Let’s say your business sends, maybe, four original tweets per day. You participate in one or two back-and-forth exchanges of about three tweets each. And you retweet twice.
That simple activity adds up to nine tweets per day. Or 45 tweets per week. Or 180 tweets per month. And that’s not event all that active in Twitter terms. How are you keeping track of it all?
Hopefully you didn’t sheepishly answer “We don’t.” But if you did, there’s help.
By simply accessing the data freely available to you on Twitter and through third-parties, you can create a Tweet Calendar that will keep your content organized, on-message, and ensure that all team members are on the same page.
What’s a Tweet Calendar?
You can think of a Tweet Calendar just like an editorial calendar, but much more specific.
Rather than organizing all of your content across multiple channels, a Tweet Calendar focuses only on those 140-character snippets you send via Twitter.
The technology you use for your Tweet Calendar doesn’t really matter. You can set one up on a paper calendar, Google Calendar, Excel, or even a bunch of sticky notes. The format isn’t what counts – it’s what the calendar does that matters.
You should start by using your Calendar to brainstorm broad daily or weekly topics – like new tools in your industry, customer appreciation, a current promotion – and ensure that that topic is clearly articulated through your tweets. You can get specific and pre-write all of your tweets for the week or month (of course, allowing for a significant percentage of interactions and real-time content), or you can leave things broad and use the Calendar as more of a guideline.
If you’re part of a larger organization, your Calendar should also have a process built in that allows for teammates to submit tweets for review, editing and ultimately publishing.
And lastly, Twitter is not an island, nor is a Tweet Calendar. Be sure to tie in the topics and themes of your Tweet Calendar with the content you put out on Facebook, your website, email blitzes, on in-store signage and all other places where your brand has a presence.
Digging into the data
So what data is out there to help you create the best Tweet Calendar possible?
First, if you have a business website (and I hope you do), there’s Google Analytics. This great pieces of (free!) analytics software can tell you things like your most-viewed blog post of all time, how visitors flow through your site, and – most importantly – how many visits you’re getting through social referrals. If you can pinpoint which articles and web pages people are visiting via Twitter, you can use your Calendar to plan to write more of the same in the future.
Another way to determine how many of your Twitter followers are visiting your content is to use bit.ly. Bit.ly will not only shorten your long URLs to make them Twitter-friendly, but their analytics lets you track who clicks on these links and when. Using this data, you can figure out which content resonates with your Twitter followers, where in the world they’re clicking from, and which time of day elicits the most tweets. Then, all you have to do is move around a few pre-scheduled tweets in your Calendar to hit those times, and you should see a jump in interactions.
If you’re really a data-lover, you’ll want to try tools like SocialBro and Commun.it. Their primary purpose is to better manage relationships with your Twitter followers, but they can help you create a more responsive Tweet Calendar, too. For example, using SocialBro you can learn when the best time to tweet is based on your audience’s reactions to your past 500 or so tweets. Or, you can use Commun.it to pinpoint which of your followers is spreading your message the most, and then use your Calendar to plan engagement strategies with these influencers in the future.
On Twitter itself, you’ll find a few metrics that can be useful for refining a Tweet Calendar. First, Twitter shows you how many retweets each one of your tweets received. The more retweets, the more your content was shared – something to think about when you’re brainstorming new content. Twitter also has a very robust advanced search that you can access here. By searching for keywords or phrases related to your business and industry, you can monitor what’s trending on Twitter in real-time. Consider crafting a few tweets in your Calendar around these topics to keep your brand relevant and timely. And lastly, Twitter’s @mentions folder will help you develop a Calendar that is focused on increasing engagements with your brand. Checking in on this folder regularly will show you when activity around your brand’s username is stagnant and when it’s vibrant. If you tweet a compelling article or opinion that garners you lots of @mentions, it’s worth noting in your Calendar so you can try to capture that same magic in the future.
You can build your own, internal metrics right into your Tweet Calendar, too, to track how successful your team is at getting followers to interact with your content. Try adding notations (or columns, if you’re using Excel) to each tweet you brainstorm that indicates which team member came up with it, and how successful it was in terms of retweets, engagements or clicks. The idea is not necessarily to develop a sense of competition between team members, but rather a sense of accomplishment when content they create gains traction.
The best brands are using Tweet Calendars to organize their content, their team, and their messaging. And they’re using data to make sure their Calendars are always fresh.
If you don’t already have one in place, are you considering setting up a Tweet Calendar? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
(Calendar image via Shutterstock.)