10 Indicators Your Business Should Rethink Its Twitter Strategy

Twitter is not a one size fits all world. Your business’s Twitter strategy needs to be individually designed for your business, product and audience. That being said, there are best practices you should take into account when taking a look at your Twitter strategy.

Here are some indicators that you might be on the wrong track.

1. Sending a tweet out involves more than one person. Your tweets are not press releases. They do not need to be read and revised by three people before being sent out. In fact, you’ll find most good tweets would be spoiled if they were edited in such a way. Twitter is about being authentic. Choose the person who tweets for your company carefully as they are portraying your message to the world. Then let them do their thing and don’t edit or oversee them to death (did I mention you should choose them carefully?).

2. You only talk about yourself. If every tweet reads like a self-congratulatory pat on the back, you have a problem. That problem is the yawns coming from everyone but your mom. Write as if your audience doesn’t already love you and could unfollow you at any moment.
3. You don’t do that @mention stuff. If people are actually talking to you on Twitter, congratulations you actually have an engaged audience. Now, don’t ignore them. Reply to them. Be nice.
4. Your tweets are often off-topic. Don’t get me wrong, there’s always room for personality in a company account (remember that authenticity thing?). However, if suddenly your Klout report shows your topics of influence are baseball and your company has nothing to do with sports, you’ve lost your focus. As I’ve mentioned you shouldn’t just be talking about your company, but sticking to related topics and industries is going to build you an audience who actually cares about your product.
5. You’re obsessed with your follower count. Follower count is not a good indicator of influence. We promise. Now, please set your goals and strategies around metrics that actually mean something.
6. You tweet less than 5 times a week. There’s no need to go Twitter crazy, but you need to be consistent to build a following. In my experience tweeting 2-5 times a day is where the sweet spot tends to be for companies, but your results may vary.
7. You don’t know how your twitter account actually helps your business. When you first start out, experimenting with Twitter is okay (and even good). You may not immediately know what will be the most rewarding part for your business, but you will need to figure it out.
8. “Wait, you mean the twitter account shouldn’t just be connected to our press release feed?” There are exceptions of course, but generally accounts that are solely connected to feeds don’t do as well. People don’t interact with accounts that are clearly automated (for obvious reasons) so you can never truly build an engaged audience.
9. Twitter is something run only by an ever-changing intern. I love interns. Ours are super smart and we get them involved in lots of different areas of the business, including Twitter. However, there should be someone involved in your Twitter strategy who see a longer-term vision than a summer internship.
10. You don’t have a twitter strategy. If you’ve gotten this far, I’m going to hope that’s not true.

What other indicators are there that a business isn’t on the right track with it’s Twitter account? Feel free to share examples of accounts you particularly like or think could improve.

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How do you use Klout?

We love hearing the multitude of ways people use Klout. For some it’s a way to measure their personal progress on Twitter and see when their influence is increasing or decreasing and adjust accordingly. Others use it for their business account to understand if they’re using the right methods and reaching the right audience. We’ve even heard of recruiters using a minimum Klout score when evalutating marketing or social media candidates and people putting the Klout Score on their resume.

How do you use Klout? We’d love to hear your stories. We’ll highlight the best ones and send them a sweet Klout t-shirt as a bonus. Put your story in the comments below or tweet with hashtag #Klout and we’ll select our favorites.

Update: Here are a few of our favorites (if one of these is yours, you should have an email from us shortly about your free t-shirt)

  • With the latest release, I”m using Klout to get a clear perspective of who is directly interacting and exchanging the tweets I send out. Allows me to ensure that the folks that influence me and that I influence into are all well represented. – James Hicks
  • I use Klout to help determine if I’m positively interacting with my audience. I’ve also begun to use it to measure the influence of my competitors, and am currently thinking of how to being to employ it with the social media campaigns I use for my clients. – Nick
  • I use Klout in conjunction with HootSuite to identify influential Twitter users who, if they become fans, will reach a large number of people with whom I’ve not yet come in contact. – Pete Puma

Spotlight on TweetPivot: Visualize your Twitterverse

A great way to discover users to follow on Twitter is to look for lists of people who discuss or have expertise on a topic that you’re interested in. A well-curated list can be a gold mine of information and it’s easier to start a conversation with someone new when you have common interests. However, other than the fact that people on a list talk about certain keywords, you don’t get a sense of who these users are or what they are like as a whole.

Enter TweetPivot, a visual and interactive Twitter user discovery tool that gives users insights about individuals and group of people. Simply enter in your username and choose a group of Twitter users to explore: a list, followers, or people you follow. TweetPivot will rain down the users of that group in a colorful display of profile pictures. Click on an individual picture and TweetPivot will give you a profile that includes name, bio, location, friend count, follower count, and a selection of Klout statistics. It’s a quick way to navigate through the profiles of many different users and find the basic info you want to know.

