What do people want when they follow a Twitter account?
For me, how to tweet can be broken down to the three i’s – Information, Interaction, Irreverence.
Specifically, information that is directly beneficial to them. No-one wants to read dry corporate tweets linking to press releases, it may be interesting to owners or employees (probably not…) but save it for the intranet. People want offers, sales, useful details on new products, competitions and free stuff.
Steam is an online game platform and their tweets are almost entirely links to deals and new releases. It does mean the account falls down on the next two i’s, but they know exactly what information their followers want and gives it to them straight without clogging up their timelines.
Particularly common is companies tweeting about news related to their sector, but not specifically about the company. Particularly betting firms tweeting football news or like Capital FM who have a news section on their site, meaning the majority of their tweets are about pop and celebrity news, mixed with promotion for DJs and shows.
People love Retweets, they love being favourited and they love being sought out when they tweet a customer service issue or problem on Twitter (assuming you actually provide useful help, I once tweeted about the vodafone online store being down and was directed to their help forum… which wasn’t gonna help me browse handsets much). It won’t be long before people expect companies to track them down when they tweet, rather than it being a nice surprise, but for now it’s a good way of showing followers you’re worth bothering with.
Beyond practical customer service stuff, just getting conversations going with customers, commenting on their use of your products, giving tips or compliments is great too. Like this Majestic Wine tweet:
A dangerous one, because there’s nothing worse than cringeworthy humour, (although if you look at the top tweets it’s almost always awful ‘banter’ from football parody accounts called Mario BaLOLtelli or Andre ViLOL Boas or some other nonsense…)
But if it does work people love to RT a funny tweet and it can spread like wildfire, especially if it’s topical or is part of live-tweeting of an event, usually sport or a TV show or something else big like a royal wedding. Betfair Poker do a lot of in-game tweeting, such as this one:
A nice equaliser from Walcott, who wasn't even born when these two teams first met.—
Betfair Poker (@Betfairpoker) August 14, 2013
This Tesco Mobile tweet was shared everywhere and ended up with the girl in question getting a new Samsung phone. It’s also risky in this case as you’re basically insulting a customer , but if it’s taken well, people will enjoy it.
Ideally you would combine all three, but if you offer any of the above you’re giving people a reason to hit the follow button and to at least listen to what you have to say.
(three I monster picture from Zazzle.co.uk.)