A recent study from Sysomos shows that a whopping 71% of tweets are ignored. With over 180 million people sending messages that is a lot of wasted electrons.
Yet, many companies and nonprofits feel the need to include twitter as part of their social media messaging strategy. I’m not saying this is wrong. However, I do think that because of how twitter works you need to have a tweet plan before you begin.
ZComm is a DC based PR firm that has an interesting way of handling their tweets.
You can see it here.
Their twitter line-up is brilliant in its simplicity. Much like the traditional TV guide set-up we are used to, Zcomm not only forecasts the general content of their tweets but they tell you what time – every day – you can expect to see them. Call it subscription tweeting.
Content matters so even a clever plan like this will not guarantee people will read, respond or re-tweet. However, this does address the random nature of twitter.
In theory, if you find Zcomm’s tweets worthwhile, you will be more likely to pay attention because they are on a schedule.
The other part of this plan that is so appealing is it lessens the pressure on what you are going to tweet. The folks at Zcomm don’t have to worry as much about content. They already know what their five (or six) tweets are before they start. It must really help them focus on content.
The one caution flag I would raise is that when you build up an expectation box like this you are forced to fill it every day. For example, twice a week they tweet ‘meet the zcomm team’. That’s eight team members a month or 96 a year. There are also potentially 210 ‘words to live by’ and ‘zee word of the day’ tweets that have to be filled. The good news is they know the category. The challenge is to make each tweet worth reading.
With a plan like this, you need to be sure your content is worthy at least 30% of the time. Otherwise, you will lose your audience. The positive flip side is that if you are at least mildly interesting it can be something readers will look forward to. In radio we called this a benchmark. They are a tune-in when they work and a tune-out when they don’t.
Successful social media begins with a plan. Even if you do not intend to broadcast a schedule like this to your followers it can be a helpful internal mechanism that keeps you on track.
Social Media Specialist