The term microblogging is one that is often used in reference to social media posts. Any update you place on Facebook, Tweet you make on Twitter, post you share on Google+, or any other update on social media platforms can be called microblogging. However, not every post is equally effective. As PrintPlace points out, certain techniques ensure that you are making the most of your microblogging efforts.
Many businesses use microblogging as a way to reach their users via smartphones. If your posts are interesting, fun, and relevant enough, a user may even add you to their “follow” list and receive text messages every time you microblog. Again, as mentioned above, you have to play this game very carefully. You wouldn’t want someone to start following you only to completely unlike or unfollow you because you annoy them to the point of no return.
Be sure that your microblogging benefits, not harms, your company by following these tried and true methods below.
Post the Right Content
To reach mobile users, you have to post content that will interest them…and not just a little. Do some research and find out what your users like to see in their social media feeds. They may like humorous posts, short how-to tips and techniques, or links to longer article content. Images and videos are always a must when posting on Facebook, as they increase the value of your update exponentially. However, images and videos will only show up as links in text messages, so be sure to include an intriguing description so that users will be interested enough to visit your post in the application. You can also increase involvement by posting content that requires user engagement, such as an opinion survey, simply asking a question, or posting a contest. This encourages followers to really connect with your company, rather than to just be a bystander, observing your activity.
For example, posting links along with hashtags and a short description of the post to my Twitter feed works great for the majority of my microblogging efforts. For Google+, the articles that receive the most attention are web design/development how-to’s or new media marketing articles. Large images help graphic design inspiration articles gain more +1′s. It just took some trial and error to find out what content worked best on each of my social media sites.
Respond to Followers
Don’t make the mistake of simply posting content and then going silent on those who make a comment or response. If they reply to your post, keep the conversation going or just say thanks for the response. If someone retweets one of your tweets, send them a thank you message. One of the main purposes for microblogging is to create relationships and engage followers from multiple browsers. The more responsive you are with your followers, the more engaged they will become with you.
I use Tweepi.com to help me keep up with follows and remove non-followers from my list. My theory is to always follow back those who follow me and to un-follow those who don’t follow me back (with the exception of blogs or writers whose content I just can’t miss). This helps me to spend more time in responding to activity on my Twitter account. Make sure that all of your social media accounts send activity notifications either to your phone or your email. I have found this to be extremely useful for responding more quickly to comments.
Be Consistent, Not Overwhelming
Consistency is a key to keeping followers engaged. Create a posting schedule for yourself (or set one up on a social media tool, such as Hootsuite), and stick with it. Followers will get to where they look forward to your posts, that is, if you follow the first rule above and post content they enjoy. On the other hand, you do not want to overwhelm or, worse, annoy your readers by posting too often. More than likely you will need to create separate posting schedules for each different form of social media. For instance, most businesses can get away with tweeting one or more times a day. On Facebook, however, posting more than once or twice a week may put you in danger for unlikes. Do your research, though, and find out that happy medium between too many and too little posts for your business and followers, and research often simply requires a bit of trial and error.
I found out that my articles get a ton more exposure if I tweet each one more than once. Many of my followers are from a different time zone or at least on Twitter at different times of the day, so tweeting three or more times a day ensures my articles get seen. With my Facebook and Google+ pages, I only post about one article a week – sometimes less – but I share others articles and videos about once a week as well. This still limits the amount of updates but also improves my connections.
Microblogging is an excellent way to reach mobile users, but like any other form of marketing, you have to know how best to use this marketing media. Research your followers on each of your social media sites and then follow some helpful techniques for posts, and you are much more likely to find success with microblogging.