Forbes Communications Council members offer advice for crafting the most effective branded tweets.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.
Social media is one of the most effective ways for a business to communicate with its fans. However, sending out dozens of tweets when one would suffice just because it’s easy to do is not a good strategy.
While a company’s PR arm can gain attention and traction with a well-crafted tweet, a poorly crafted one could lead some online users to try and “cancel” a business these days. Creating an ideal branded tweet not only demands clear knowledge of exactly what your brand wants to say, but also a solid understanding of how to say it in a way that will appeal to your target audience.
To help you mitigate the risks and enjoy more of the potential rewards of managing your company’s presence on Twitter, 12 experts from Forbes Communications Council explored how PR practitioners can ensure that every message they tweet is of the highest quality.
1. Be Authentic And Transparent
The best way to ensure a quality tweet is to make sure whatever you say is backed up by truth, authenticity and transparency. So if the tweet is about diversity, equity and inclusion, be sure that the company is living these qualities as part of its mission, vision and values. – Lisa Mann, Raines International Inc
2. Teach The Public About What You Do
Use your tweet as a way to inform the general public about the work your company does; don’t assume they already know. Look at each tweet as an educational moment to teach the public about your programs or services, and always include language at the end of your tweet that refers back to your company website. Try to tie your tweet to something prominent in the news cycle so that it’s timely. – Brittney Manchester, Catholic Charities of Oregon
3. Be Brief And Sincere
Focusing on brevity and sincerity is the best way to ensure quality Twitter conversations. People go to Twitter to find out what’s happening, and the speed of conversation often moves quickly. Quality Twitter content should be informative yet concise, and it should encourage engagement. Identify one takeaway that you want your followers to glean from your announcement to ensure that your message is digestible and memorable. – Andrew Caravella, Sprout Social
4. Sync Your PR And Marketing Teams
Your PR and marketing teams should be in sync when it comes to all of your external messaging, and it’s no different with Twitter. Develop a consistent brand positioning strategy and voice that can still be adapted to the specifics of each unique platform. Make sure that your tweets fit with your brand voice and effectively deliver your message. – Tom Wozniak, OPTIZMO Technologies, LLC
5. Focus On Your Company Mission
Be mission-minded. Consider your company’s mission and stay on topic. It’s great to tastefully incorporate the latest trends into your social media strategy, but make sure they’re still on-brand as it relates to your company. You don’t have to incorporate every trend and every topic because, in trying to do so, you’ll run the risk of possibly diluting or compromising your company’s brand. – Callie Johnson, PhD, Bold Lines Consulting Firm LLC
6. Aim To Start A Conversation
A good tweet elicits a response from the reader. End your tweet with a question that your followers can respond to. When customers feel as if their voices are heard, it builds trust and strengthens your relationship with them. Plus, it’s a great engagement booster. Win-win! – Matthew Stafford, Build Grow Scale
7. Practice Twitter Etiquette
Know and practice Twitter etiquette! Form a small but knowledgeable team to ensure that every tweet is true to your brand before posting. Tweet about what you know. Tweet about what you know is true. Make sure your posts are short, snappy and engaging. Enrich your message by adding a relevant video or image to your tweets. – Mike Neumeier, Arketi Group
8. Leverage Analytics And Branded Hashtags
It’s easy for your tweet to get lost among the noise on Twitter. Use analytics to figure out the best days and times to tweet. Make sure every tweet uses a branded hashtag, and only post about topics and subject areas that are relevant to your brand. Use the same tone and voice that your brand uses in other communications, such as emails, blog posts and web content. – Haseeb Tariq, Disney, Fox, Guess
9. Use Images And GIFs
Images and GIFs are especially important. The same rules still apply in tweets, just with more hashtags and fewer words. Photography is still powerful, and so is a GIF that shows emotion or reaction to the message you are communicating. – Laurie Wang, Legal Aid Alberta
10. Know Your Memes
My first piece of advice is not to tweet too often. Otherwise, your messages will inevitably slip in quality. Second, stay up to date on the latest memes and running jokes on Twitter. If you can find a way to fit your brand’s message into a meme format, then the tweet is way more likely to go viral and score a larger audience in the process. – Amine Rahal, Regal Assets
11. Put Trusted Experts In Charge
Twitter is unlike other social channels in that quick responses are needed and there isn’t always time for a long approval process. Putting trusted, experienced communications professionals in charge of the account is step one. The next step is to create guardrails outlining what is off limits for the brand. Finally, be prepared with a plan for damage control. – Noah Echols, CARROLL
12. Don’t Touch Social Or Political Issues
Avoid taking a position on any social or political issues. I can’t stress this point enough: Companies that “choose sides” are guaranteed to alienate and lose customers. Leverage Twitter to reinforce the brand and the company. Focus on the dedication of the executives and associates to exceed the expectations of customers. Reinforce what makes the brand special. – Brittain Ladd, PULSE Integration