Sure, sure we’ve all been on Twitter for two years now, but if you’re merely Tweeting sporadically into the Twitterverse and chatting with a contact or two now and then, you’re still missing out on the full Twitter experience. Here’s how PR pros are utilizing Twitter in ways big and small to gain publicity for themselves and their clients:
Question and Answer PR – Just ten years ago, when someone had a question or needed help with a problem they had to take the time to call a friend or two or rely on antiquated search engines that returned information about pets in the desert when they entered the term “hot dog.” These days, the answer to “Is this movie any good?” Or “Where can I find a decent sushi restaurant in Midtown?” is only a Tweet away. As a PR pro, you can harness that power. Set up a Twitter search to find users asking questions about your area of expertise and jump into the conversation. After you’ve gotten into the habit of answering Twitter questions, you’ll be a hero to the people you’ve helped and your Tweet stream will read like a how-to manual of your expert knowledge.
Offer Twitter-Only Specials – “Mention this Tweet between 11am and 2pm today and get two free appetizers.” Nothing builds public good will like a freebie, and Twitter is a super cheap way to get your freebie out to a waiting audience. The folks at Smashing Magazine are masters of the Twitter promotion. They routinely encourage their followers to enter their giveaways by retweeting @SmashingMag posts. Not only does one lucky Twitterer win a prize, Smashing Magazine’s message gets out to the followers of their followers as the retweets fly in.
Engage Your Potential Customers and Clients Through Quizzes – Are you looking to bring your really cool brand to a wider audience? Then make learning about your company fun and rewarding. “Two free tickets to May 5 Mets game to the first person to tell us which stuffed animal our CEO carries with him at all times.” Promotions like this get people to your website to find the information, allowing them to learn more about your interesting brand along the way.
Participate in “Tweet Chats” – Tweet Chats, aka Twitter Chats, are a great way to meet new people in your industry, showcase your expertise, and network, network, network. Basically, Tweet Chats are set for a certain time, usually last about an hour or two, and consist of many people Tweeting at the same time. The Tweets in the “Tweet Chat” are differentiated from the rest of the Twitter stream by using a certain hash tag. For more, the blog Small Business Trends wrote the definitive guide to Tweet chats. As with any online entity, Tweet chats come and go, but consider participating in #journchat or #PRStudChat. (But don’t get your hopes up! Despite the name, the chat is intended to let PR students – and not necessarily PR studs – network with PR pros.)
As Twitter grows, so do the unusual ways PR pros are harnessing the peculiar power of the Tweet Stream. Who knows? Maybe the fancy new Twitter promotion idea you dream up will be the next “Twittinnovation.”