Should I Twitter? Should my business be Twittering? What is the fuss about Twitter anyway?.

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The question is not really should I be on Twitter, in our opinion the answer to that is obvious. The question really is why should I be on Twitter and what should I Twitter about.

Twitter offers all businesses a new and somewhat unique opportunity to network and engage with their customers and contacts in a real time, conversational way. The key word though being 'engage'. Twitter's strength lies in its real time, conversational model. It's not like a blog where you post a few times a week and see what debate results. It's not like Facebook where you can create heavily branded experiences with lots of video, game and forum based content. It's something else, something different. In our opinion Twitter is the place where you can talk to people as people.

Why do we do it?

Sagittarius Digital is a marketing company, B2B; it's not Nike or Coca Cola - youth brands for a youth platform - as some would argue. The truth is that it's a great way to create brand engagement and reach new customers and audiences. In classic marketing speak, it's about customer acquisition, through networking, and retention, through meaningful continuous dialogue. The other truth is, its used by everyone with recent figures showing the largest take up of late has been in the 20 - 35 year old age group which now account for near 20% of all Twitter users.

What is Twitter?

  • Twitter is a place to engage customers and contacts in an informal and conversational manner
  • Twitter is a place where you can create interest through the clever use of content to keep people engaged with what you're doing and thinking
  • Twitter is a place where you can take something corporate or news worthy and use it to generate conversation, engagement and reach
  • Twitter is a channel that takes effort, dedication and genuine interest in those that you connect with. It should not be undertaken lightly and should not be something that gets done when you get round to it
  • Twitter is a place wher you can listen to what others think of you, good or bad and then deal with it Conversely, the following is a list of what Twitter is not:
  • Twitter is not an extension of your RSS feed.
  • Twitter is not a way to force your special offers on to people
  • Twitter is not a place to fill with tweets about how great your business and your products are
  • Twitter is not a place where you can run and hide

Twitter should be a part of your communications strategy and very much part of your social media and digital marketing strategy. More importantly, it should be something that you undertake in a considered way, ensuring you're constantly thinking about what your next tweet will be. It should be conversational and should be fun, but like all forms of marketing and PR it should be tactical, planned and executed with skill and care.

So should you and your business be on Twitter. Yes, but only if you know why you're doing it and only if you have the time and resources to do it well. If nothing else, learn from our man Fletch - it can get you on TV.

Author: Nick Towers

Director of Digital,Sagittarius Digital

LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/nicktowers

Whatever your business, be it a regional or global brand, the content you produce plays a vital role in your success. You know that… hence you’re reading this.

A well formulated and executed content strategy not only drives more traffic, at the core, it defines what your business is and helps build a strong connection between you and your audiences.

So let's quickly look at why developing a coherent content strategy is important and how setting clear goals and understanding your audience will elevate your online performance. 

What is a Content Strategy?

It's basic right? Content is at the core of how you define the way your business presents itself and an effective strategy should look to ensure that tone of voice, messaging and the core values are surfaced across all channels, from service or product pages on your website, to blog posts, through social media updates blah blah blah.

But let's keep it simple - your content strategy should be a clear roadmap that connects your marketing activities to your business goals. Align to your customer’s wants and needs and engage them at every interaction point and boom, you're in business. 

Who are my Audience?

You likely start all your projects with this chalked on the wall because your business knows “exactly” who its customers are right? Sounds obvious but we often find its not been done forensically enough (not based on data), is too old (more than 12 months ago - forget it) or its a spin off from some brand work that was legitimately aspirational but doesn’t face the reality of who you your business is actually engaging today.

So start (or circle back) with audience research, building out those personas to understand their ambitions, their lifestyle, their pain points or concerns, and crucially their wants and needs - in your context. 

Do I need to tailor content?

As part of your research find out where your audiences spend their time online and how they interact with content: Some may spend time thoroughly researching a product or service, whereas other audiences may want their content to be quick, snappy or easily digestible in the form of a video, infographic or short blog posts.

 

Ultimately, the key is to produce a strategy that creates the type of content your customers want to see:

  • What are the problems that your product or service will help them solve?

  • Who are they most influenced by?

  • What voices influence their behaviour?

  • What type of content do they consume?

  • Where do they consume content and engage with brands?

Different Content, Different Objectives

 All content is not born equal: When producing your strategy, it is important that the objectives for each individual piece are defined, that these fulfil your marketing objectives and tie to the overarching goals for your business.

There are various content frameworks that exist to aid content development in this way, but one that is popular and effective is Google’s hero, hub and hygiene method: It provides a framework on developing content to achieve different goals and gives guidance on the effort needed to create each type of content.

Hero Content

Hero content is essentially campaign content, it is big splash ideas designed to appeal to a large audience with the aim of telling your brand’s story at scale. 

Ways of measuring hero include the amount of PR mentions or links from authoritative domains plus social interactions and mentions of your brand across all channels. 

Considering the scale of hero campaigns, this content is not regularly produced and is reserved for peak promotional times where it’s important for a business to stand out from their competitors.

Hub Content

Hub content is the stuff that keeps your audience engaged, it expands on the themes of product or service level content, educates users and helps create a connection between themselves and your brand.

Hygiene Content

Hygiene content is the bread and butter of any website, it is the BAU content for products and services, it is SEO focused and targets important keywords at a product, service or guide level.

How do I manage all this?

Content development is only one part of the ongoing work needed when working with an effective content strategy. We call it “feeding the beast” because it really is the fuel in your brand vehicle and once you start you really can’t stop (if it’s delivering results) but that’s where performance measurement comes in.

Your greatest gift in managing the outputs from your hero/hub/hygiene style efforts is to understand If your content is working. To truly deliver results your business must first understand the objectives and goals of each piece of content to effectively measure its success. That as a guiding light from day 1 will let you slow down, speed up, stop or start new content briefs and projects.

Remember - content strategies are not set in stone. They are living breathing things and should adapt and pivot as insights become available and your brand naturally evolves.

If ever you want to chat content and explore new initiatives we’re always here to help.

want to speak to one of our experts?

 
Nick Towers
Nick Towers
Co-Founder & Joint CEO
Co-Founder, CEO and self-confessed massive geek, Nick has been in digital since graduating from law and moving into technology many years ago. Through a combination of building awesome client relationships, crafting a formidable team of digital experts and consistently delivering results for our clients Nick has taken Sagittarius from being a successful small agency to the global digital customer experience consultancy and Sitecore powerhouse that it is today.
Nick Towers

Nick Towers

15 May 2009 - 7 minute read
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