Do you use Twitter to promote your community? If not, you could be missing out on a powerful, interactive way of engaging with members and bolstering your site.
Chances are many – if not most – of your organization’s committed Twitter followers are already members of your community. It’s a great (and probably under-appreciated) benefit - now you have a method beyond email to keep your members up to date. If your community is open, this is an opportunity to drive them to your community’s information gold mine.
Get started with these five tips to better promote and engage with members on Twitter:
Why not bring Twitter to the community? Start a thread and prompt members to share their Twitter handles. This has two benefits – now you can follow them and now they can follow each other. This increases engagement beyond the walls of your community and allows everyone to organically cross-promote and engage with each other across multiple platforms.
Now that you’ve got your members’ Twitter handles, you should use them. Once a week, give a shoutout on Twitter to a member who started a good conversation or whose post received the most replies. Keep a close eye on community activity, and recognize people who make a positive impact. Even if your community is private, add a truncated URL (we’re fans of Bit.ly) connecting to the thread referenced – this will bring current members to the community and show nonmembers what they’re missing.
Promote your members’ blog posts, even if they’re not published on your community. Again, this benefits both the member (praising and promoting their work) and the community, as a reliable resource for crowd-sourced content. If you do have a blog for your organization’s website, bring people to the site by sharing those links as well.
If your community has been around long enough, there is most likely a treasure trove of long-lost but useful threads. Now is your chance to resurrect them. Each Thursday, pick out a forgotten gem and highlight it on Twitter with #TBT or #ThowbackThursday. Not only is it fun and quirky, but it will breathe new life into those older threads.
One of the great (or annoying) parts about Twitter is that you can tweet a lot before it becomes burdensome or starts working against you. So don’t be afraid to play around with some automation rules to bolster your Twitter feed. One easy automation is creating a rule that sends out an alert tweet to members every time a new discussion is started. The National Business Officers Association sends these alert tweets regularly. Another idea is sending tweets that highlight a post with the most replies each week. This method is automatic and a good alternative for members to stay current on activity.
As with most social media endeavors, using Twitter to promote your community will take some trial and error. Similar to communities, your audience is unique and will respond better to different tactics. Try a few of the tweeting tips above, and keep track of the results with Twitter Analytics or your community’s analytics.
Let us know how it went! Which tactics were successful for engaging your community on Twitter?