How do I add real value to my social media output?
February 8, 2018 4:46 AM   Subscribe

I am about to start a Twitter page for my business. But how do I add real value for followers?

I am very dubious about the value in just being a “content curator” – getting others people’s ideas, news stories etc. then linking or referencing them. Is there any value in this? Yet, 90% of social media posts seem to do this. But to my own value system, it just seems lazy and unoriginal. Please help convince me otherwise or suggest another strategy?
posted by jacobean to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
If there are already 50 or 500 people in your industry doing the same thing on Twitter then no, there probably is very limited value in it. Are your customers even on Twitter? Maybe a blog with one longer form well thought out post a week would actually be more valuable. Or maybe a weekly email newsletter with some commentary on what is happening in the industry. There are lots of ways to keep in touch with customers and most of them are probably better options than Twitter.
posted by COD at 5:25 AM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

I run a twitter handle, and am pretty convinced that it has very little impact on potential clients, however, it definitely does connect to people who we might recruit (and in fact have) so that might be something to consider? If you might use yours for that, then think of it as a sort of real-time CV of cool stuff about your org.

If not, for me the only reason I would follow a business would be:
- if there was some sort of time-sensitive element to getting hold of their product
- if it was regularly funny (citation: Moonpie, a brand which I would not know if it were not for their Twitter)
- if the business was very small and I wanted to help it get off the ground
posted by greenish at 5:36 AM on February 8, 2018

I think the real value in having your business on Twitter is having another point of contact for customer support and customer feedback.
posted by slipthought at 6:19 AM on February 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

The only businesses I follow on twitter are ones with time-sensitive content. Others I won't follow, but I do want them to have an account for customer service reasons.

Examples of businesses I follow:
* Restaurants that use twitter to announce their daily or monthly specials.
* My gym, so that I see when they have a special pricing deal
* Conferences, so that I see their announcements regarding CFP and registration dates.

I help run the Twitter accounts for a few organizations and we use it for:
* date announcements or spreading other useful information
* During events we run, we use a hashtag and retweet folk who use that hashtag with quality content. It encourages people to use it because they have the possibility of getting retweeted and exposed to a group of others in the same line of business.
* Shout-outs and other praise tweets to people within our organization's community who win awards or otherwise do great things.
* Promoting opportunities for those within our community, like relevant job posting or conference opportunities.

As you can see, it's about 50% spreading necessary information and 50% nourishing our community.
posted by tofu_crouton at 7:01 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

In addition to what others have said, what is your business?
posted by mmascolino at 7:24 AM on February 8, 2018

Information Security
posted by jacobean at 8:39 AM on February 8, 2018

Seconding what slipthought said. The main reason for a business to use Twitter, other than ensuring you've saturated all the major social media markets, is ease of customer service and contact.

Customers on Twitter love it when:
- Tweeting at your business results in a (pretty fast) response (it makes them feel special)
- They can ask a direct question about a new product you posted, and get more information
- For information security in general, I'd like to know that my information security provider not only uses Twitter, but is literate with Twitter and understands it from a security perspective. This may not be relevant to you given that "Information Security" is broad, but it's a branch of interest to many.

Businesses using Twitter love that they can:
- See analytics on what their customers respond to, what they're most concerned about, who they're following / trust
- Gauge customer approval / obtain feedback on prospective new products or services

What a business does with their Twitter account is different than what, say, a business figurehead like Elon Musk does with his personal Twitter account, or what an Information
Security/tech journalist does with their Twitter account.

I would strongly encourage you to start following tech/info sec journalists, business executives for info sec companies, and most info sec businesses themselves, to see what are the common patterns of behavior - as well as the more popular or unexpected subject matter of their Tweets. Take notes on common themes, look at how customers engage with said Tweets (learn about what Twitter "ratio" is if you don't know already). Spend at least a month just following and observing. Before you create or launch an official Twitter account.

It also helps to have fun with it. This is going to be different for Info Sec stuff than it is for, say, MoonPies, but having a (respectful) sense of humor on social media can go a long way.
posted by nightrecordings at 11:46 AM on February 8, 2018

It might be tough to use this media to gain customers but you might be able to use it to be in "dialog" with other companies and practitioners which would lead you to be invited to speak at conferences and gatherings. That would in turn raise the profile of your business but it certainly would be playing the long game.
posted by mmascolino at 11:41 AM on February 10, 2018

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