Twitter: The final frontier

I spend most of my day thinking up new ways to help my clients interact with social media and I have to say, I find that extremely rewarding. I recently had some time with one of the senior team at my agency and she described my current position as “working in the place to be at the place to be” and I think that pretty much sums-up the way I feel about things – I work for an awesome agency in the most cutting edge part of PR.

One of the most interesting challenges at the moment, is figuring out exactly how to get clients involved with Twitter and how we then measure the output. It is the final frontier, in a Captain Kirk sense, we’ve pretty much got a handle on blogging, YouTube, Facebook and so on, but Twitter is still a bit of a tough one.

Sure, I know the same rules as everyone else in terms of engagement, growing followers, becoming a trusted presence, but what about the overall package? Take Facebook and YouTube for example – both have some awesome analytics attached to them, which make it easy to track, measure and analyse your work. Twitter lacks this and while there are 3rd party tools, they lack the sophistication of those on Facebook and YouTube.  We’re kind of stuck with numbers like followers, friends and retweets. For those that are interested in working Twitter into their communications mix – here are a few tips :

  • Use tools like Tweepsearch to help grow your network in a more targeted way
  • Don’t underestimate the power of the retweet
  • use bit.ly links to take your Twitter feeds effectiveness
  • Identify a core set of followers that you really want to retweet your content and focus on them -perhaps consider providing one of pieces that are specific to them
  • Take a look at tools like Tweetbeep to help your tracking
  • Identify and use the #hashtags that are most relevant for your industry and use them  

The way I view Twitter at the moment is as a part of a wider social media plan, acting as more of a hook than anything else, allowing brands to direct their audiences to content hosted elsewhere. So, for the time being the basic analytics we have kind of do the job, but you have to ask – where to next for Twitter?