This post focuses on some of the social media techniques used by our friends at Conversant Media to best engage Twitter audiences. In just a few years, Zac and his team have become a serious player in the Australian digital media landscape. They have managed to build significant traffic – over half a million UBs/ month – and highly engaged audiences on their web properties: The Roar and Lost At E Minor.
Those points might seem obvious but I haven’t seen a lot of publishers working remotely and efficiently (we are talking, Newcastle, New York City and Sydney) like Conversant Media. They utilised a variety of tools to make distribution work, such as Yammer for their internal communications and Google apps for team video chats.
When it comes to Twitter, here is some practical advice from Zac (MD), Zolton (Publisher) and Tristan (Head of Content & Community).
What are they doing differently from other media owners?
On top of their well thought-out positioning, high quality content and smart advertising solutions, they are forward thinkers, who are flexible and continually pulsing the market.
1. Time is traffic
Tweet your best content regularly and around the clock loading Tweets via social dashboards like Hootsuite. Not every marketer would agree with the following but it does work: rehash popular past Tweets (copying them from su.pr, which archives all sent Tweets in their proper format) to run again several days/weeks/months after they first ran. As Twitter moves extremely quickly, and people don’t ‘sit on it’, like they do Facebook, they invariably miss a significant portion of what you Tweet. So consider pushing more popular Tweets out there reasonably often to put them in front as many users as possible. Ensure these Tweets are not timely though!
Try to break news when possible to give our followers facts and opinion on breaking stories. Timing is critical, especially for sites like The Roar where a lot of sports information loses its relevancy within hours.
Use Twitter for what it’s meant for, passing information along. Keep your Tweets short to enable your followers to Retweet and add a lead-in message if they want to. 3. Mix and match
Conversant swap Tweets with like-minded Tweeters as part of free a traffic/Twitter growth initiative called Tweet Swap. It provides good content for Conversant’s followers, and also brings new audiences to the participants of the scheme.
Mix up your Twitter feed with Tweets that link off to other sites in order to keep your feed diverse and your readers interested /connected with the content that you push out there. An easy way to do that is to use your partners, colleagues, and employees… Conversant Media have a number of columnists (with their own base of followers) and our trio constantly encourages them Retweet content, amplifying the Twitter accounts of each site.
Seek to join debate when possible, comment on blog, and participate in forums with your Tweeter identity.
Try to follow accounts of Tweeps who are enthusiasts and authority around your discipline or passion point.
There is one headache: measurement.
Zac says measuring traffic from Twitter is very confusing and difficult. This is not specific to Conversant Media of course. Evaluating the exact traffic generated by Twitter is tricky because users consume Twitter streams mostly via third party tools such as Hootsuite and mobile clients, rather than Twitter itself… that’s not all, almost all links are shortened by third-party URL shorteners, such as bit.ly, goo.gl, ow.ly, su.pr … and to add to the confusion it seems that some content publishing platforms might recognise if a bit.ly link comes via Twitter. This is an area which is in desperate need of consolidation. I’d love to hear other point of views on what works, or doesn’t and how you are measuring the impact of Twitter on your campaigns, sites, blogs traffic, SEO rankings… C’mon and share
Big thanks to Zac- Zolton-Tristan
Social media can be unpredictable: before you start a campaign, you can know what the reach or frequency of your paid social activity will be but you won’t know what organic footprint you will generate. There’s lots of online metrics to look at (much more than offline)– but which ones are most important? To understand the performance of social media it is important to define specific objectives and measure the success of your social activity against them (ie. what was it designed to do? it can’t do everything) A measurement strategy must be a collaborative process between: social- media- creative agencies and the client (potentially several divisions: marketing, corporate comms, sales, loyalty,…) Here are some tips on how to start, broken down into 6 steps!
1- DEFINE – What is the role of your social activity in the overall communication strategy
– Recruit a community
– Generate own/earned content
– Improve web visibility (SEO, PR, referrals,…)
– Activate brand advocates
– Gather consumer insights
– Build a new consumer service channel
– Number of community members (fans, followers, subscribers, visitors, opt ins, promotion entries)
– Cost per recruit
– Value of member
– Web traffic (visits, pass along)
– Videos feature the products/ images/ text content
– SEO ranking/ traffic to landing page
– Volume of digital conversation
– Positivity of sentiment
– Consumer feedback/ input/ insights 3- BENCHMARK your objectives against the industry/ competitor/ previous activity (where possible) 4- Give yourself GOALS 5- Always STRETCH your targets… 6- Translate learnings into ACTIONS
– Channel mix definition
– Messaging optimisation