Twitter is my current addiction. It’s been great, especially as we launched our big news this week. Hours after the twitted announcement, we had several new SharePoint followers, and have begun some really interesting conversations with those contacts.
The HP Lab in Palo Alto recently did a study reviewing the average use of Twitter users (full report available in PDF here). Here is a brief rundown of the results:
Most Twitter users:
- Only converse with a small inner circle (even if they have a large following)
- Have an average 85 followers
- Have an average 80 friends
- Tweet once a day
- Post more if they have more followers (up until about 500, then it levels off)
- Have been on Twitter for 7 months
- Post direct (@) tweets one fourth of the time
Two thirds of Twitter accounts are active
According to Jeremiah Owyang‘s calculations, about 68% of Twitter users are active (have had some kind of activity in the last 30 days). As we’ve mentioned on the RD2 blog before, it looks like several Fortune 500s are staking their territory by reserving a name, but aren’t using Twitter actively.
What does this mean? Tips for starting a corporate Twitter account.
If you’re starting a corporate Twitter account, here are some tips:
Define clear goals -
Post news, deals, events, respond to customer feedback, collect questions from users, etc. If you’re going to tweet about the random goings on in your store/restaurant/office, that’s fine… just be clear about your objectives.
Establish a pace -
Begin tweeting as the “average user.” Begin building your user base with 1-5 relevnt tweets per day.
Find your inner circle -
Use @ posts to have discussions with specific users every so often. Keep interesting users on your radar.
Find people already talking about you using tools like search.twitter.com -
This tool allows you to subscribe to the RSS feed of a search term to be alerted when someone says something about your brand. Respond as appropriate. Invite the biggest advocates and harshest critics to participate in the discussion.
Link your account on your website -
Talk about your Twitter account on your blog, link it on your website, add it to your e-mail signature, etc. This not only gets the word out but verifies the authenticity of your account.
Take advantage of Twitter tools – Twitter has a ton of great (and easy to use) tools. Tools like Twitter for WordPress feed your tweets to your blog (in a widget or in the sidebar), and tools like Twitterfeed feed the RSS feed of your blog to automatically tweet when you make a blog post. Be careful of tools that ask for your password, there are some notoriously bad seeds out there trying to hijack accounts.
Measure and Monitor! –
Measure how many hits are coming to your website from Twitter, and how many users are going to Twitter from your website. Monitor your number of followers week to week (especially in the beginning) to measure your reach.
Good luck and happy tweeting!