Recently, Leadtail and PureMatter collaborated on a Social Insights report titled “Behind the Brand: 30 Influencers that Drive Social Media for the Brands We Love.” During the first half of 2014, they studied 22,642 public tweets from 30 digital executives, analyzing the links shared, hashtags, engagement patterns and more.
Three Social Media Personas
Needless to say, these 30 digital execs are quite active on Twitter. 22,000+ tweets across 30 people averages to 700+ tweets (per person) over a six month period. So just what do these active users tweet about? Leadtail categorized each user into one of three social media personas:
- Conversationalists are most likely to mention others. They’re focused on engagement.
- Amplifiers are most likely to share links and retweets. They’re focused on content and topics.
- Brand champions are most likely to share multimedia. They’re focused on supporting the brands that they represent.
As a brand looking to drive business results with social media, which approach do you take? I have the perfect answer: marry these three personas! Here’s the approach, with an additional persona added in:
- Conversationalist (30%)
- Amplifier (40%)
- Brand champion (20%)
- Have some plain old fun (10%)
Let’s explore each one in a bit more detail.
Leadtail categorized the Conversationalists as those having a “mention to tweet” ratio greater than 0.95. This means that nearly every tweet mentions someone. That’s a high bar to achieve. But that’s OK, your goal is to converse one third of the time. Here are some simple rules to follow:
- Any time someone mentions you on Twitter, reply back to them (even if their tweet is negative in tone).
- When you discover interesting content, reply to the author (on Twitter) with a compliment.
- Listen for tweets in which users ask questions that are relevant to your business or brand. Reply with an answer.
- Any time you share a link to an article, include the author’s Twitter handle in the tweet.
- [Advanced Topic] Start up a regular Twitter chat to engage your audience around an industry topic (but don’t make it about your brand).
Note: if your Twitter handle receives 50 or more mentions per day (e.g. you’re a well-known consumer brand), then replying to each and every one may not be practical. However, it’s important to reply back to those that warrant one. And don’t be afraid to address negative feedback via social media. You’ll do more damage to your brand if you ignore negative comments and let them linger.
To be categorized as an amplifier, Leadtail looked at tweets in which users shared content. Amplifiers tend to focus around one or two core themes and share links to others’ content more than their own. To quote from the report:
“The ability to pick out unique POVs [points of view] and information from the sea of ‘me too’ content builds trust with your audience and makes you a sought-after influencer for others that wish to reach that audience.”
The key here is to find and curate content that’s relevant to your target audience, but is NOT about your product or your brand. You’ll build more trust being a useful resource than being a salesperson for your company’s products and services.
Brand Champion (20%)
According to the report, brand champions “are people whose tone and content are consistently in strong alignment with their brand.” So this persona is about sharing links and content (on Twitter) that directly support or mention your brand. Actions include:
- Retweeting tweets that mention your handle.
- Retweeting tweets that link to your content.
- Promoting the webinar that you’re hosting next week.
- Promoting your latest blog post.
- Sharing a limited time discount code for your product.
While it’s important to support your own brand on social media, don’t go overboard. Err on the side of sharing other people’s content over your own, as that can earn you more respect, trust and credibility.
Have Fun (10%)
Customers and prospects want to know that there’s some personality behind a brand’s social media presence. The last thing they want to see if an automaton (robot) who tweets one link after another.
So have fun. This could mean:
- Posting fun, themed images on holidays.
- Posting photos of your employees that will garner a laugh or two.
- Cracking jokes.
- Making funny videos.
- Using puns in your tweets.
Once you adopt this framework, pause after every 100 tweets. Categorize each of your tweets and determine whether you’re following the right mix across these personas.
Next, visit ads.twitter.com, authenticate with your Twitter credentials, then review Analytics -> Tweet activity (note: this is free to all Twitter users. You do NOT have to be a customer of Twitter Ads). You’ll see the number of impressions and engagements received for each of your tweets. This can help inform your strategy going forward: am I sharing the right content; am I sharing at the right time of day; what content is getting the most engagement, etc.
Applying your activity across these personas can help take your social media presence to the next level. And who knows? Before long, you may find the 30 digital executives (profiled in this report) engaging with your brand on Twitter.