One of my biggest pet peeves about businesses on Twitter is when they make it all about themselves. The beauty of the social network is how easy it is to have conversations with brands that we couldn't have before. Twitter is not a broadcast medium and shouldn't be treated as such. Otherwise, you will be spinning your wheels instead of gaining traction as you try to build relationships and position yourself as an insurance expert.
A good rule of thumb for brands on Twitter is the 1:10 ratio. Meaning for every one tweet I share about your agency, you need to have 10 that are about other topics.
So what do you tweet about if you aren't supposed to tweet about yourself? Here are 11 ideas for what to tweet the next time you find yourself staring at that empty tweet box wondering what to say besides 'Is your auto insurance up for renewal? Call us for a free quote!'
1. Retweeting (or in Twitter slang, RT-ing)
This one is the easiest. When someone you follow posting something interesting or helpful, retweet them. There are a couple ways to do this. You can just retweet their post as is. For example, 'RT @InsTechCorp: Happy Father's Day!' (original tweet).Or you can add your own comment in front of the tweet expanding upon what the other person said. For example, 'Great quote from Lance Armstrong! RT @nibbyp: 17 Manly Quotes for Father's Day' (original tweet).
Follow your local news sources as well as industry news sources. Share breaking news as it occurs. Also, if you witness something newsworthy, tweet about it. Tweeting live from the scene of a major news event, like the plane that landed in the Hudson River or Egyptian uprisings, can make you a part of history.
3. Share Interesting Content
We are in the middle of a content revolution. There is so much content to sift through besides that found on news websites. Act as a content curator by finding and sharing other people's informative content. Find interesting articles, blog posts, statistics and facts. Chances are you are probably already reading content that would be great to share. Just tweet out those links.
4. Help Requests
Often people will ask Twitter for help. They may be looking for a quick answer to a question, recommendations for products or services or help spreading the word about an event or cause. You can reply directly to these requests (even those not insurance related if you have the answer or know someone who can help). You can also retweet the request to your followers thereby increasing the chances they will find the answer they seek.
5. Thank Yous
Thank your new followers. Thank people who retweet you. Thank those who share something about you or your agency. You can also acknowledge a special customer visit or interaction.
6. Evaluations, Reviews & Opinions
Share your reviews and opinions on the latest movie, book, gadget, app, etc.
7. Oldies But Goodies
If you wrote a fantastic blog post, share it more than once. Nothing says you can't repeat a tweet. Also, look back in your archives. If the content is still relevant, members of your audience who missed it the first time around would appreciate seeing it. Be careful to spread it out though. Your followers would probably find it annoying if they saw the same tweet from you several times in quick succession. And consider admitting that it's a re-post by adding something like this to your tweets: '(From the Archives)'.
8. Think Aloud
If you're a deep thinker, share your thoughts. People will follow you just to hear your thoughts.
Don't think your tweets need to be serious and all business all the time. Many tweets are meant to entertain, whether the tweets are quotes, song lyrics, trivia, jokes, and entertaining videos or photos. Decide in advance what kind of humor is appropriate for your agency's brand, and stay within those limits.
10. Be a Connector
People like to use Twitter to make connections. Be the connector by introducing people who are looking for new people to follow, or recognize your favorite people to follow on #FollowFriday (alternate hashtag: #FF), which is a day people mention their favorite tweeps.
11. You Again
Now you can tweet about you again! Here are a few suggestions for different tweets that can be about you while varying what you share so your tweets stay interesting:
- A new blog post
- Company news
- News releases
- If you're hiring
- Events you're hosting
- Awards or recognition your agency receives
- Special promotions or contests
About the Author
As vice president of marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s growth through marketing and drives the overall marketing strategy for the company and its products. Her specialties include advertising, social media, email marketing, content marketing and public relations. Becky has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their three daughters.Follow on Twitter More Content by Becky Schroeder