Founded in 2006, Twitter’s micro-updates have revolutionized access to real-time information. With 330 million active users, Twitter’s simple interface allows users to share anything from breaking news, sports updates, live event posting, and overall brand promotion. The beauty of Twitter is that it allows users to access what they want to know—not just what they need to know—by accessing relevant hashtags. Users follow brands they care about and create personalized feeds to see posts they truly care about.
With 500 million tweets daily, your voice can easily get lost in the crowd. Brands joining the network must realize that quantity and quality are important factors to becoming successful on Twitter. Let’s take a look at tips that will make your state great on Twitter.
Make sure this is the platform for your state:
- Why are you on Twitter?
- Who is your audience?
- What is your story?
- How will you define success?
- Do I have enough content to sustain a profile?
Understanding how you want your state to be portrayed and what you want your content to convey is important.
As of late 2017, Twitter now allows a tweet to be 280 characters. Remember, just because you can create a long post, doesn’t mean you should. Keep posts to the point to get your message across. Your state and voice is portrayed in every active and passive interaction—posts, responses, and retweets. As your state continues to flourish, ask yourself a few questions:
- How would your state ARNG talk?
- How would your state ARNG respond to negativity?
- How would your state ARNG incorporate humor?
- How would your state ARNG talk to users?
TIPS FOR TWITTER
COMPLETE YOUR PROFILE
When users visit your profile page, it is their first impression of your state, so ensure that your page is filled out as completely as possible, including your account name, location, National Guard website URL, profile picture, and cover photo. These fields are often what users look at to decide if they should follow your page or interact with your content. Give them a reason to follow you by conveying your state through your profile.
Vary your content: There’s nothing worse than delivering the same type of post over and over again that is written slightly different. Brands that constantly push promotional messaging lose users’ interest quickly. In addition to promotional material, share facts about your state’s Guard, statistics, news, and upcoming events.
If your audience is not active on Twitter, consider going live on one of your more robust platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.
TWITTER BEST PRACTICES
Twitter may seem straightforward, but just like other social networks, there are things to keep in mind that will lead to success for your state. Let’s explore tips to help your state provide new recruits and current Soldiers the best information possible using Twitter.
DON’T OVERWHELM OR SPAM YOUR AUDIENCE
As mentioned with Facebook and for all social media platforms, don’t spam your followers. This means:
- Do not start sharing content with irrelevant hashtags to promote your content or state.
- Do not post multiple times within in a short time frame (10 tweets within one minute, for example) unless you are live-tweeting an event.
- Do not send an automatic direct message when you get a new follower, which is considered spam.
- As with all content, be sure to keep your tweets relevant, helpful to followers, and spam free.
Direct messages (DMs) are helpful when you need private information or when a user prefers to interact with your state directly. Remember, you can only DM people who follow you and vice versa. If you have a Twitter-verified account with a blue checkmark next to your name, you can enable a setting that will allow anyone to DM you.
When you start a tweet with a “@username,” only people who are following both you and @username will see your tweet. If you want others to see your tweet, put a period in front of the username; for example, .@NationalGuard.
When you use a hashtag (#), you expose your state to a wider audience. Many users follow conversations and trending topics by searching for specific hashtags but might not necessarily be following you. Hashtags are meant as a shortcut and quickly explain the content your tweet contains, or show your state’s contributions to a conversation or event—they’re a categorization tool.
Each day, Twitter shows users what’s trending on a national or state level. These trends change throughout the day, but are a great indicator of what kind of post you can create for the day to be part of trending conversations and, as mentioned, exposing your state to potential followers.
There are two ways to retweet posts: (1) retweet a post exactly as is and do not offer additional post copy, or (2) retweet a post and include a comment of your own. We recommend including a comment of your own so that your tweet receives the engagement, instead of the original poster.
WRITING THE PERFECT TWEET
While Twitter has recently upped its character count from 140 to 280, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be brief when crafting posts. When creating posts, keep the following in mind:
- Be personable: Use language that is casual and authentic, so audiences know there’s a real person behind the screen.
- Offer content that is interesting: Craft content that uses quotes, statistics, or timely news to offer audiences posts that are motivating and exciting.
- Don’t be afraid of hashtags: Add hashtags within your post such as “Join the #NationalGuard,” or at the end of your posts such as #MotivationMonday. But please #Never #write #like #this.
- Use a call to action: It may seem like common sense, but you should specifically tell audiences to “visit the website,” “learn more,” or “watch this video.” If the end goal is to recruit or to drive traffic to a “Get Started” page, decide how often to link but don’t forget a call to action, as it’s important for measurement, too.
- Reciprocate and engage: If a user asks a question, makes a nice comment, or adds relevant comment on your post, it’s okay to “like” it or respond.