We’ve asked PR guru Christine Kirk to write this Guest Post on how to make Twitter work for your business. This post is aimed at new Twitter users and those without a lot of experience.
By Christine Kirk / @luxuryprgal
Everyone with over 100 followers on Twitter is calling themselves a “social media expert” these days. Some speak of Twitter as the Holy Grail of marketing. Amassing tens of thousands of followers on Twitter might sound impressive initially, but the real testament of success is how engaged those followers are. How many click-throughs do you get on an article you post? How many people RT (re-Tweet) your posts and comment directly back to you with @ replies? Twitter is a wonderful tool for your toolbox but should not be viewed as the end-all, be-all of a brand’s marketing efforts. Marketing should be looked at comprehensively – how are advertising, public relations, and marketing working together to craft a brand image and an authentic brand voice? While Twitter can certainly help you with both image and voice, it is not the ultimate answer and instead, should be a piece of the overall program.
Being retweeted is flattering because your followers are expressing confidence that what you’ve tweeted is interesting and falls in line with their opinions and beliefs about that particular topic. As Twitter guru @guykawasaki has said, “…the best measure of someone’s quality as a Twitter user is not the number of followers but the amount of retweets.”
Keeping all this in mind, here are my top five tips for building an engaged and enthusiastic Twitter following:
1. Pick a Theme. Once you’ve set up your Twitter account, think carefully and thoughtfully and select a few key themes that your Tweets will center around. Many marketing pros talk all about what Twitter does for them, but Twitter is about what you GIVE…and then maybe, later, what you get in return. Select your themes based on your own background and provide your followers with articles, insights and perspectives into an industry they might not otherwise have.
2. When possible, provide a link to the story you’re discussing in your Tweet. This provides your followers with a credible, third-party source to what you’re saying in addition to simply being able to elaborate on the story, since Tweets are limited to 140 characters. (Hint: Use free sites like, TinyURL to shorten really long links).
3. Don’t promote yourself. No, really – don’t do it. If I had to put a number to it, I’d say that about 15% of my Tweets are directly related to my clients or articles that I’ve secured on behalf of a client. The other 85% of my time is spent Tweeting about the various industries I represent – food/beverage, luxury travel and luxury real estate, in addition to providing information about general media news, publications folding, and articles on how brands are effectively using social media. I pepper in my client announcements and placements and find that my followers are more receptive to retweeting that information because the rest of time, I’m providing valuable information in areas they’re interested in.
4. Retweet your followers’ content. I often RT posts from my followers that are relevant to the themes I generally Tweet about. Showing appreciation for your followers content makes it much more likely that they will engage with your Tweets by RTing and @ replying to you.
5. Participate in #followfriday. #followfriday takes place every Friday across Twitter where people make suggestions for who to follow on Twitter. It helps everyone find interesting Twitter users. Calling out your followers, colleagues, and Twitter icons in #followfriday is giving them kudos for the quality and content of their Tweets. Paying people compliments is always nice and almost always, the favor is returned. Especially if you’ve followed the previous four tips…
Christine Kirk is a PR representative and social media explorer for luxury brands including travel, real estate and food/beverage, at Murphy O’Brien Public Relations in Los Angeles. She also holds the position of PR Manager for the Los Angeles chapter of Girls in Tech. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @luxuryprgal.