by Weber Shandwick on Twitter that I came across was an opportunity to provide a more specific social media
channel review about Twitter, that looks at the current use by the Fortune 100 and how they are currently implementing Twitter across their companies.
Twitter is quite often dismissed by a lot of people as a platform that broadcasts inane pointless babble
and conversations about, “what you had for breakfast” or “your weekend activities”. Most people are starting to realise that Twitter can be used for your business or brand
in ways that are only limited by your creativity. Two other recent studies showed that the Top 500 Fastest Growing Companies
and the Top 200 Non Profits
in the USA were the leaders in their use of Social Media and Twitter as compared to the Fortune 500.
The major finding in essence, was that the Fortune 100 are really not utilizing Twitters full potential to engage, communicate, promote their brand and promote and drive a position of being a thought leader in their industry amongst many other shortcomings. So here are some rather telling statistics, facts and figures that show their sins of omission rather than a compelling example of best practice.
It was interesting to observe that best practices were not followed by most of the Fortune 100 accounts examined by Weber Shandwick study with the following being the major Twitter sins.
- Few followers: Half of those accounts had fewer than 500 followers, while
- More than half did not meet engagement metrics that were analyzed in Twitalyzer (e.g.numbers of links, hashtags, references and retweets)
- Three-quarters (76 percent) of those accounts posted fewer than 500 tweets.This indicates either a lack of engagement by many companies with their followers, or newly established accounts that haven’t yet started using the platform to build relationships.
- Twenty-four percent of the Twitter accounts were primarily used for brand awareness; however many of them appeared to be on Twitter simply to have an online presence
This falls short of the opportunity that Twitter offers as a valuable communications channel and strategic social network.For those companies what are the activities that they should pursue?
- Create a companywide engagement strategy; a set of guidelines with best practices
- Demonstrate a consistent and comprehensive brand presence
- Build a dialogue that paves the way to new relationships with customers and advocates
- Generate loyalty among new and existing communities
- To maximize the benefits of Twitter, companies should
- offer opinions and encourage discussions
- reach out to their communities of customers and advocates
- build relationships with new customers and look for untapped supporters.
Weber Shandwick prescribed five essential steps as a starting point for Fortune 100 companies to create true engagement and market interaction on Twitter:
1.Listen to conversations
2.Participate in conversations
3.Update frequently with valuable information
4.Reply to people who talk about issues that are important to your company
5.Retweet relevant conversations
So here are “7 Twitter Best Practices” from the study revealing that in the majority, the Fortune 100 were not implementing
- Listen to and monitor conversations
- Participate in conversations instead of just listening
- Provide frequent updates with valuable information that can demonstrate thought leadership.
- Have a large number of followers
- Reply to people who talk about issues that are important to them rather than sit on the sidelines
- Retweet those conversations which can help promote the brand
- Reply or refer to other accounts with @username, and in turn, they are referred to by other accounts.
By following the best “7 Best Practices”, Twitter can be used by businesses for many purposes, as its value differs for each company. If best practices are followed, businesses can
- Promote and distribute their news in a very cost efficient manner “World Wide” or “Locally”.
- Broadcast their products and services offerings with a wider audience
- Increase brand awareness,
- Gain new customers
- Boost sales
- Provide customer service.
- Demonstrate “thought Leadership
For the majority of Fortune 100 companies, Twitter remains a missed opportunity. Many of their Twitter accounts, examined by Weber Shandwick, did not appear to listen to or engage with their readers, instead offering a one-way broadcast of press releases, company blog posts and event information.
The number of active Twitter users in the United States already exceeds 20 million and can be expected to continue to grow.This is a massive human database to tap, companies that understand the value of Twitter can benefit from its potential as a viable engagement platform. A majority of Fortune 100 companies are not using Twitter for its intended benefit: to create meaningful connections and relationships with customers, potential advocates, media and other business contacts.
So how are you using Twitter for your company or brand? Look forward to reading your stories.