Good morning and welcome to the Monday morning marketing podcast, I'm Esther.
And I'm Melanie.
And today we're joined by Ben Moore of Ben Moore media to talk about Twitter strategies. Welcome, Ben.
Thank you very much for having me, Esther and Melanie.
And only if you speak with an English accent, it's not Ben Mur it's Ben Moore.
Yes, but. But Ben's from Dublin, so he doesn't mind what accent that's spoken in. But it might be it might be more helpful to find him online if you pronounce it differently. Anyway... Ben we're talking Twitter. And you were the first person that came to mind whenever we were thinking about Twitter strategies, because you have been using the platform since its inception, really, haven't you?
Well, not quite, but I've been you know,
you're too young for that
since his inception.
I have been using it since 2012 to represent businesses, though, so I have seen a lot of changes and I've had to adapt with those changes and to while representing my clients.
OK, so one of the questions that a lot of people would still ask is what sort of businesses should be on Twitter?
OK, well, from my point of view, I don't see any barriers for any business sectors to to not be on Twitter because there are so many different. Sorry, because there are so many people on Twitter and all will all types of people. You can always find your niche. So there's I don't see. Even to have a Twitter presence for any business, as long as it's maintained professionally, properly, with the right tone and the right approach, it's not going to hurt your business. You'll be able to make more connections. You'll be able to reach potential clients or build relationships and which would lead to referrals, etcetera.
Because you can even get I mean, over here in Ireland, we've got Garda Traffic. So it's open to literally anybody. We've we've seen courts on there. We've seen prisons, we've seen solicitors, we've seen GP's when they all get represented. But obviously they're all treated in a slightly different way. I would assume, Ben.
Exactly like, for instance, the brands brand, what you would just say from garda traffic to Mr Tayto everybody's there. And so anybody even like, you know, supermarkets like Lidl have flourished on Twitter as well when they've used particular instances to their advantage. But I just feel that having a Twitter account, again, as I said, as long as it's maintained in a professional manner, it is a very good way of presenting your brand online and feeding your content to an appropriate audience.
Now, I like the way you keep on referring to professional "maintain a professional air" and complaining to Airtricity or complaining to Dunnes Stores or to Ryanair as your brand is not preferable is it.
Exactly. It's a very good point or anything worth getting involved in. For instance, in political conversations as your brands, as I have seen over the years, many brands getting involved and with, with inappropriate conversations. I mean like what are they. I often question to myself what are they trying to achieve here. Unless the brand has a political affiliation then that's a different attitude. But like just a random brand giving out about comments a Minister has made or a report a department has put out that really should be constrained to your own personal account if you want to do it that way.
That's what I was going to say. Use a personal account that maybe has no links at all, even to your to your professional brand. So I yeah, I had a personal account and it got shut down for some reason and around the same time that everybody got kicked off Twitter because a certain former president, you know. Yeah, we won't go into that. But when he got kicked off Twitter, I also got kicked off of Twitter and they won't let me back in for some reason anyway.
that is strange.
It is very strange. And I have appealed it and I just can't get them just because.
Because I don't do your own Twitter account, you weren't in any way particularly reactionary in any way. You were following what I've just been speaking about. You were always appropriate and engaging and interesting and funny.
I wouldn't go as far as that,
Melanie is the funny one, funny looking, but yeah, the business brand one is still there, but it's my own personal one that has disappeared, so I can't complain anymore.
And also you in recent years, you haven't used it that much.
No, no I haven't.
Which is so anyway we're anyway we're digressing.
As if we would digress. No.
Never never never happens on this podcast. So Ben, you do a lot of tweeting for businesses on their behalf as their brand manager and you've got a good number of Twitter strategies that they can follow and other brands can also follow them as well. So you want to give us just a couple of tips there?
