The Twitter account for Book Creator (@BookCreatorApp) is nearing the magical 10,000 follower mark – the point where you have so many followers they add a K to the end!
When I started managing the account back in May 2013, we had a little over 2,000 followers. Now, I’m not claiming that what we’ve seen is particularly impressive growth in that time – it’s all exponential and the more followers you have, the more you seem to accumulate.
I noticed when we got to about 7,000 followers that we were starting to add 500 per month on average. And of course that’s all tied in to the increasing numbers of people using the app.
But, I thought it would be useful to share how I manage the Twitter account on a day-to-day basis, the tools I use and the tricks I’ve learnt.
What’s the objective?
There’s a number of reasons why Book Creator needs a presence on Twitter:
- It’s where our customers are (there’s a huge teacher community on Twitter).
- They contact us for app support via Twitter.
- We share tips, case studies and app updates via Twitter (i.e. we use it to broadcast – as well as our own stuff, we will often share more generic #EdTech, #iPadEd or #ebooks stories from other sources to position ourselves as a source of information in those fields).
- We generate new leads by finding teachers who are interested in apps and tablets in the classroom.
Keeping track of the conversations
My first task of a morning is to pull up the Twitter app (normally on my iPhone, on the bus, on my way to work) and look through all the notifications we have (where people have referenced @BookCreatorApp in a tweet or interacted with a tweet that references us).
A lot of activity happens during the evening and overnight for us, as a lot of our customers are based in America. So this gives me a chance to scan through and answer any questions, favourite any tweets that praise Book Creator or detail how it’s being used, and follow any new people who aren’t already following us (in the hope they will follow back).
My tip is to always try and answer support queries via Twitter, if that’s the medium they used to address you. We have a support forum and ticket system via our website, but I think it’s important to honour people’s method for contacting you – even if the character limit can make it tricky via Twitter.
Very rarely do I resort to asking people to submit a support ticket instead – although I will often link people to our knowledge base of support articles.
Monitoring Twitter during the day
There are two tools I use that are invaluable for this. The first tab I open in my browser is always HootSuite.
HootSuite is a social media monitoring tool that allows you to track multiple channels, although I only really use it for Twitter.
I check in regularly to monitor activity and also to look for inspiration for retweets from certain lists I have created of influencers.
HootSuite gives me a quick way to favourite tweets that say positive things about Book Creator. I’ve added a Twitter widget to the sidebar of Book Creator’s blog to provide a constant feed of good references about the app.
Websites often make the mistake of adding their latest tweets to the Twitter widget. I always think it’s better to let the customer do the talking!
Finding new leads via Twitter
To go a step further in monitoring Twitter (and other social media activity) I use a web app called Mention. What’s great about it is you can set it up to monitor terms like ‘book creator’ or ‘bookcreator’ and it will search all of social media for mentions of those terms.
This is great for finding new leads – I can dip in and out of Mention and find people talking about Book Creator who weren’t highlighted to me through Twitter or HootSuite because they hadn’t used the @BookCreatorApp reference in their tweet.
When I click on a ‘mention’ it tells me if they already follow me on Twitter, or if I follow them, which is great for identifying people who we haven’t already connected with. (To be honest, it can feel a bit ‘stalker-ish’ sometimes, eavesdropping on people’s conversations!).
Using Twitter to broadcast
We have built up a wealth of great case studies on our blog (for teachers, by teachers), and we also want to let people know about app updates and other news. So it’s important to use Twitter as a broadcasting tool too.
I like to try and strike a balance and not make it all about us by tweeting out links to news stories, other apps, tips etc. that we think our audience would be interested in. It’s probably about an 80/20 split.
A while ago, I used Followerwonk to work out when Book Creator’s Twitter followers are most active. As most of our followers are from the US, this tends to be between 8pm and 9pm GMT, which is not great as I’m not working at that time. So scheduling tweets is a priority.
There’s lots of tools available for scheduling tweets – the two I use most are Buffer and CoSchedule. Tip: I’ve set the timezones for these apps and our WordPress blog to be CMT (GMT -6 hours), this makes it easier to schedule tweets without having to do timezone calculations in your head all the time.
I love Buffer because of the Chrome extension that allows me to schedule tweets right from Twitter, or from any web page. I also love the fact that I can ‘re-Buffer’ tweets. So I’ll go through the Buffer analytics, pick out the best performing tweets and schedule them to go out over the weekend when we get the most interactivity.
CoSchedule is a great app because it integrates with WordPress. Whenever I publish a blog post I can use CoSchedule from within WordPress to line up 3-4 tweets to go out over the course of the following days/weeks/months. It also has some very satisfying analytics.
Using Twitter personally
This post focuses on how I use Twitter for Book Creator. I also have my own account @KoinoniaWeb which I’ve pretty much neglected! The awkward thing is that I’m always logged into the @BookCreatorApp account on my web browser. I guess I should keep an Incognito window open during the day and login to Twitter with my own account that way.
With my one day of freelancing per week, I’m trying to apply some of the principles above and build a ‘brand’ for myself, and share blog posts like this to try and gain followers and a reputation. I think I should also focus on re-sharing popular content that I know will appeal to people in my field.
One of the cool ways I do like to use Twitter personally is to contact organisations (much in the same way people do to Book Creator). I like the fact that you can interact with companies directly, and will often get a response.
— Alamo Rent A Car (@alamocares) September 29, 2014
Have you got anything to add?
Do you have any Twitter tips you’d like to share, or any questions about what I’ve said? Post below.