Last spring, I listened to a great Social Media Week panel in DC about search and social. I wrote about it on PR Newswire’s Beyond PR blog.
The panel included Peter Greenberger, Twitter director of sales in Washington, D.C.; Trevor Madigan, formerly of Facebook and founder of The Vision Lab; and Tripp Donnelly, founder and CEO of RepEquity.
I recently reconnected with Greenberger (@pgreenberger) over this discussion and asked him some questions about Twitter and the future of search and social.
CC: You’ve mentioned Twitter followers is somewhat of a vanity metric. Do you believe a following is a reflection of you (as an individual/professional/etc.)?
PG: It is important to build a following on Twitter. The more followers you have, the greater the audience is for your message. It is also important because studies have shown that a brand’s followers are more likely than non-followers to take a positive action (visit a website, make a purchase, etc.). That being said, we don’t want people to lose sight of the importance of engagement on the platform. You want to create content that your followers find meaningful.
CC: Everyone talks about the best way to grow followers. What do you think the best practice/method is?
PG: Ultimately, creating compelling content will help you grow your followers.
A few tips:
- Provide exclusive access with behind-the-scenes photos and information
- Use rich media (images, videos, infographics and article excerpts)
- Ask questions
- Run contests
- Provide incentives
Once you have a strong organic Twitter strategy, consider running Promoted Accounts to ensure you are gaining the right followers at a larger scale.
CC: Is growing a followership even something folks should be wrapped up in?
PG: It is important to grow your following on Twitter, but if you adhere to best practices when creating your content, your followers will come. Tweet it (well) and they will follow, if you will.
The most important thing to focus on is user engagement.
CC: Let’s talk about the intersection of search and social. In your opinion, what does the future of that look like?
PG: I believe we are seeing a shift in search as a result of three things: real-time information, social networks, and mobile penetration. People are looking for information about what is happening now, in their world, everywhere they go.
You will continue to see this evolution of search, much of it driven by Twitter since our platform is live, public, conversational, and widely distributed.
Christine Cube is a media relations manager with PR Newswire and freelance writer. She does her best to tweet engaging things over @cpcube. In the event she’s unsuccessful, please call her on it.