Microblogging is a new form of communication in which
users can describe their current status in short posts distributed
by instant messages, mobile phones, email or the
Web. Twitter, a popular microblogging tool has seen a lot
of growth from microblogging as well. Micro-blogging is not a new concept. In fact, it’s been around for years.
First, you need to do the hard work of figuring out how social media participation can best advance your marketing and communication goals. In most cases micro-blogging doesn’t stand tall alone ; it’s impact is magnified by your Facebook site, your blog, and your other online places.
Once your strategy is in place, here are a few best practices to help you get the most out of your efforts.
- Build a strong network. This doesn’t mean you have to follow everyone and anyone. You should however try to build rapport and connect with influentials and individuals with whom you share a common interest or bond. Twitter Local is just one of the many applications that can help you start connecting with people and organizations you might know well.
- Time your micro–blogging updates with those of your official blog or website. It will give you a legitimate reason to post and help spread the word about any other activities in an effective manner.
- Make it personal. If you are micro–blogging for personal reasons, this part comes easy. If you are doing it from a corporate angle, you can still let your personality shine through, just be sure to balance the mix of messages. Rule of thumb: don’t share anything you wouldn’t want your clients to know. If this is an issue or you’d rather not have your work persona mingle with your personal, consider setting up two separate accounts.
- Post with some regularity. Often PR professionals wonder how they can get and maintain a decent enough following. If the news is stale or boring, and if you don’t interact with others on the site, people aren’t going to want to keep up with you – so keep posts fresh and consistent.
- Avoid the clutter and only post or follow what is of significance or of sincere interest. Otherwise, you might wind up virtually six feet under in alerts and updates causing you to miss something of importance. The same can be said for those receiving your messages. If you post too often or produce a lot of fluff, people may begin to ignore you and your truly worthwhile messages will fall flat.
- Don’t worry so much about ranking; produce quality content instead. This touches upon number five, but can’t be reiterated enough. Unfortunately, a person’s influence on many of these sites is directly linked to how often they post. As a result, those who aren’t serious about spreading significant information can tend to pile on the updates without giving much thought to the worthiness of the content.
- Manage your time. You can’t do it all at once. So go forth with reasonable expectations. If you only have a half-hour to devote each day, then limit yourself to that period. It’s easy to lose track of time in these sites, so you might want to consider setting up an RSS feed or linking multiple micro-blogging sites or accounts through a common platform, such as FriendFeed, Ping.fm, Plaxo, Posty, and Hellotxt just to name a few.