February 5, 2015

The Best Tool To Manage (And Grow) Your Twitter Audience Without Wasting Time

When it comes to staying up to date with industry dialogue and connecting with both your influencers and fans, there is no better platform than Twitter. You can follow as many people as you like and Tweet as often as you like. Unfortunately, some people seem to always be chatting. As a result, there is non-stop dialogue happening on Twitter— the good, the bad, and the ugly.

It is so easy to get lost in all the noise. If you don’t know how to organize and manage your Twitter account, the people that you actually want to have conversations with will get lost in the chatter.

So how do you effectively manage and grow your Twitter audience? I swear by Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a social media platform that helps you manage social media by allowing you to publish and schedule messages, monitor mentions and conversations about your brand, and track analytics— all from one organized dashboard.

But to get the most out of Twitter and Hootsuite, these 10 tips will make sure your company stays organized and engaging on Twitter so that you can get your message heard.

  1. Organize Your Twitter Dialogue – Organize your homefeed, sent Tweets, mentions, and scheduled Tweets into separate columns that can all be accessed on one dashboard. This will allow you to easily access your different conversations and engage with your community daily.
  2. Build Lists of Contacts – I love creating lists to organize not just our dialogue but our contacts. With Twitter, you can follow as many people as you like, which is a social media blessing… but also a curse. Lists fix this. Examples of some of the Twitter lists we have:
    1. Clients: So we can stay up to date with what our clients are discussing on Twitter – and chime in where appropriate
    2. Industry Influencers: People/organizations who we admire in the social media and the social good landscapes
    3. PR Contacts and Outlets: These are outlets where we someday want to be featured
  3. Build Lists of Keywords and Hashtags – You can even create search columns on your dashboard of your favorite industry-specific hashtags and keywords. This lets you track and monitor the dialogue centered around these relevant topics. This is a great way to connect with others and stay up to date on industry news and trends. Creating lists for Twitter chats is also very easy to do within Hootsuite – and with a particular Twitter chat being conducted in one column on your dashboard, it is simple to participate and see all of the dialogue happening in one window.
  4. Scheduling – Schedule out your Twitter posts so you don’t have to be at the computer 24/7 sending out Tweets. A caution on automating everything, though: you want to frequently be having real conversations with people to keep things personal (and to stay on top of global and industry news). However, when you can’t be at your computer, scheduling is an excellent way to save you time. Also, If you don’t know the best time to schedule out your posts, use the AutoSchedule tool in Hootsuite, which uses fancypants algorithms to figure out when you will get the most reach with your audience.
  5. Bulk Scheduling – This is a feature within Hootsuite that I recently started using and love it! While you can schedule out Tweets one at a time within Hootsuite, you also can use their Bulk Scheduling capabilities, which allows you to develop a massive amount of Tweets in a .csv file on your desktop and then upload the file into Hootsuite scheduling. With Bulk Scheduling, you can schedule out an entire week’s worth of Tweets (or even an entire month’s worth if you wanted to). Bulk scheduling is a great tool if you are traveling or going on vacation and will be away from your Twitter account for days at a time.
  6. Multiple platform postings – I love Hootsuite because you can post to multiple social media profiles at once. While you typically want to customize your message for the different social media platforms, it sometimes helps to be in one application and post to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.
  7. Direct Messaging – DM is “direct messaging” on Twitter, which keeps a conversation confidential between you and a person you are trying to connect with. Direct messaging is a great way to send personal messages and share contact info (such as emails) without having the whole Twitterverse know! I always keep a list/column in our dashboard of our DM’s, so we can easily access our non-public conversations.
  8. Link Shortener –  Ever see an ow.ly link? ow.ly is Hootsuite’s built-in URL shortener that you can access via your dashboard. This link shortener not only makes your urls within your Tweets look clean and compressed (which helps save room when you only have 140 characters to work with), but it allows you to upload images, track real-time clicks, and you have the ability to post it to your various social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+. You can also use the shortened URL in emails or on your website and use Hootsuite’s URL click stats to track how many clicks those links receive.
  9. Analytics – Using Hootsuite Analytics, you can follow up on your posts to check the engagement to see which posts are most interesting to your followers. You can also create Analytics Reports which tracks your most popular ow.ly links, detailed stats on Follower Growth, Twitter Mentions, and Retweets.
  10. Assignments to Team Members – For HootSuite Pro and Enterprise clients (upgraded versions), you can even assign Tweets and Facebook messages to team members within your Organization. This is a great feature if you have multiple people managing your organization’s social media strategy, or if you’re out of the office and busy. With assignments, you can select which Tweets need to be followed up and Hootsuite will email the delegated person on your team to handle the rest!

So, do I have you convinced yet that Hootsuite is the bee’s knees when it comes to managing your organization’s Twitter strategy? We hope you check it out and find it to be a valuable tool as you grow your social media presence in 2015!

What tools do you use to help manage your organization’s social media and online marketing presence? We’re always looking to learn, so please share below in the comments.

Like what you're reading?
Sign up to receive the latest articles and updates on nonprofit tech from NTEN and its community of experts.