Even more interesting is the ability to look at group trends. For example, does a group have a lot of power users with high influence? Sort by influence and find out. Do you want to know where your followers come from? Sort by location and see how far your tweets reach geographically. What kind of company do you keep on Twitter? Try sorting your followers by Klout classification and you can watch TweetPivot magically create a graph of where people fall based on Twitter style. Your audience might have a large fraction of thought leaders, or people who have well-respected opinions and insights about developments within an industry. Or maybe your audience has a lot of syndicators who have the inside scoop on events and trends as they are just unfolding.

If you find an interesting subset of people within a network, TweetPivot will let you create a Twitter list with those users so that you can easily follow and engage with them. By looking through different statistical lenses, you get a better sense of who these users are on an individual and group basis.

Chris Arnold (@GoodCoffeeCode), creator of TweetPivot, had this to say about integrating with Klout to provide value to users.
“TweetPivot is a unique tool that helps you gain previously hidden insights into your friends or followers; not just individually, but as a whole. When we integrated the range of Klout Scores into our collections, our users were able to understand so much more about the demographic (or ‘Twittergraphic’) makeup of their friends and followers. TweetPivot is becoming a great graphical analysis tool and Klout is now a critical part of this. When a collection is created for users that have Klout data available for them the user experience is improved dramatically. What we like about Klout data is that it’s meaningful. Starting from their Classes it’s easy to understand how a collection is segmented into the various Twittergraphics. Combining Klout’s ‘True Reach’ and ‘Score’ metrics helps validate a users ‘worth’ that would normally just be evaluated on their number of followers.”

We love that our partners are building amazing tools using the Klout API and encourage you to take this Twitter user discovery tool for a spin.


Recap of 140 Character Conference in Tweets

Did you get a chance to make it out to the 140 Conference in SF today? If not check out this quick recap. Enjoy and let us know what you think.

If you were there, what were your favorite moments?


Social Rewards: Bringing Loyalty Programs to Social Media

Most businesses already reward the customers who spend the most, but what about your most vocal and loyal fans? The idea of rewarding customers for spreading the word is not a new one (referrals have been around for approximately forever), but measuring how much a tweet or Facebook like is worth has been much attempted but seldom got right.

Today, Social Rewards launched it’s new social media loyalty program that rewards users based on social actions, sales, and their level of influence. Social Rewards uses Klout to determine influence level and customers can be rewarded differently based on their Klout scores. According to Joseph Morin, CEO, “The premise of Social Rewards is to take existing brand loyalty program members that have social media tendencies and reward them for their loyalty and word of mouth activities.”

Social Rewards has an impressive set of launch partners including Sanyo electronics, Tropicana Las Vegas, The Venetian® and The Palazzo. We’re excited that Social Rewards is one of the many companies recognizing that integrating influence and Klout is an essential part of working in a social world.

Social Rewards is having what promises to be an awesome party tonight in SF at Roe from 8PM to 11PM so RSVP if you’d like to go. A few of us from the Klout team will be going so we’d love to see you there.


Influencers Will Inherit the Earth. Quick, Market, Them!: SXSW Panel

The social web has created a new generation of superstars. They aren’t film stars, they aren’t always polished and beautiful, and you won’t find them in US Weekly. Instead, they rise to the top because of the content they produce. There are as many different paths to the top as there are people. You might be be the funniest guy in the room (think @shitmydadsays), have an area of expertise (i.e. @scobleizer), or in some way be producing something better than anyone else.

The bottom line though, is that many “everyday” people have developed a tremendous amount of influence and winning them over is often the most important marketing strategy a company or brand can have.
I want to bring this to light in my SXSW Panel: Influencers Will Inherit the Earth. Quick, Market, Them! There are hard questions associated with reaching influencers. How do you find the right people? How can you offer them something they’ll actually be interested in? How does overall influence differ from topical influence and which matters more?

I’d love it if you could vote for the panel and please let me know any comments you have or who else you’d like to see talking about this subject.


The Science of Influence: SXSW Panel

Expressing oneself via interactions with others is the essence of being human. The explosion of social media sites like Twitter, Facebook has opened up new modes of interaction for people to express themselves. In the vast domain of social media, some individuals act as key trend setters and influencers for many to follow.

Using machines to analyze and quantify online behavior/interaction patterns allows us to identify these trend setters and understand what makes them influential.
Designing systems to determine these influencers has been an area of fascination for me.

This why I’ve suggested a panel at SXSW discussing the Science of Influence – a topic that’s becoming ever more important in the online (and offline) world. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this panel idea and any suggestions on who else you’d like to see on it.

Thanks for your time and please do, vote for the panel, if you like the idea. Thanks!

Also, stay tuned for a post on a panel organized by Joe Fernandez, founder of Klout – Influencers Will Inherit the Earth. Quick, Market Them!