Social Media Training – To Tweet, ReTweet Or Not Tweet

Twitter is a popular social media site. Even with some recent declines in traffic from a high of 29,000,000 in July of 2009 to just over 21,000,000 in March of 2010, this site still receives a massive amount of traffic. (Source )

A recent article entitled Twitter: Media or (Un)Social Network? by John Zappe shared some interesting social media statistics specific to the end users in Twitter. His article was based upon a presentation delivered to the 19th World Wide Web Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Some of the data revealed was common sense such as the majority of tweets are topical and Twitter following is not usually reciprocated at 22%. However after studying the 431.7 million Twitter Profiles along with the incredible 1.47 billion follower relationships, the researchers suggested Twitter does serve as a functional marketing vehicle to spread information.

Data on Twitter messages suggested there is better than a 50/50 chance of your tweet being retweeted within one hour. What that happens, your tweet reaches on average 1,000 users no matter the number of followers within the original message. Within a hour, a message can make five hops. The researchers now defined one hop as a retweet and two hops as a retweeted retweet.

Bottom line is that Twitter is a powerful fast distribution vehicle for getting your marketing message out. Your Tweet goes beyond your followers. However given that most messages (Tweets) are one way, you must truly add value if you want your message to be re-tweeted.

And herein lies the problem with so much of the social media training. These now transformed traditional marketers leave this critical component out because many in social media are clueless about what makes compelling marketing copy. Then add that with so many involved in marketing not being results driven along with the space constraints of 140 characters only exacerbates this problem.

Using the old AIDA model may help you overcome this problem along with doing the research about your target market and aligning your messages to your overall strategic marketing action plan. When you can Attract Attention, Build Interest, Develop Desire and include a call to Action, you just may hit a grand slam. Of course not all messages may have these 4 criteria especially in you are tweeting or retweeting quotations.

Finally, knowing when or what not to tweet is just as important. No one likes to be sold hence why people mute television commercials or TIVO past them. By using a 10 to 1 ratio (10 education based and informative treats with one self serving message) keeps you from being viewed as the typical product or sales based salespersons only interested in increasing your own coffers.

By taking the time to do your research, you can leverage this very fast marketing distribution media vehicle. In this way you can go beyond the popular quotes to actually educating your target audience with your tweets. Sales Training Coaching Tip: When you educate your potential target audience, this is called Education Based Marketing. These actions will help to solidify you as the guru, expert, the go to person and you will be the Red Jacket in a sea of gray “tweets.”