With 317 million monthly active users on Twitter, it’s important to understand what attracts an audience and consider how to effectively engage your followers. Twitter offers every brand a valuable platform to regularly interact with their target audience, but how you choose to interact can have a long-lasting impact on brand reputation.

An average Twitter user will typically follow 3-5 brands, so how can you take advantage of Twitter and ensure your posts are worth following without compromising your brand value? The key is quality content.

Followers stay loyal and engaged when they like what they see, so to help your brand stay relevant, keep these things in mind while interacting with your followers:

 

  1. Establish Your Voice

 

One of the main reasons people follow their favorite brands on Twitter is because they resonate with the overall message. Followers grow to love the message that a brand is portraying, and they become familiar with it. This is called a brand’s voice and it’s going to flow across all channels, collateral, copy, and any other materials your company might produce so it must be consistent.  

An additional reason followers engage with their beloved brand is because they love their brand’s personality, also known as tone. Not only does it encompasses your brand’s entire personality, but it develops the entire vocabulary that your audience is going to become familiar with. Buffer suggests that you think of your brand as a person or character. You aren’t going to use the same tone with an angry customer as you would a happy customer, however, your overall messaging should remain the same.  

So in short, tone can change because it’s necessary to adjust this depending on the situation.This is how you are going to formulate your posts and communicate with your audience depending on the circumstance.  

An excellent example of voice supporting tone would be Wal-Mart. Their brand promise to their followers is that they will save money and live better. They keep a relatable voice while adjusting their tone depending on their interaction.

Their tweets relate to people who are looking for a great deal, while also sticking to their promise. Their voice is consistent with keeping the promise save money and live better. Their tone supports this by adding little flavors to each post by personalizing it.  Little things like this contribute to the growth that has gained Wal-Mart almost 900,000 Twitter followers.

Think about: What do I want my audience to expect from my brand on Twitter? What do I want to promise my followers?  For example, if you want your brand to be witty and sarcastic, what kind of content could I come up with that my followers could not only relate but also look forward to?

Action: Sit down with your team, and come up with a  firm sentence for what your brand’s social media voice needs to be. Write down this sentence and stick it somewhere that you can see it. Refer to it before every post.

 

  1. Keep Content Interactive

Now that you’ve established your brand’s social voice, it’s critical that you put this voice to work delivering content that’s not only relevant but also interactive.

Your content must generate a conversation if you want your followers to engage with your brand. One way to do this is by using the Twitter poll feature to get feedback from your followers.

Krispy Kreme did a great job of running a successful poll for their Doughnut Bowl promotion.

 

 

Not only does this make your brand exciting to interact with, but it will end up providing your team with some very valuable information. It’s a win-win situation.

Think About: What kind of content would get your followers talking? Posting educational articles is a great way to benefit all of your followers, but after a while, they are going to want to see something different. Think about switching up your content with current events, images, quotes, and inside look at what your company has been up to.

Action: Post company pictures, tweet about conferences your team is attending, post a meaningful quote related to your business. These are just a few of many great ways to spark a conversation.

 

  1. Respond Consistently

Part of establishing your company’s voice is remaining consistent with that voice in your responses. Posting content that aligns with your company’s mission statement, goals, and values often throughout your posts and responses will communicate a consistent Twitter presence. Not only does this make you stand out from other brands, but it will also set an expectation for your followers.

Consistency is also important in how you respond to positive and negative comments. No matter what someone might say about your brand, your voice must remain the same. Positive comments are great for exposure and engagement. However, if you are only responding to positive comments, it’s going to make your brand look weak. Don’t withdraw from negative comments.

Take this example from Applebee’s:

Even though Applebee’s considers themselves a laid back and casual brand, they adjusted their tone to fit the situation, while still keeping the same voice. Consistency was displayed in their response.

Not only did Applebee’s apologize, but they explained to the disappointed follower what they were going to do to make it better. This is the type of strategy all brands should learn from. Consistently going far beyond just engaging with your followers, but it’s showing that you are going to do more than just apologize.

Here is another example from Seamless:

Seamless quote tweeted the complaint to their followers—a very brave move. However, it was a smart move to show their followers that they are going above-and-beyond to find the upset customer’s order.

It’s important to note that your apology will be seen by everyone, not just the person you are responding to. Often a bad experience results in that customer becoming a great brand advocate.

Think about: Before you respond, consider how it is going to portray the entire brand. Ask yourself: Am I adjusting my tone or my voice? Remember, it’s okay to adjust the tone, not the voice.

Action: Come up with different scenarios, both good and bad, and draft responses accordingly. Refer to this list when certain situations come up. This way you can ensure that your response will be consistent and align with your voice.

  1. Know When To Respond

Timing is everything in the social media world, but on Twitter, it’s even more important because of the never-ending thread platform they have. If you respond too late or at the wrong time, it will get lost in the noise. However, as your follower base grows, it’s going to be undeniably tricky to respond all the time. So knowing when to respond is crucial.

Respond when someone thanks you—especially if that follower has a large audience base. It shows your audience that people appreciate your brand enough to tweet about it.

Take this example from Southwest Airlines.

Southwest went well above a simple “you’re welcome” response. They showed their 2.7 million followers that they go out of their way to ensure that everyone knows how much they value their customers.

Another great way to respond to your followers is when they tweet about something that you are an expert in. Not only are you showing that you value them as a follower, but you are establishing your role as the expert in a fun and engaging way.

Take a look at this example from Nike:

 

The follower clearly used an identifying hashtag, #justdoit and brought up a topic that Nike is an obvious expert in. Nike responded with witty encouragement.

Think about: How can you show your followers that you value them?

Action: Find a way that you can show your followers that you are willing to go the extra mile.

Conclusion

Every time you hit that post button, you’re representing an entire brand. So ask yourself if this post matches your brand’s goals, mission statement, and values.

The most important thing is passion. If you aren’t genuinely passionate about your brand, your followers are going to see right through it. So be sure to show authenticity and originality in every post.