This week we are looking at what some of the best practices are for blogging/ tweeting and to find out if the industry (Automotive) that we have been discussing for the last month employs some of these practices. But first we need to take a look and discuss what some of those best practices are. Depending on where you look or who you talk to, the answers are very similar. Before we get to the best practices though, I just want to show how important Twitter use can be and therefore how important using best practices for the best results are important. In 2011 77% of the companies on Fortunes Global 100 list used Twitter.
ON TO THE BEST PRACTICES
According to Twitter and Mark Schaefer’s “Tao of Twitter,” they have suggestions on the best way to achieve the results you want. Some of the best practices that they mention are to create tweets that resonate. In order to do this, it is best to add pictures, links or videos to your Tweet. It is important to post content that is informative and engaging. The Tweets should have a friendly tone which will help connect the company to their audience.
Another best practice is to keep your tweets short and sweet. With a limit of 140 characters, it is best to keep things simple. According to Buddy Media, you will have a 17% higher engagement rate if you keep your tweets below 100 characters vs. utilizing all 140.
Another suggestion is to time your tweets, especially when it comes to breaking news or live tweets. For everything else however, it will take practice to learn when the content will be best for your audience. To help with this as well, they suggest you tweet often. The basic rule is to tweet three to five times a day. However, this will depend on how your audience reacts. Start out by tweeting a couple of times a day and track the feedback or response and make changes to your frequency of tweets at that time.
Twitter and Mark Schaefer’s “Tao of Twitter” recommends that you follow things that you are interested in. This can help inspire some of your own ideas. Use the @reply to make communicating between users simple. It also can help lengthen conversations and company mentions. You should also stay trendy. This means keep up with and participate in Twitter trends. It is suggested that as a best practice you should use contests. This is a fun and creative way to increase connections on Twitter.
Some additional practices that are of interest, especially when it comes to building brands would include:
- Know how your customers use Twitter,
- Determine organizational goals,
- Build your Twitter equity and credibility (become a trusted source),
- Track metrics and conversation trends. There are tracking services you can pay for to do this for you. Some examples of those services are Radian6 and Nielsen. It is suggested that you don’t go overboard. The less structure is better; this is similar to a point from above.
- Companies should listen and observe before engaging. It’s important to know how your customers or audiences are behaving and the company should respond accordingly. In doing so, the reactions or responses should be authentic. The community and customers should believe in what you are saying.
After looking and getting an understanding of what the best practices are when it comes to Tweeting, I think we can safely say that the automotive industry does employ these methods. Based on previous discussions, we can reference that Ford is very knowledgeable with social media and they engage their audience, listen to the people, and respond accordingly. They help build and inspire trust in their communications and conversations. Car companies are also tweeting out several times a day, so they are always on follower’s radars and being relevant with the information that they provide. In terms of contests and trying to win followers, car companies do a lot of giveaways or doing promotions on social media. Ford, like many other car companies, will Tweet only 3 to 5 times a day, which was the range for best practice. The company asks for feedback and design recommendations to build a rapport and to be engaged with their customers and followers. Today, Ford tweeted asking for entries to win a spot at Bonnaroo. So not only do they use car or car promotional giveaways, but they work with other supporters as well. This helps drive traffic and conversations, which is all great for the company.