By Dan Blank, Director of Content Strategy & Development, Reed Business Information
For editors in 2010, their day might be filled with responsibilities for print, web, blogs, webinars, in-person events, etc. Adding social media to the mix can seem like that last straw breaking the camel’s back – and a straw that has the least direct effect on revenue.
Even if you buy into Twitter – you ‘get it’ – that doesn’t change the fact that you may have a print deadline each Friday, 4 web articles due this week, a blog, and a big industry event coming up in 2 weeks that includes a panel you are moderating.
And just for kicks: let’s not forget that maybe you have a couple of kids at home, your car needs some engine work, and you are planning a Disney vacation for early March and need to find a dog-sitter.
Here are a few tips on ways you can leverage Twitter without overwhelming yourself:
Have a presence
- Just go to Twitter and create a profile. Right now, no big deal. Make sure your brand has one, make sure you have one. Post an update once a day. Or once a week if that is all you can handle. Just start – don’t think about it.
Share the load & share the password
- For your brand, don’t put the load on a single person. Get everyone on board, even if each has their own way of doing it. Likewise, for the brand account, ensure the password is shared between a few employees and the email address linked to it is a business address.
Create a strategy for your brand
- Once a month, chat about a Twitter strategy for your brand in a regular editorial meeting. Don’t go nuts, just bring it up, and encourage folks to use it. Don’t create a strategy that wouldn’t fit on the back of a business card. Keep it simple.
Stand out by being useful
- In your updates, try to share one piece of information or advice that is unique and helpful to your readers. Even if you Tweet infrequently, make it count. Doesn’t have to be earth shattering, just some insight you had to a piece of recent news, or your impression of the floor at a recent tradeshow.
Connect with your audience
- Follow someone on Twitter. Follow 5 people. Read their Tweets. Consider responding to things that pique your interest.
- [Editor’s Note: Consider starting with DBW’s list of smart publishing types or Writer’s Digest’s list of publishers.]
Manage the process
- As Twitter grows for you and your brand, create a process that works for you. Tell yourself you will post an update each day, while drinking your coffee. Set aside 15 minutes at lunch to read Tweets. Small, simple stuff. Consider using a tool like Tweetdeck.
- [Editor’s Note: Other popular Twitter tools include Seesmic, HootSuite and Brizzly.]
Integrate & promote
- Promote your brand account everywhere that you reach your market – print, web, newsletters, events.
- Events are such an opportunity to have fun connections with people you met via Twitter. It is also a great place to find people you want to follow and pick up followers yourself.
- [Editor’s Note: Check out #DBW #WI5 and #toccon]
[This article is an excerpt from The Pros & Cons of Twitter, originally posted at DanBlank.com and reprinted with Blank’s permission.]
Dan Blank is the Director of Content Strategy & Development, Reed Business Information, publishers of Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal, among others.