This post seeks to summarize what has already been discussed in this series, and to help you put it all into an actionable, executable plan that will bring more business benefits by using Twitter. The post has been summarized into three steps.
Create a specific action plan
A sound plan is created as you answer the following questions: How much time do I have to spend on Twitter? What are the business outcomes I want to achieve from Twitter? Once you know your time constraints and your purpose, set up the plan by asking the next set of questions: Who should I follow to accomplish my outcomes? Who do I need in my community to accomplish my outcomes? What do I need to Tweet about in order to be helpful to my audience? What types of questions am I able to answer? What are the problems I can help solve? Once you have this outlined, you can set to work using the tools and methods previously outlined in this series.
Summarize all data metrics into actionable insights
Although many people can come up with a good action plan, many people falter in the analysis aspect that goes along with that plan. There are two dangers: not doing any analysis, and doing too much analysis.
Not doing any analysis (flying blind)
Some people will tell you that looking at the numbers and focusing on the analytics is a waste of time, and that it would be better to put your effort into actually running your business and being present more often on Twitter. This is true to an extent, but if you never look at the data you are missing valuable, actionable insights that help you use Twitter to connect with your audience.
Doing too much analysis (analysis paralysis)
On the other end of the spectrum, some focus so much on the numbers and ratios that they forget that we are dealing with human beings when we talk about Twitter. The most important part of Twitter is the human relationships that are developed that allow business to flourish. Focusing solely on getting your Twitter metrics to raise means you are missing the point.
The Happy Medium
The right amount of analysis is the amount that gives you valuable, actionable, human insights in a minimal amount of time. That way you can spend your time implementing the insights that you find. In order to accomplish this, choose two are three metrics that will give you the most valuable insight, and continually track these two or three. Here are a few suggestions:
Retweet Ratio: This tells you how valuable your tweets are to your community – the higher the ratio, the more helpful you are being. The more valuable you are to your Twitter community, the more business you will receive from them. Take it a step further and look specifically at what is being retweeted so you get an idea of how your community operates, and what they find useful. (This can be found under the ‘content’ tab in Klout)
Link Clicks: Same idea as the suggestion above; if you share a lot of links with your community, look to see which links people are clicking and therefore which ones catch their attention and are helpful to them. This can also be found under the content tab in Klout.
Unique @ Senders: This is a better metric to track than just ‘followers’. This metric looks at those followers that find your tweets engaging enough that they will tweet to you directly or mention you in their tweets. This number shows you how many people truly find your Twitter presence useful, and with whom you can form valuable relationships. This is also found in Klout. Hopefully you get the idea – track metrics that reflect real human engagement, help you understand how your community operates and what they find useful, and that help you tailor your tweets for your community.
Execute your plan
In order to execute your plan for using Twitter strategically, it’s the simple things that matter. Write down the answers to the questions above when you create your plan. Write down how much time per day you can use Twitter actively and stick to it. Track your metrics, and write down any changes you are making to your strategy according to the insights you get from the metrics. The main point - write down what you will do, how long you have to do it, what you change as you go, and what works and what doesn’t. Keep this document updated as you use Twitter, refer to it, and follow it. What are your thoughts on a successful Twitter action plan?