Why You Need A Plan
Plans help you stay focused
It is easy to get distracted on Twitter. Some people become addicted and lose their main objective: to position themselves as leaders in their industry. A plan can help you stay on course.
Having a plan can help you get others on board
Imagine a movie director showing up on set without a screenplay. How hard would it be to instruct the camera men where to place the tripod, show the lighting crew where to light the scene, and the give the actors their lines without any written script? Not to mention remembering the information. Having a screenplay covers the basics and gives the filmmaker freedom to be creative with everything else.
A Twitter plan will enable you to show others where you are going. It will give them a framework that can be measured against.
Your boss likes plans
Your executives or boss will love seeing a Twitter plan. They probably don’t get Twitter and a simple plan can help make it tangible and approachable for them.
TIP: Knowing that your boss and executives may not be web savvy – be sure to steer clear from any jargon in your Twitter plan. Leave out terms like tweet, retweet, DM, etc. Instead use language that your audience knows. For example: a tweet could be called a message or post. Retweet could be called a forwarded message. And a DM could be called a private Twitter message.
What Should Your Plan Look Like
Simple is good
The best plans are simple. They are easy enough for a 12-year-old to read and they lay out a step-by-step process for other people to follow. Your boss, colleagues, and employees will appreciate simplicity.
Short is good
In the same vein of keeping things simple – keep them short as well. Short is better than long. People will actually read your plan if it is short.
You need goals
Decide if you want to brand yourself or your organization, or both. Will you set up multiple accounts? These are questions you need to answer as you craft your plan.
Measure your goals
My recommendation is that you have multiple elements to your plan. First, It is important that you have a clear agenda. You need to measure how many followers you attract, the interaction you get from your followers, and how many people click on the link to visit your website. There are tools that you can use to measure these like Hootsuite and Tweetbeep.
The second part of your plan should involve how you will promote your Twitter stream. Placing it on your website, business cards and advertising is a great way to get the word out. But what else can you do?
What content you provide and how you provide it will determine the success you have on Twitter. This should be a serious consideration in developing your plan.
Finally, you need to have a plan for who you will follow. Who will you not follow? Who will you block? For example, there are many pornographic websites that will follow your Twitter feed.
Our recommendation is that you block porn and spam accounts. When we discover a pornographic site has started following us, we block them immediately.
However, if you are an animal rights organization, and the NRA begins following your feed, you may want to allow them since you might draw in some people who are on the fence in regards to animal rights and welfare.
At the end of the day, you are the best person to judge your followers. It depends on your industry and business.
How To Plan The Plan
Selecting your Twitter niche – a few questions to ask
- Who is your niche target market?
- What type of content do you intend to provide them?
- How often will you publish this content?
- How will you provide value to your followers?
- What do you have to offer?
- Will you include photos, videos, and links?
- How will you stand out from others in your industry?
- How will you increase your already established credibility or develop new credibility?
- Will you be the one tweeting for your organization? Will there be more than one?
The 60/40 rule
As you work through these questions we recommend applying the 60/40 rule to your plan. Sixty percent of your time should be spent posting valuable and helpful links, tips, resources and advice. We call this “seeding the conversation.”
Then as people begin to interact with the content you’ve posted, begin follow up by discussing with them. Listen for discussion entry points and begin to engage your followers. You should then spend 40 percent of your time in conversation and discussion.
The real secret to saving time and making the 60/40 plan work for you
Lack of time is the biggest excuse people have for not using Twitter to market and promote their businesses. Here is a HUGE secret. All of your “60 percent” twitter posts can be planned and scheduled in advance. You can write your tweets in advance and then post them automatically. This will free up time to monitor and respond to your followers.
A Twitter plan is an important piece when using Twitter. It can set you up for success more than anything else you can do.
Joel Mark Witt is the Publisher of Folk Media and author of 21 Days To Twitter Leadership. He is a producer, author, and speaker who consults with businesses and nonprofits on how to use social media in marketing and communications. Get more from Joel on Twitter.
Get the book “21 Days To Twitter Leadership” The Step-By-Step Guide On How To Twitter, Get Twitter Followers And Position Yourself As The Leader In Your Industry In Less Than 10 Minutes Per Day.