ComPRehension

Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
September 14, 2012

Want to Tweet Tweets that Followers Like to Receive? Follow The 70-20-10 Rule.


Join Ann Wylie in San Francisco on Sunday, Oct. 14, 8 a.m.–noon, for her Pre-Conference Seminar, “Writing for Social Media,” and learn how to get retweeted, with five steps for expanding your influence and reach on Twitter.
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Want to tweet tweets that followers like to receive? Educational consultant Angela Maiers recommends that you use the 70-20-10 rule:

1. Share 70 percent of the time: 
Link to blog postings, articles, opinions and tools. That’s what Guy Kawasaki does. Kawasaki makes himself a go-to guy with interesting, valuable tweets like these:

Tweets like these have earned Kawasaki a spot on Hubspot’s Twitter Elite—tweeters who have the highest power and reach in the Twitter community.

2. Engage 20 percent.
Connect and converse. Ask questions, answer them, respond to people who mention you and generally help out. You’ll find this approach on Southwest Airlines’  Twitter feed.

Sample tweets:

  • “Hey everyone, if you have a good winglet pic or airplane window photos ‪@cnnireport wants them! Info here: http://on.cnn.com/PlFJzx
  • @BlessNDress I’m sorry to hear you are having trouble. Please follow & DM your info. & additional feedback. I’ll see if we can help.”
  • “Alright, NYC locals…tourist attractions are great, but what are your favorite hidden gems? What would you do in one day in New York City?”

This engaging style landed Southwest’s Twitter feed on Time magazine’s list of the “140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011.”

So listen and respond. Your mother probably gave you the same advice: Instead of talking about yourself all the time, give others the floor.

Careful: Highly followed users tend to be less conversational than those with few followers, according to 2011 research by Dan Zarrella, but then, that’s why you limit conversing to just 20 percent of your Twitter activity.

3. Chirp 10 percent.
In one in 10 tweets, Maiers suggests, go ahead and chit-chat about yourself. Because the bulk of his tweets inform instead of meforming, Zappos CEO Tony Hsei can get away with the occasional chirp like this:

  • “Had a great talk w/ Ashton Kutcher & Demi Moore at SXSW about ‘Delivering Happiness’ and life: http://bit.ly/ewefmS
  • “About to livestream Zappos Q4 all hands employee meeting! It all starts at noon Pacific: http://ustream.tv/zapposinsights
  • “Swam in Silverton mermaid aquarium on my birthday! Wore costume b/c they don’t allow birthday suits. http://twitpic.com/3fpe9r

Hsei is another honoree on Time magazine’s list of the “140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011.”

But beware: A little chirping goes a long way. Too much can veer into Corporate Narcissism.

Learn more

Attending the PRSA 2012 International Conference in San Francisco in October? Join me there for a half-day pre-conference session on writing for social media.

Ann Wylie, president, Wylie Communications, works with communicators who want to reach more readers and with organizations that want to get the word out. She travels from Hollywood to Helsinki, presenting writing workshops that help communicators at such organizations as NASA, AT&T and H&R Block polish their skills and find new inspiration for their work. For PRSA, she presents programs like “Writing That Sells — Products, Services and Ideas” in on-site sessions across the country.

Ann is the author of more than a dozen learning tools, including RevUpReadership.com, a toolbox for writers. In addition to writing and editing, Ann helps organizations launch or revitalize their Web sites and publications.

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