I’ve been using Twitter since October 2008 — or 56 years in dog time. I remember the exact reason I joined: a person from the Yankee chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators called and asked me to speak about social media.
I replied, “Sure!” hung up the phone, and promptly opened my Twitter account. I got lucky, too, because that very day, a huge kerfuffle was brewing: I forget which brand it was, but a company that made pain relievers had posted a video about how carrying your baby in a sling could cause pain — or something like that, I forget what — but the entire mommy blogosphere erupted and took to Twitter to voice their displeasure at the ad. One woman even made a video in protest — it went viral.
The hapless ad agency had put the video out on a Friday afternoon and then went home; the entire conflagration raged over the weekend without any comment from the agency or the brand. It was rather amazing to watch the entire thing go down.
It made a great case study for my presentation, which was fortunate for me because by the time I gave the presentation, I had been on Twitter for a month.
Over the years, I’ve taken on the other social platforms as they’ve come into being — Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, etc. — but have found Twitter to be the easiest to use. Due to its ease-of-use, it’s been the only one I’ve used consistently.
Until recently, however, I hadn’t really used Twitter strategically. I mostly used it to retweet interesting things other people wrote. Or, I’d pop in to see what people were saying or doing or to exchange quips with people I know. Mostly, I used Twitter as a real-time news source because I no longer have TV.
Strategic marketing objective: Use Twitter more effectively
One of my long-term objectives is to be much more strategic with my marketing. By strategic, I mean asking myself why I’m using a particular tactic, how it ties back to my business strategy and plan, and how I’ll measure its effectiveness.
I spent most of last year eliminating social media platforms I no longer use, such as SlideShare and Pinterest, as they delivered zero results for me — that and I simply didn’t have the time to devote to them.
I also spent time thinking through Twitter. I became much more strategic about who I followed and why (e.g. small, U.S.-based manufacturing firms, manufacturing media and thought leaders, etc.). I set up goals in Google Analytics to see if Twitter delivered any ROI — other than visits to my blog.
But, I could tell I was still missing a piece of the puzzle, that is, until I discovered this wonderful new tool, Edgar.
At first glance, Edgar looks like a social media scheduling tool similar to Buffer or Hootsuite. But it’s not. Instead, it’s a content library. You store your pieces of content in the library by category and then schedule when you want specific categories to post to social media.
The beauty of Edgar is that once you upload all your content and then schedule it, you’re done. You only schedule once (whereas as with Buffer or Hootsuite, you have to continually schedule things).
This ability to schedule things once was a huge lift to my marketing productivity, but I discovered an even bigger one: up until meeting Edgar, I hadn’t realized I posted more of other people’s content then I did my own.
Not posting my own stuff — it was a “girl thing”
When social media first came into being, the “best practice” was to connect with and promote other people’s content more than you did your own because you didn’t want to come across as overly promotional.
This practice suited me fine because as a woman and an introvert, I do have a hard time calling attention to myself.
But, as social media has grown and changed, it was no longer sufficient to tweet once or twice about a blog post I had written. An individual tweet these days has the shelf life of minutes; one or two tweets were simply lost in the deluge of noise.
Even though I knew this and tried to overcome it, I could feel myself cringing any time I posted multiple times for one post. Oh no! What is someone saw and said something?!
Edgar benefit: I rediscovered my content
To create my Edgar library, I added in only my recent blog posts (e.g. last 18 months), making for a scanty library because for awhile, I had stopped writing regularly. To flesh out my library, I began reading some of my older blog content and realized I had a great deal of fabulous stuff I had completely forgotten about.
I also had content in my Learning Center — and added it to my library. Then I got really brave: I added “promotional” tweets about the projects in my Project Portfolio.
It took about two hours or so to initially propagate my library.
When you first set up your Edgar library, the platform connects you with another tool that analyzes when your followers are on Twitter. Mine are on from about 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM eastern Monday through Friday. I scheduled my tweets during these hours.
