boosting responses on social media

The Art of Retweeting

Now that you’ve set up your Twitter account and learned some best practices, it’s time to dive a little deeper. Twitter is one of the best platforms to use if you want to communicate with your audience in real-time and participate in the conversation on trending topics. One way to do that is with the communication tactic Twitter calls, the “Retweet.” A Retweet (RT) is simply when you re-post a tweet that another account originally posted. It’s a great way to share relevant information with your followers and shows them which accounts you think are sharing valuable information. It also shows the original poster that you appreciate their content and it can aid in growing your own Twitter network.

Retweeting takes places one of two ways: you can choose to hit the “Retweet” button, which will immediately share that tweet to all of your followers, or hit “Quote Tweet” which will allow you add your own text before Retweeting. Be careful though—you only have 140 characters, including the text from the original tweet! And make sure whatever text you are adding helps foster a positive, relevant conversation.

Here’s how to optimize Retweeting for your agency:

1. Know who to RT Knowing who your influencers are is critical in social strategy, and it starts with knowing your audience. Which individuals or agencies does your audience look to for valuable information? These individuals or agencies should rank high across three attributes to be considered a true influencer: Reach, Relevance and Resonance.

Reach is audience size—you want to target people that have a large, wide scope of followers.

Relevance is the obvious one. Make sure the person/organization is relevant to a topic your audience cares about.

Resonance is a measure of how much interaction occurs with someone’s content. Think of RTs, mentions, and favorites.

Determine who the power players are and RT the information that is significant to you and your audience.

2. RT often, but not too much Don’t RT just for the sake of Retweeting. No matter if it’s a tweet you composed or one from one of your influencers, make sure your audience finds it valuable. Also, make sure that all your content isn’t purely RTs from other accounts. Find a balance between how much you’re Retweeting and how much you tweet yourself. Keep in mind who you’re Retweeting and how often.

3. Foster a dialogue Did someone RT you? That’s awesome! That means they liked your content so much that they decided to share it with their own followers, which in turn can lead to new followers for you. So how do you use this to your advantage? Start a dialogue. Tweet their handle and say thanks for sharing or ask “what part of x, y, or z resonated with you?” Using these engagements to foster a dialogue shows that you appreciate their engagement with your content and want to foster a social relationship.

Remember when starting this dialogue to put a period or other text before their handle so that the conversation is included in the newsfeed of all your followers and not just the feed of those who follow both you and this handle.

What other tips and tricks do you have for Retweeting? Share them with us!

For more information on using Twitter and other social media channels, download our free toolkit!

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Going Viral: Boosting Stakeholder Engagement via Social Media Responses

My colleague Lauren Lane recently wrote an article on how to manage and cultivate meaningful online relationships with stakeholders. The steps she outlines lay the foundation of how to build a stakeholder engagement strategy that will resonate with and retain 21st century audiences. Once your organization identifies its target audience, assesses current social media activities and refines its digital strategy, it needs to decide how to package content in a way that invites stakeholders to not only read, but to comment, share, and come back for more. How do you avoid crickets on social media? Well, here are 5 ways to distribute content through social media channels that guarantee more active stakeholder responses:

Ask Questions Questions are natural calls to action and produce higher levels of response than simple statements. While a carefully crafted line may resonate or conflict with your stakeholders’ opinions, they’ll often see it and leave it alone after reading. Questions allow followers to contribute their point of view to the conversation, interact with likeminded peers, and could even lend new insights to how your organization is perceived by the public. Try bookending your next blog post or white paper with a question so that your audience has something to react to.

Prioritize Multimedia Content Response rates also increase when you pair thought leadership with visual content. Social Media Engagement is becoming more dynamic and visually interesting through infographics and tools that support interactive client-side behavior. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn allow your organization to post images and video, so take advantage of this opportunity to show off your group’s personality and charisma. In an environment where audience attention spans are shortening, mediums like webinars and podcasts can also help cut through the noise. If you’re linking your social media posts back to your organization’s website, try embedding your site with high-level programming languages like JavaScript or Ruby to animate infographics and reports.

Follow Friends and Influencers Add your followers to your network, strike up conversations with them, and be proactive in liking or sharing their posts. Social Media is a two-way street, so your brand can cultivate a loyal, energized readership by reading and commenting on their ideas. By responding quickly to your followers’ questions or posts, you show that you value the audience’s time, input and satisfaction.

Be Consistent Posting content regularly helps your website’s chances of getting page views and rewards your ranking on search engines since you’re tapping into a wider breadth of keyword phrases. Sticking to a consistent blogging schedule also lends credibility to your organization as an expert on key industry issues. Inconsistent publishing may imply to your stakeholders that your organization is unreliable or timid in other areas of its mission.

Reward, don’t Spam Resist the urge to self-promote honors or accolades on social media. Stakeholders want to stay informed and participate in your organization’s mission, so offer them complimentary giveaways, insider information, or opportunities to interact with your organization’s leadership. Doing so will boost brand exposure, edify stakeholder loyalty, and guarantee that you’re not picked up by @Humblebrag.

How has your organization improved response rates to Social Media? Which of these practices are most important to a successful Stakeholder Involvement Strategy?

Interested in more tips and best practices for social media? Check out Corner Alliance Social Media for Government Toolkit!

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