I’m going to jump off of a social media cliff if I see one other businessperson tweeting like an unruly college freshman looking for some (ahem) “attention”. The college kid may be doing it all for the nookie, but as a businessperson you’re tweeting for more than kicks. This is your bread and butter. Do it right or you just better go home before you wreck your rep and risk your livelihood.
OK, so I don’t even know what jumping off a social media cliff would entail, but you get my meaning. It frustrates me to see talented, high-energy entrepreneurs struggling with social media and their outreach campaigns. It’s not so difficult as long as you have a plan. In fact, it even frustrates me to see not-so-talented individuals waste time on social media because they’re flailing in the wind with no plan and no direction.
First Steps To a Twitter Business Plan
First things first for your twitter business plan. You (obviously) need a twitter account, and, most serious entrepreneurs customize their main twitter profile pages, if even just a little bit. Once you’ve got your page set up, you’ll want to come up with a defined goal for your social media activities:
- Do you want to sell more of a specific product or service?
- Harvest potential new clients for an email list?
- Simply build public awareness about you and for your brand?
- All of these?
You’ve got to figure out the answers to these and any others you have first.
Social Media Conversation Calendar
Now, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. As a content producer and marketer, I use an editorial calendar every day to keep up with my assignments and those I’ve given out to my staff writers. It’s a fairly detailed calendar that I created using Excel and we just keep adding features and tabs to it as needed.
But I developed this calendar especially for keeping track of my journalistic assignments and other copywriting jobs and those of my staff.
It won’t work as a social media calendar.
So, I have a completely separate editorial calendar for social media. Check out this post from the Content Marketing Institute about developing a social media conversation calendar. You’ll use this calendar to keep track of your plan when using Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, and other platforms as well, but we’re just discussing twitter in this post.
Social Media Management Application
I use Hootsuite for handling the social media profiles I manage for clients and, of course, myself. I used to talk about TweetDeck all the time and still love it, but have fallen away from using it because only Hootsuite works with the curation and automation application I use. More on that later.
Anyway, by using one of these applications, you can effectively manage several Twitter profiles at once. Hootsuite even allows you to post to Facebook, LinkedIn, and GooglePlus (maybe even others, but those are the ones I use there).
Use Curation and Auto-posting Software
I’ve dabbled in Buffer and a couple of other tweet automation programs and, while I found them somewhat impressive, they don’t touch the application I use. Sorry, they just don’t. If you know me, you know I use BundlePost (BP). BP has literally transformed my business.
I can curate and set up automatic tweets that go for days, complete with hashtags and edited just the way I like, in minutes. It would take an entirely separate post to explain the wonders that Robert Caruso and his team have woven into BP, so just go read, Are You Failing at Social Media Management?, and get hip to the best in the biz.
Chat Face-to-Face With Your Tweeps Every Single Day
Those automated tweets will end up hurting you if you don’t take time to actually respond to replies and genuinely talk with your fans and followers. If you can’t do this, step away from social media and come back when you can. You simply MUST set aside time for daily face-to-face engagement across all of your social media channels for your plan to play out properly.
Investigate Other Twitter Help Tools
There are a host of other twitter tools to help analyze your campaign success, assist you in expanding your reach, and enhance your understanding of how it all works. Check out Lisa Buben’s post on FWD, Triberr or Just Retweet – Which is Right for You Now. Other cool tools include SocialBro and Topsy, both of which offer some mad insights into Twitter. I use SocialBro and absolutely love it. It’s inexpensive, powerful, and effective. They offer detailed insights reports and a bevy of other amazing metrics to help you stay on track.
Take your time to set up a real Twitter business plan and start using social media to your advantage. I recently read two great posts by the amazing, intelligent, and gorgeous Kim Garst about this. You might want to check out the post by Garst on twitter advertising and one smartly entitled, Don’t Tweet From the Hip… In the latter, Garst has some of the same advice I list in this post, but she adds very insightful bits that I wouldn’t have thought of like having a special twitter landing page, pre-drafting personalized tweets, and more.
Do you have a social media business plan? Share it with us!
Photo credit: 8tracks [dot] com, personalitytutor [dot] com