Tips to Get Your Message in Front of the Right Twitter Followers

October 23rd, 2013

Tips to Get Your Message in Front of the Right Twitter Followersby Alfred Cox*

Just because you put content on Twitter doesn’t mean that content is being read by the right people, but curating the right audience and engaging with that audience requires strategy and some social media savvy. At last week’s Digital PR Summit in New York, I attended “Get Your Messages in Front of the Right Followers on Twitter,” a session on how to maximize your Twitter strategy.

There were three panelists:

Brooke Primero, senior vice president of PR and marketing for the Academy of Country Music, @BrookeInSoCal

Gemma Craven, executive vice president and N.Y. Group Director of Social@Ogilvy, @gemsie

Peggy Ann Torney, associate director of public affairs at Lymphoma Research Association, @lymphoma

Hold a Twitter chat

A Twitter chat conducted by Lymphoma Research Foundation reached more than 8,000 followers and had over 1 million impressions, says Torney, and increased their followers by a whopping 92 percent. Turning Twitter into an educational platform with a chat can not only help boost a social media following, it can help get out information about your organization.

Focus on the fans

Primero advises Tweeters to think like a fan – what would a fan want to see or read? She also advised focusing on the relationship with the fans and listening to their feedback. Advocating for your fans solidifies the loyalty of a base, and if you give them product sneak peeks, you give them something to announce, discuss, and disseminate.

Don’t overreact

The savvy social media expert listens to what fans are saying, but what happens if crisis or negativity arises? Don’t be rash, advises Craven. Listen to and understand what’s being said and respond.  Instead of a defensive knee-jerk tweet, adopt a getting-it-done tone. Being defensive or snarky makes the brand look bad, so state what you’ve done to fix the situation; the can-do attitude reinforces brand positivity. However, act fast. Letting long periods of time lapse before a response will only make things worse.

Crisis or opinion?

Understand the difference between crisis and opinion, Craven recommends. Twitter is full of opinions, and not all of them are positive, but negative comments don’t necessarily warrant a brand response. So before going into crisis mode, make sure it is a crisis, not just a lot of opinions.

Promote yourself through others

Torney works with foundation partners to cross-promote on Twitter, as it helps broaden visibility and benefit the foundation. She cultivates brand ambassadors, who can be organization members or external participants, and engages with them to get them help spread the word. This grassroots approach is especially effective on Twitter.

Final tidbits

Torney recommends identifying key influencers, and stresses the necessity of measuring your efforts, followers, impressions, and engagements. Primero echoes this sentiment, suggesting identifying experts in your audience, and she also recommends that when you retweet, do so in a modified retweet, which associates your organization’s name with the tweet instead of the original poster’s.

Finally, Twitter is an accelerant, Craven reminds tweeters, which can be positive or detrimental, so always be ready to react immediately and brace for results.


Bio: Alfred Cox is a rare commodity of a performer who combines a relentless drive to succeed with the ability to provide “first-person” touch to his clients, creating loyalty and repeat business. He has a hard-nosed work ethic in a results- driven environment and he is often called the “Network King.” Alfred has been in the PR industry for the past 18+ years and joined the BurrellesLuce team in 2011. Connect with him on Twitter: @shantikcox Facebook: BurrellesLuce LinkedIn: Alfred Cox

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