Getting Out of a Twitter Rut and Generating Good Content

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE Twitter. It’s a great tool that I find really useful for researching what’s going on in social media and career services (my two main areas of interest), but we can have a love/hate relationship sometimes. She is VERY high maintenance and requires a lot of attention.

Because of this, I really enjoyed reading this blog. It’s always good to go back and remind yourself “what’s my purpose?” Who is my audience? What am I trying to say?  It’s easy to get stuck in the mindframe of mindlessly sending out content just to get something out there.  To be considered active on Twitter, you should already be posting a minimum of 2-3 times a day if not more, so it is tempting to tweet just for the sake of tweeting.

If you’re starting to get tempted to do this, here’s what I recommend: 

  1. Start asking your followers what they would like more information on.
  2. Retweet (useful!) content your most interactive followers are posting.  This will help further build your relationship.
  3. Start commenting on other Twitter users’ posts in the meantime until you have an idea for new content.
  4. Google it! Tweet interesting articles, video or blogs.

This should be a good start to get you out of a Twitter rut.  Do you have any other ideas for tweets when you run out of original content?

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Timing is Everything Especially in Social Media

The title says it all.  A common worry I hear expressed by people looking to use social media professionally is that they don’t have enough time in the day to manage it.  I agree that it’s tough, but as I explained in my previous post about Hootsuite, you can easily schedule future posts and monitor your presence on multiple sites through one source.

One thing that I did not touch on in my last blog was WHEN to post.  Think about when your audience would be likely to see your Tweets, Facebook posts or LinkedIn updates.  Even though you may have time to tweet at 8am in the morning, ask yourself if your audience is going to be up at 8am diligently looking for your post.  They just might be…or they might not.

This is partially why I use bit.ly in conjunction with Hootsuite.  It’s easy for me to quickly scan down my shortened link list to see if my audience is clicking on my links.  I also monitor Facebook Insights to see how far my post was able to reach.

The only way to figure out if your timing is good or bad is to monitor your clicked links (can be done through bit.ly or Hootsuite) or to check your Facebook insights.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with the timing of your posts.  One of my most viewed links came from the day after Christmas!  Check your statistics often and you may begin to see some trends of when your audience engages with your social media sites.

Hootsuite Analytics

As promised, I’m going to go through why Hootsuite analytics have been so useful in helping me to measure the effectiveness of the UGA Career Center Twitter Account.

Let’s go through the quick steps of how you can get the exact report that’s show above:

  1. Select the 3rd icon from the top in the left vertical tool bar that looks like 3 bars.
  2. Click on “Quick Analytics” then “Ow.ly Summary Stats.”
  3. This automatically creates the graphs that you see in the center of the above screen.

If you scroll down the page, you can see it starts to identify the top posts with most clicks.  You may be surprised to find (as I was), that the content students click on the most may not be the career articles you are posting.  A little variety and sharing of useful information outside of career may increase the engagement with your audience.

It isn’t immediately apparent on the surface all of the implications these statistics have. You can even become a paying member to get more in depth statistics, but a lot of information can be told from this alone—

  1. Students ARE paying attention to the tweets  that are streamed on the homepage of www.career.uga.edu as evidenced by the “Top Referrers” graph.
  2. I can also infer trends of popular topics from the “Most Popular Links” section.  These statistics are only for the month of December, and what is being clicked on seems to be anything other than specific to the job search.  Perhaps students are checked out at this point or focused on their exams.  Perhaps this could be a new addition that I could add to my tweet strategy—adding “nice to know” information rather than only career information.
  3. The line graph at the top gives you a hint as to which days your audience may be most engaged with your content.  Large amounts of clicks could imply that you are posting a popular topic, but part of the popularity may also be that you aren’t tweeting that at 8 in the morning.

All in all, it’s important to try a few different strategies to see what works. You may also want to revisit older ideas that were deemed “failures” to see if perhaps the timing was off or you may need to identify new ways to appeal to your audience.

That’s it for now, but Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Networking: Creating TRUE Fans vs. Passive Followers

I attended a job search workshop targeted to MBA students yesterday and left feeling inspired. My main takeaway from the talk was the importance of networking while job searching.  Even though networking was discussed in the context of the job search, it made me think about how valuable true networking and relationship building can be in any setting.

When you engage in social networking for your employer,  do you think about how to cultivate a deeper relationship with your followers & fans?  Are you participating in meaningful conversation, or are you shouting from your soap box?

No one wants to be “that girl”–you know the type. The girl that only talks about herself and could care less that you just got promoted or took up ballroom dancing. Let me be clear by stating that I’m not suggesting that you go totally off topic and delve into your followers’ social lives. Rather, are you actively listening to their needs and fostering the relationship? If you don’t listen to what they have to say, then why would they listen to you?

Comment on other people’s blogs & statuses. Pose questions and ask for feedback.  Retweet an insightful post from a follower. That will help to create a more meaningful AND reciprocal relationship.

 

Lesson of the day: You have to give to get.