Consistency is still the key to business success on Twitter, but without a strategic, narrative you run the risk of losing your brand’s focus – and ultimately – your audience.
Here you are with thousands and thousands of followers, already engaged in your brand. You’ve worked hard to earn the following of these amazingly loyal 140-character text-based characters – and now they are dropping away.
Maybe you’ve changed your subjects. Or maybe you (or your team) simply ran out of meaningful, relevant Tweet topics. So you skipped a few tweets here and there (oops – you broke Twitter Consistency Rule #1: always Tweet) and more followers un-followed.
Okay, then you picked up the pace and started Tweeting on schedule, but now to fill the void you began Tweeting about topics that seemed pertinent at the time, but, in hindsight, were really random-thought generations (oops – you just broke Twitter Consistency Rule #2: always stay on point) – and more followers un-followed.
Why a narrative?
Because narrative gives you a constructive format for building a sequence of events – in Twitter’s case – 140-characters at a time. And a sequence of events gives your Tweets a sense of story, logic, order, even suspense – and best of all, it opens a door to your creativity.
By seeing your tweets as a narrative firmly linked to your brand qualities, you’ll begin to find all kinds of new (but related and relevant) tweet subjects to inspire your conversation with your followers. And because your narrative has a single focus, you’ll find (oddly enough) your creativity will expand.
Start by identifying the top 3 characteristics of your brand. Let’s say your brand is 100 years old and is noted for its innovative products, which are all environmentally friendly. (Yes, I know – I’ve created a near-saintly brand)
Now you can craft your brand’s storyline – which might be something like this: Our respected heritage inspires us to create innovative products that help protect our planet’s future.
With three different but related (linked by your brand) characteristics, what narratives will you shape and share in your Twitter conversations?
Here are 13 ideas for HERITAGE narratives that might help inspire you.
1. Your company’s founder and his “famous saying.” (Founders always have a key saying!)
2. What else was your founder famous for? Did she/he hang out with other famous people of the time?
3. Insights on your company’s Founder. His/Her passions, talents, drive and mission. Photographs add to the story.
4. Interesting and memorable facts about your company’s founding – where: the year, the city, the original building – be sure to include photographs.
5. Ask your followers if they are from the founding city – or if they’ve visited there. Ask what they like about the city.
6. Create a contest by sending pictures of places in your company’s founding city and see if followers can name identify them. Give a shout out and prize to the winner/s.
7. Tweet about how the place made the company – it’s cold, it’s hot, it’s on a river, etc. (place always has a role in a company’s beginning).
8. Interesting facts about your company’s birthplace – back in the day.
9. Other key events that were happening the year your company was founded. Ask your followers what events they can think of in that same year.
10. History brought to life: If you have a video telling the story of your company’s founding (like the one on Chris-Craft’s website), be sure to attach.
11. Create a campaign/contest on the most inspiring thing their grandparent told them (or the funniest, or the smartest, etc.).
12. Is heritage important to you? Begin a discussion about how heritage affects their buying decisions, the role it plays in their lives, the important people in their childhoods and/or historic places they’ve visited.
13. Create a Twitter contest/campaign centered on history – link it to some key fact of your company’s heritage
Get the idea? Then when you find your heritage narrative needing a break, introduce your next narrative on innovation and how heritage serves as a springboard for innovation…
Okay, you are getting the hang of it. And just in case you need some inspiration:
When computer colossal Dell started uniquely identifying people who came from their Twitter followers and then converted into sales, they found that Twitter generated $1,000,000 in sales in 6 months and $3,000,000 over the life of the campaign. Significant sales, even for a colossus.
Let me know what you think. And be sure to tell me how thinking and tweeting in the narrative structure works for you. Does it keep your tweet topics more consistent by giving you a storyline? Does it make Twitter more interesting to you and your followers, so your eagerness drives more consistency in when you Tweet? And are you gaining and retainer more avid followers? And are they retweeting?
To read more on this, check out Mediabistro.