Second only to a website, social media is almost a prerequisite in today’s digital marketing sphere. Miss it, and your company might seem non-existent.
Twitter is one of the top social media networks, with 320 million active users worldwide. The trouble is that using Twitter for your business is at least a part-time job, and an involved one at that.
Think it’s just a quick blurb typed on the smartphone while waiting at the red? For personal purposes, that’s fine. But to maintain your professional image, posting to Twitter takes planning on many fronts. Here are our recommended twelve steps to posting on Twitter.
- Login to Hootsuite, the popular social media scheduler. (If you do not have an account, sign up.)
- Determine what you wish to share, be it a link or an image. (If image, skip to Step 6: compose a relevant post line.)
- Copy the link URL from the original webpage.
- Shorten the link via Hootsuite, or using a third-party link shortener such as re.po.st. (Your client may prefer the latter for tracking purposes.) Shortened links are usually 22-23 characters.
- If you used a third-party link shortener, paste the shortened link into the Hootsuite post.
- Compose a relevant post line. Include a CTA (Call-to-Action) whenever possible. Examples of CTAs are: Find out more… Read here… Make sure…Watch this (for videos)… Find out how…(Note: If you prefer to compose posts ahead of time, use http://charactercountonline.com/ to assess the number of characters.)
- Using www.hashtagify.me, check whether the key words or terms in the composed post could have hashtags. For example, for the post: Experiencing regular muscle spasms? Check out this solution, check whether “musclespasm” or “musclespasms” are hashtags.
- Try similar hashtags to compare popularity rates.
a. Using the example above, “musclespasm” had a higher rating than “musclespasms.” You could also try “musclespasticity.” Select hashtags whose popularity rates are between 10-85%, mixing it up so that you use different ratings of hashtags in order to reach different populations.
b. Make sure that the hashtags you select are suitable for the target audience. For example, “#communication” might be relevant for telephony companies, or for couple relationships, or something else which often uses the term “communication.” To verify a hashtag’s use, search for it on a Twitter account and see what kinds of posts use that hashtag.
- Once you’ve selected the most suitable hashtag, copy it into the post.
- Look at the number of characters to determine if you can add an image or more hashtags, or both. The maximum # of characters is 140. Maximum # of hashtags per post should be 3. At least 20% of the posts should have images – each image takes 22 characters. Note: As of mid-September, 2016, Twitter no longer counts images in its character limit. Therefore, images are character-count “free.”
- Look at the character count again now. If necessary, reword the post in order to make sure it’s 140 characters or fewer.
- Schedule the post.
a. Take into account time zone.
b. Make sure to schedule posts at different times of the day. Some clients want 1 post/5 days a week, others prefer 1 post/4 times a day. Either way, schedule at different times throughout the day, especially wake-up, lunch, and after-dinner times.
Is this process a little too involved for you? If so, it’s no surprise. Due to the thought and tediousness involved, social media is one of the most popular tasks to outsource. Working together with a Virtual Assistant, you can ensure that the post content is representative of your brand, while your Virtual Assistant implements the step-by-step details. By hiring a Virtual Assistant to handle your Twitter posts, you will hopefully avoid the need for yet another twelve-step program in order to cope with the process.
Note: The above information was focused on Twitter. Stay tuned for instructions on posting to Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media portals.
Submitted by Chaya Leah