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Building a Twitter Community

Brandon

October 14, 2014
Brandon

As Community Manager Intern at Princeton Partners, I’ve developed, created, and now manage my own Twitter account. In creating this account, I was able to learn the process of building not only a Twitter profile, but a Twitter community where I learned to create engagement within the platform.

There are several dos and don’ts out there in the social media sphere. Do post regularly. Don’t post too often. Do use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Don’t forget to use hashtags. However, throughout the process of developing a community, I discovered several must-haves for creating a successful Twitter Community:

  1. Know your subjectWhen you first begin to create a Twitter account, you should have experience with the content about which you will be posting. If it is not something you have background in; educate yourself, and understand what you are trying to achieve and the people with whom you are trying to engage. It is important to have an understanding of the account so you can engage people the most effective way.
    In my case, I decided to create a Twitter account based on something about which I have a lot of knowledge and am extremely passionate. Since I was young, I traveled all around the country for soccer, competing at the highest level in girls’ soccer for the top club in the nation, later continuing into Division 1 collegiate soccer for one year. With this strong background, I thought it would be easiest for me to engage other players because I was one such a short time ago.
  2. Create an engaging twitter name and handle
    When you are ready to open the account, you must first think of the Twitter name and handle. This all depends on the company, client or account. In some cases, you may be given the company name or client’s concept, making it important to incorporate that information into the Twitter name and handle. This name should be easily accessible so people can identify what type of account it is.For my account, I made the name “The Beautiful Game”. If you aren’t familiar with this, it is a term related to soccer. For my handle, I wanted to also follow the theme of the sport, but make it pretty general. There has always been debate and a culture clash between the sport in the United States and internationally. I did not want to put something with the word “soccer” in it, or “football” because I didn’t want to limit players in the U.S. and players around the world who refer to it as “football.” By keeping it fairly general, I am able to maximize the followers who I am specifically targeting.

    The Twitter handle can get to be a little tricky; this is a very important aspect which should incorporate the essence of the account. After quite some thought, I came up with @Footy_Updatez.

  3. Create a Twitter bio and photo
    The Twitter Bio is a small box displayed under your Twitter name and handle, which is displayed to potential followers before they follow your account. This is as important as your Twitter account name and your handle. The bio should introduce your account and give potential followers an idea of potential tweet topics. It should be short and to the point.For my account, I made it “Students of The Beautiful Game. Updates of the latest news around the world.” In the bio, I did not want to limit my followers by using the words “soccer” or “football”. By keeping it general, I can engage U.S. followers and international followers.

    You also may add your general location. By giving your general location, you can connect with people in your surrounding area. This function is great for geographic specific campaigns or companies. In my case, I did not want people from overseas thinking I was only going to tweet about American soccer, again limiting my potential followers.

    The photos on your account are also very important. One photo is for the header of your profile, and the other is an account photo. The account photo is displayed in the timeline of your tweets, being shown every time your account tweets. The account photo is crucial in engaging your targeted followers. The photo should also be relevant and appropriate to the content on your Twitter. In my case, both photos incorporate the soccer theme of my account.

  4. Content is crucial
    It is important to generate relevant tweets to your theme. When followers click to access your account profile, they are anticipating information and tweets related to your name, picture and description. It is important to have credible content and relevant content that is updated on a daily basis.There are many ways to stay on topic, and generate tweets without manually retweeting every hour and taking time to search for related information on your topic. I was able to use IFTTT.com, known as, “If This Than That.” This is an online service that enables users to connect different social media platforms to other existing social media platforms.

    In my case, I connected the RSS feeds from soccer sites, both in the U.S. and internationally. Whenever the sites produce new content, IFTTT automatically generates a link of that information and connects to my account. There are various other sites similar to this that you can find online to help with your social media accounts.

  5. Know your Followers
    When building a community, the most essential thing is to obtain your targeted followers. When you think about it, what’s the point of the account if no one is following it? It is important to have an understanding of who to follow and how to engage these people.For my account, I first searched for the big names in those specific industries. By following them, I am able to see what type of content they are posting. After following some of the bigger names with thousands of followers, I began to look for the lower level accounts with a few thousand followers. I made sure these accounts also produced similar content to mine. I thought that if I understood their following, and followed those of the similar accounts, I would most likely gain their interest. I also went into detail by looking to see who was posting things related to that field through their own personal accounts. By searching for hashtags such as #soccer, #football, #EnglishPremierLeague, I was able to find people who were generating content onto accounts similar to mine.
  6. Where I am now
    Right now, I am continuing the account, following my methods to achieve an understanding of my targeted audience and creating a community. I currently have over 1,000 followers, including Brad Davis, a member of the US Men’s National Team, fan pages for MLS and English Premier League teams, as well as the Head Goalkeeping coach for the MLS team, writers of soccer related books, and various other soccer accounts.

If you are interested in my account, you can check it out for yourself here:

https://twitter.com/Footy_Updatez

Written by Nadine Goerke (Princeton Partners Inc. Intern)