Edgar gives you a 14-day trial and after the first week, I could see an immediate improvement. One, people were retweeting and engaging with me more, and two, I was spending much less time on Twitter.
I’ve been using Edgar since December 22, 2015. What follows are metrics from Twitter and Google Analytics showing “before Edgar” and the first month of Edgar use.
September – November 2015
- # of tweets: 103 per month
- Impression average: 19,300 per month
- Link Clicks: 34.6 per month
- RTs: 25.3 per month
- Likes: 60 per month
- Replies: 26.6 per month
- Profile visits: 554 per month
December 27, 2015 – January 26, 2016
Although I started using Edgar December 22, my data is skewed because I tweeted about Rand Paul’s hilarious Fesitvas tweets on December 23 — which sent my impressions, retweets, likes, etc. soaring. I tried to factor out this one tweet, but couldn’t do so accurately enough.
I also paused my Edgar queue on Christmas Day, and I don’t schedule posts on Saturday (or Sunday, for that matter) hence, the reporting period for Edgar begins Dec. 27.
- # of tweets: 194 –> 88% increase
- Impressions: 40,600 –> 110% increase
- Link Clicks: 68 –> 94% increase
- RTs: 51 –> 104% increase
- Likes: 131 –> 118% increase
- Replies: 27 –> no change
- Profile visits: 427 –> 22% decrease
September 1, 2015 – November 30, 2015
- Twitter traffic: 29.3 visits per month
- Goal conversions: 1 for the entire period!
December 27, 2015 – January 26, 2016
- Twitter traffic: 88 visits –> 200% increase
- Goal conversions: 2 –> 500% increase
As an aside, in the last month I’ve received two phone calls from people who have said, “I saw your phone number on your Twitter profile.” These two people were inquiring about a service I no longer offer, but I’m still excited that I received the calls. Until now, I’ve not received *any* calls from people finding me on Twitter.
What I’ve learned
I’ve made it my mission to really delve into a marketing channel and understand it, and to also strategically integrate channels. For example, I spent most of 2015 cleaning up my blog and becoming much more strategic about how I use it.
I want Twitter to be part of my strategic plan and to work in tandem with my blog versus being a channel operating as an isolated silo.
I’ve learned it’s ok to post my content multiple times and that posting my older content helps show my expertise and thought process. I’m also happy that I’m doing a better job promoting my services. Of the 88 website visits in the December to January time frame, two of those visits went to case studies on my Portfolio page; another went to my new Annual Marketing Consulting Program page.
I’m also now writing blog posts that show more of my work — and those posts are generating traffic, too. Last week’s post on using original photography drove seven visits to my website from Twitter.
Using Edgar has freed up a lot of time for me. One reason is because the platform has a very useful category called “Use Once.” Any content added to it is added to the queue and gets posted once.
Instead of being constantly distracted by the inflow of information, I go through my Chrome RSS reader and email inbox two times a week to catch up on my colleagues’ and clients’ blog posts and e-newsletters and then add this content to the “Use Once” category. I’m still promoting other people’s content, which I love doing, but have decreased the amount of time required to do so.
With all this time I’ve freed up, I now have a better idea of how I can use Twitter in other more strategic ways, such as helping me and my clients generate press for our respective companies. At the moment, all I have is ideas, so I’ll posts my results once I implement and then measure my strategies. Stayed tuned!
- Website: www.meetedgar.com (this is NOT an affiliate link)
- Trial: 14 days — Trial is by invite only but I got mine within 24 hours
- Cost: $49 a month
- Platforms supported: Twitter, Facebook (business, personal, group), and LinkedIn (business and personal profiles). You can connect a total of 10 accounts.
Edgar also has the best email marketing writer on the planet. She’s hilarious! I’ve learned quite a bit simply reading the emails that arrive regularly in my inbox.
The only drawback to Edgar is its metrics. They’re not the best and don’t seem to be fully functioning. But this may be only for Twitter. I haven’t enabled my LinkedIn profile or corporate page yet. And, Edgar is still a relatively new company and has been adding enhancements to the platform, so I trust the metrics will get better with time.