Sure. Well, just go back to what I was saying for a moment, which leads into this is that when I started being active on Twitter through my own account ten years ago, I noticed that brands were making huge mistakes, as we have just outlined. And I thought, you know what? I could do this better for our brands. They don't understand the you know, how to act online, how what one throwaway comment could actually damage your site, could damage your brand. So what I. I sat down and I set out an approach that is a similar approach for all brands, but once you put in the brand voice of the brand contents, it comes across as differently. So I actually have the same approach to all brands, but each brand has different values as different ways people. For instance, my clients would be a different personality as a different way of approaching how they run their business. So that all affects how I run their Twitter account because it has to represent who they are and how they approach business, life, etc.. So what I do is I would I have the plan is for instance five tweets a day, it's kind of like my basic package. Five tweets a day spread out through the day and they're original tweets, a mixture of two sales tweets two business news, sector news and then one sort of community entertainment tweets, so to speak, while staying within the tone of the business and then between those tweets, I target five new accounts that might be potential, appropriate potential clients for that business. And that's my basic strategy. So I kind of tweet roughly on the hour, just for my own to make it easier for me to keep track of when I have to jump in and manage the interactions and get involved, like, for instance, if I'm targeting if my client is a business to business and he has a business to business
Gone profile, a product product. If my client has a business to business product, I would then say that Irish based, I would then go to business news accounts, business resource accounts and look at their followers and target basically their followers are all potential clients of this business to business product account. So it's about light interaction. That's that's what I do. Light interaction is congratulating them if they're celebrating something in a tweet, a new business client, a new win, asking questions about interesting parts of their, you know, basically interesting things that they've talked about their own product, basically, like as if you're in a networking that you would face to face to face networking, how you have a normal conversation with a normal person. It's the same thing on Twitter.
Yeah. And with those conversations, then you could lead those into Twitter chats. So just explain to our audience what a Twitter chat is.
Sure, sure. Well, there are a few Twitter chats around still these days, and it's a collection of personal and business Twitter users who gather on a prespecified hour in the week to talk about a particular topic. And they do this by all using and monitoring a predefined hashtag, word or phrase. And obviously, the topic of Twitter chats are as varied as there are interests that people have, but obviously for our purpose, general business networking chats are the ones that would be of interest to potentially to to your listeners. And, for instance, there is Louth Chat on Tuesday night in Ireland, there's BelfastHour on a Thursday night in Northern Ireland and under this USABizparty on a Tuesday, Tuesday afternoon or early evening our time obviously and then there are some specific ones. I don't know if EdChatie is still going on. It was it's a very I mean, that's just an example of a specific one. And there are many, many more. And the best way really to engage with these is to go in with an open mind. I mean, because I have found that people who are against the idea of us, if they approve, if they approach us with that idea, they're going to have a neutral or negative experience. So it's basically, yeah go ahead.
So when a business is starting to adopt different social media platforms, where do you find the importance of a Twitter account? And taking part in Twitter chats? Important is important, as important to a startup as it is to an established business, or is it something they need to do right from the get go?
Well, I find that Twitter chats are good if you drop in kind of not quite sporadically, but maybe drop in once a month. OK, because there is a large turnover, there's a few core people who are who are each Twitter chats sort of regulars. And then there's a turnover. So that turnover means that if you drop in like two weeks in a row, you're roughly going to get maybe the same sort of people in there. But if you drop in once a once a month, they're more effective. You hit a more diverse amount of people taking part.
Hmm. Good tip. And our Twitter chats still relevant today?
Now, there's a good question. And I feel they are. I feel they are. If they are. If they're run properly. So that's the point, for instance, like Melanie, you you said EdChatie is still going and that has been going for for many years. And it is a you know, again, it's a specific topic. But the business networking, once I find. If if they're not tended properly, they don't really gain traction or they can be very repetitive.
Yeah, so if a business was wanting to start a Twitter chat, it would be, you know, just hard graft at the start to get people interested and to get people involved. And then after, what, maybe a few years it would start sort of running itself. Would that be about right?
OK, if it's set up properly from the get go, you can you can probably have it self-sustaining within a year. OK, OK. So when I started representing my clients on Twitter, as I said in 2012, the growth of general business networking chat was actually more organic and easier than it is now. People were more open to engaging with them, and all that needed to be done was to create a hashtag and the account, to make a bit of noise and you will attract a following. And because people were more open to Twitter. But these days it is different because people have become a little more wary of engaging with strangers on Twitter, because the levels of abuse that many users have experienced.
I wonder why that's come up as conversation... Now before we go down that little rabbit hole. Does hashtags and Twitter chats work better with influencers or without influencers?
