hellocomputer. 2. FOLLOW INDUSTRY EXPERTS People, brands or companies that are experts in the four industries mentioned previously are a must. This is because while Techsys may be researching other brands’ followers, someone else will be doing exactly the same to ours. Following a industry expert not only shows that you are ahead of your game, but immediately makes ones account more credible. People who are serious about digital, will want to follow those who are likeminded. Also, once the Twitter ball is rolling, and rolling successfully, there is a very high possibility that the experts you followed will now follow back. This is like finding gold, because naturally their followers would start following Techsys’ account. 3. FOLLOW A GOOD NEWS SOURCE AND INFORMATION GENERATORS It is just as important for Techsys to keep abreast with general local and global news as it is for them to remain on top of the latest trends in the digital and technology industries. Again, this would show that Techsys’ is current, but would also serve as topic points for conversation starters with your audience.

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Building Community & Engagement On Twitter

PHASE 2 - RULES OF ENGAGEMENT 1. JOIN OR HOST A TWITTER CHAT A Twitter chat is a series of questions in which a lot of people respond using the designated hashtag. Twitter chats are generally moderated by someone with a lot of followers, and these folks are good to get to know. 2. FOLLOW HASHTAGS # Hashtags are a means of searching different conversations on Twitter. There is a hashtag for just about everything. You can start searching for them and communicating with the original tweeter to start a conversation. You can also use hashtags so that people can find you easily. 3. STREAM YOUR TWITTER FEED ON FACEBOOK Facebook has a tool that allows you to stream your Twitter stream on your Facebook page via tabs or on your timeline. You can decide which works best for you. If you have a large Facebook following, but not such a large Twitter following, you might want to stream it on your timeline so that your fans are aware of your Twitter page. For this to be successful you need to have a different Facebook content strategy than Twitter. If you share the same content on Twitter as you do on Facebook there is no incentive for the fan to also follow you on Twitter. If these two content streams are different, then Facebook users will see that they are missing out on a lot of interesting stuff you are sharing on Twitter and might want to follow you there as well. You can schedule tweets in advance using Hootsuite (my preferred scheduler) so that you are hitting news feeds at different times. This is also important because people tend to be on Twitter at different times. 4. LIVE TWEET Live tweeting is a way to get real-time content out there about something that is happening NOW. Live tweeting usually happens at conferences or events and there is usually a hashtag, image and (or) link that goes along with it. This isn’t rule of thumb, one can live tweet from a business meeting to give followers an inside look at Techsys’ company culture and current clients.

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Building Community & Engagement On Twitter

5. PARTICIPATE IN DAILY TRENDS There are some enormously popular trends happening in the Twittersphere and it is definitely something that Techsys should be taking advantage of. It is a good way to start conversation, and also to increase reach, especially since the account is so new. By sharing content that is relevant on Twitter, Techsys would get views that they would not have got otherwise. Participating in trends would show that Techsys is a hip and social brand. Examples of current trends are: #ThrowbackThursday (#tbt), #FlashbackFriday and #FollowFriday.

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Twitter engagement strategy