This post looks at how you can use Twitter and video and is the second of my social media and video series.
I think Twitter is the best social media platform for people unfamiliar with social media to start with as it is so active and a lot more flexible than Facebook. It is more than acceptable to simply listen on Twitter, all you have to do is follow those people and businesses you are interested in. In a sense you build your own community as the etiquette of Twitter is to follow back those people who follow you.
The strength of Twitter comes from when you interact with others and this is the place where the typical business message and the typical social message gets blurred as the strongest accounts are those that not only tweet their information but those of others and make it ‘positively personal’. At the same time Twitter isn’t as personal as Facebook, you don’t have to be ‘friends’ to interact you just have to follow.
Twitter and video comes together very strongly as it is a simple way to make your content visible to those who might be interested and then have that content shared or ‘retweeted’ to their followers.
Social media is not broadcast. The central idea of all social media is engagement. This post looks at the typical engagement experience of how Twitter and video can be used to strengthen and encourage that engagement.
The Twitter Experience
Some businesses have already got a Twitter account. Most don’t use it as it can be a little intimidating. The defining feature of Twitter is speed. There is the little box that shows you can type a message (in a maximum of 140 characters) and… that’s pretty much it. The best first step any new user can take is to follow people and businesses and simply watch how they use Twitter. The social media platform is so flexible everyone uses it differently. Most will mix personal messages with the @username with general statements and links to content. There will also be retweets, marked with either RT @username or via @username. These are tweets that they have seen and want to share.
1. The @username shows in a person’s timeline as a mention. This is important as if you link two (or more) @usernames together both will show up in both parties mentions. This helps spread awareness and builds followers
2. The retweet is a powerful way to communicate. If you see something you like or find interesting retweet it or ‘tweet it on’. The sentiment is generally shared so if you tweet interesting and relevant topics they will get retweeted. This spreads the message further afield (studies show on average a retweet yields 1000 additional views). If you ask for a retweet it is more likely to be retweeted, so don’t forget to ask!
3. The most important hash tag is the #ff which stands for Follow Friday. This is an opportunity for you to tell your followers who they should follow. As with the retweet this is commonly shared amongst users.
Business 2 Consumer
For B2C (business to consumer) businesses the opportunity here lies in finding out what people are saying about your products. You can capture negative remarks and begin dealing with them and you can share positive remarks with the wider community. It enables you to quickly share content whether that be news, special offers, new products or bargains. These will be shared by your community with their community and so on and so forth. The result being more awareness and more sales.
Business 2 Business
For B2B (business to business) businesses the opportunity is slightly different. You can begin communicating with potential clients and suppliers straightaway. You can find out what is happening in their daily lives, what is important to them, where they have problems and even requests for work! It also allows you to spontaneously talk with your current clients and provide added value by retweeting their messages you feel will be relevant to your followers. You can share content that you produce or find that will be of interest to them, keeping you on their radar.
An Important Point to Remember
Once your followers reach over 100 you will notice that the updates start flying thick and fast, making it a little hard to track. This is normal and everybody experiences this. If you have a certain piece of content you wish to share make sure it is sent several times a day and several times a week. Otherwise the majority of people who follow you will miss it completely. Make sure it isn’t copy and pasted but varies a little each time, this makes it a lot less jarring to your followers and Twitter prefers it.
Sounds like a lot of work? Not if you use a tool such as Hoot Suite or Tweet Deck to allow you to schedule posts. These tools allow you to schedule tweets in advance letting you get on with other things. They also allow you to track more activity on Twitter and other social networks.
Uses of Video and Twitter
Business 2 Consumer
If people are following you on Twitter they want to hear what you have to say and want to talk to you. Don’t ignore this! Social media isn’t a broadcast medium but an engagement medium. If they send you a message read it and respond… as fast as you can.
1. Ask for questions about your product or service and answer them in a video
FAQs or frequently asked questions work. By collecting the questions people most often ask or the problems they encounter you can create a series of thought out answers in advance. Normally this comes in a list form. Break these down and create a video answer for each one with a demonstration of a solution if possible. If people ask a question you can tweet back a personal response. This draws people further into your brand and creates a strong sense of loyalty.
Chances are it will get a retweet as well!
2. Use product demonstration videos on a regular basis
Even if something is easy to use, perhaps people are not using it to its fullest potential and not even realising it. Provide this information in video and tweet it out on a regular basis. This will likely not only generate conversation topics but will also probably lead to some really nice testimonials that everyone following that person will see…
… sounds good?
3. Provide personal insights
By using Twitter and video to go ‘behind the scenes’ you can build a great deal of loyalty and interest in the product or service you are offering. Vlogs, sales promotions and ‘sneak peeks’ at new stock can all build anticipation and drive sales as you add value and the personal touch directly to your customers.
Business 2 Business
For businesses who trade with other businesses, Twitter can be just as powerful as a listening tool. Clients, suppliers and competitors can all be followed. This is an in depth method to really understand the world you are operating in. Yet simply listening doesn’t mean you are utilising the full power of the platform. All content, whether video, audio or text, that you can create or find should be shared on Twitter.
1. Share an introductory video to new followers
A typical homepage video is a great tool to share with new followers. It quickly and effectively goes into a lot more detail than the brief summary available on Twitter.
2. Keep an eye out for videos that are helpful and share them with followers who might benefit
This is not only really helpful to your followers but keeps you on their radar
3. Identify common topics that appear in your timeline and create videos for your business that address them
This is basically getting who you follow to tell you what they are most interested in. This will result in more people engaging with the video and sharing the video.
Tips for Video and Twitter
You Tube is king
You tube is without doubt the best platform to use on Twitter as it keeps your content in one place that syncs easily with just about everything (meaning less work) and plays in the Twitter stream (more likely to be watched). In addition because the player tracks the information from the Twitter stream you can see how well your content is doing through You Tube Insights.