Now, that was exactly my next point. In light of in light of that incident, here are a couple of shortcuts that I would suggest if you wanted to kick start a Twitter chat. So first, work off the back of a very successful event or topic that has been in the news and where there's an appetite for continuing that conversation. So that would be that would be a bit of a scramble because you'd have to wait for something
So hop on a hashtag basically.
Or create a hashtag for a hashtag if you wish to create one about about a burning topic that people are talking about a little tricky. Second one is launch a Twitter chat spearheaded by an appropriate influencer with an active following which can help things. Thirdly, coordinate with a number of experts or as many experts that you can in the field of the topic and alert them to the launch of an upcoming Twitter chat about their sector.
Ah right, that's a good one as well.
So there's there's three ways to kick start or at least kind of your your preplanning. My next suggestion kind of clashes with the points, the last point I made about which is which is it runs maybe parallel to it. If you can get a business to actually host the chat and pay you to run it for you. Sorry, pay you to run it for them, then you will you get a bit of breathing room for. And it will give you the time that you need to build up and remove week to week pressure of trying to get people actually into the chat and keep the chat running. Obviously, there is a lot of work to be done on the day of the twitter chat. Yeah, OK. To obviously tell people it's on tell people what you're talking about. And so. I have obviously run one myself for a number of years.
Are you happy to tell us which one it is?
No, I think I think we will leave that. Oh, OK.
Leave leave our listeners in suspenders
I haven't talked to my client about this, so.
Well, if our listeners want to try to guess that, that would be.
Yes send in to us which one you think
answers on a postcard.
Yeah. Maybe a tweet would be better but yeah.
Good point. OK, so what I do I'll just run through what I do on the day of a Twitter chat is schedule all the tweets during the day telling people that there are the chat is on this evening. Tell them for instance. Tell them who the featured business is that was with general business networking, Twitter chats, it's good to have a featured business each time. And actually, if you can, it's not a prerequisite, but if you can start with offering, it would be great to start with from the very first one with offering a pretty decent prize. OK, because if you start with that, then your audience expects it and then featured businesses will be more likely to offers.
So they're only in it for the prize.
They're not only in it for the prize is a great anchor and it's a great way of maintaining a long term Twitter chat.
And I have to say on that point, I have won a prize on a Twitter chat. It was a nice it was a nice night, but no, it wasn't. It was a nice night away in a local hotel. And it happened to be that I got it just before my anniversary. So it was free anniversary gift.
Your stars aligned, very good.
They did. They did.
OK, so basically I scheduled all the tweets leading into the hour and then on the hour or throughout the hour, I schedule tweets every six minutes, if not more, maybe throw in a couple of extra ones.
So I'm taking the pressure off tweeting about what we're talking about so that I have more time to actually engage with the. Yeah, with with with the people who are taking part.
And the point that you keep coming back to - engage be relevant.
It's the magic of Twitter, let's be honest. Yeah. Yeah.
The only downside to Twitter, I find and this is when I'm explaining it to other social media, you know, people who are there for social media classes or lessons, whatever it is, it's a very hungry beast. You know, you've got put in a lot of time and effort into Twitter to make it effective.
Well, that's true. But the more time you put in, the more you're going to get out of it. That's just that is the bottom line. Well, that's very true, too.
I mean, Ben, we could go on and we could talk for another hour, that that means hour in normal English. We could talk forever about Twitter and the Twitter chats and stuff. Just sum up, why should people be on Twitter?
OK, because your people should be on Twitter, because that's where many of your customers are.
That's a really good point.
Right? So if you're not on Twitter, get on Twitter. If you need to get on Twitter, contact Ben. You will find him on Twitter. We'll put his links into the into the comments below. And Ben, it's been great having you. Thank you so much for agreeing to be on our podcast.
I've really enjoyed this. And I must say congratulations on the Monday morning marketing podcast. I've listened to every episode. I always look forward to the next one, except maybe this.
Oh, we we we don't even know how to finish after that. No, you have to listen to this one as well.
But of course.
Any last words, Melanie?
Last words no. My last words are, you know, you've introduced a concept and strategies that I hope people will adopt on a regular basis from here on. And if you do, make sure you tag us and make sure you tag Ben and you know, we're always here to help.
Yeah, exactly. Thanks very much again for joining us. And we will be back next week for more Monday morning marketing. Bye bye.