ASK CONTENTED: This week, our advice column hears from a Sad Tweet Dreamer

Q:

Dear Contented,

Ever since my brand acquired its own Twitter account it’s been nothing but stress, stress, stress, and being ignored. I ask you: What does my brand have to do to get some attention around here? Do you think I like seeing Nike getting all the attention? And Starbucks? Do you? Do you? I don’t. It hurts. It’s agony. WHY ISN’T IT ALL ABOUT MY BRAND?!?!?!

So, how can I make changes? How can I be big? I want to trend. I want my brand to have at least 80 billion thousand trillion Twitter followers. How? How? How?

Tweet Dreams

A:

Dear Tweet,
We’re very tempted to say it’s just one of those things you put down to experience*. But the good news is that we’ve made a study of how to get attention and, with Twitter being so self-referential, we think one of your best bets is say something controversial about Twitter users. So, for example, if your brand is Moan’s Backache Pills, try something like “Have you seen that latest research shows 89% of Twitter users are prone to lumbago and also have the Alektorophobia gene?” That’ll get tweeted and re-tweeted and re-re-tweeted. When people aren’t too busy worrying their back will seize up any second and they’ll faint at the sight of a spicy wing, of course.
Seriously, though, the most important thing you should do is NOT do something: Do NOT, under any circumstances, be tempted to buy followers or use auto follower systems. It’s a short-sighted shortcut. Buying followers does not equate to or result in engagement or advocacy or anything really worthwhile to your brand. The truth is that leveraging Twitter as a marketing tool simply takes plain, old-fashioned elbow grease. We recommend these 5 steps to put you on the path to tweet success:

#1 Listen and learn

There’s one very easy way to get followers on Twitter (or any other social network, come to think of it). Listen to what your market’s talking about. Learn what they think, say and actively want. Then search for related things (topics, pictures, offers) that you know will interest these people and write good stuff about them and tweet it regularly and enthusiastically.

#2 Talk, talk

There are regularly scheduled Twitter chats on just about everything under the sun. These are essentially chats between users on Twitter which are conducted via a specific, relevant #hashtag. They’re run by everyone from brands to organisations to industries, and if you want to make sure Twitter is successful for your brand, make sure you participate in them. They offer inspiration and a valuable opportunity to showcase your knowledge and insight.

#3 Curate your content

Discovering, gathering, and presenting relevant, high-quality digital content should become a marketing staple for your brand on Twitter. In the social media world, it’s critical to provide engaging content to draw in an audience and keep them engaged, and tweeting is no exception – especially when posting content from other sources, not just your brand.
Pick topics which relate to your brand category and then tweet or retweet them to share them with others. Make it worth your audience’s time. Well-curated content is valuable to the user in terms of information and entertainment, very few people will follow you just because they’re curious about what your brand’s up to. Instead, they’re curious about what your brand has for them. In short, if you’re not providing value, then you’re not curating.

#4 Choose your channels

Nearly every category and interest has a channel on Twitter. So if you’re running the account for Moan’s Backache pills (remember them?), you might follow #backpainsufferers and #lumbagogotyourback. Don’t crash these channels shouting up your brand from the rooftops. Don’t spam them with marketing messages. Imagine you’re all chatting over sweet sherry and a twiglet at a networking event; ask and answer questions, retweet useful tweets and, above all, interact.

#5 Cross link

This probably sounds a tad obvious, but better safe than sorry. So, make sure your Twitter profile is linked from all your social media pages and make sharing super-easy for people . Put the sharing buttons both on the top of the post and on the bottom – these are the places where people make the decision to share. And by all means feel free to ask people to share your content and invite them to follow your posts.

So, Tweet, here’s our two cents’ worth. Now, go get those 80 billion thousand trillion Twitter followers!

Love, Contented
P.S. Do you have a problem to share? Lumbago? Geniophobia? Invisible consumer content? Ask Contented at hello@contented.com.sg

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Henry AdamsASK CONTENTED: This week, our advice column hears from a Sad Tweet Dreamer