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How to Get it Right With Twitter

Keeping a Twitter feed active can be expensive in terms of time and money. With retweets and favorites revealing only a limited part or the picture, how can a business tell when it is getting it right, and how can it use Twitter to measure other aspects of its performance?

A recent piece of research commissioned by Microsoft addressed the difficult question Are Some Tweets More Interesting Than Others? Consisting of three separate studies, it asked individual Twitter users what makes a tweet interesting, asked other users to apply those criteria to a selection of tweets, and then asked the second set of users an open-ended question about why they thought those tweets were interesting. There was relatively little consistency in responses to this final question, but users seemed to be good at understanding when tweets they personally found interesting would appeal to a wide audience and when their appeal was more specific.

Like previous researchers in the area, the Microsoft team found that the presence of a link made it more interesting to the average user. Longer tweets (not counting @ mentions) were also more interesting. Beyond this, however, the authors concluded that it is difficult to establish the key features that can make a tweet appealing and that more research is needed.

Where does a business keen to improve its Twitter performance go from here? The key thing is to learn from the finding that a tweet that does not appeal to everyone can still have strong appeal to those with specific interests. By sampling its followers and looking at their own tweets to find out what they have in common, a business can begin to identify such interests and experiment with its own tweets accordingly, using traditional metrics to measure its success.

Also important to developing successful social media marketing is keeping track of Twitter mentions. Some businesses simply count these but it is far more useful to categorize them into neutral, negative and positive groups before doing so. To achieve a growing, positive online reputation, a business should aim to have more than three times as many positive mentions as negative ones. Large numbers of neutral tweets can imply that investment in marketing is being wasted; the aim should be to reduce this number without increasing the number of negative mentions.

For more advice on how to use Twitter and other social media platforms effectively, contact Xcellimark at 888-318-3950 ext 211 to speak with an internet marketing consultant today.

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