beginner's twitter guide

V Getting Started On Twitter

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Page 1: Beginner's Twitter Guide

V Getting Started On Twitter

Page 2: Beginner's Twitter Guide


© 2015 BancVue. All rights reserved. Not for distribution.

What is in this guide? Slide 3 – Terms and DefinitionsSlide 4 – Creating Your AccountSlides 5 & 6 – Account OptimizationSlide 7 – Common MistakesSlide 8 – Who Should You Follow?Slide 9 – Twitter’s SearchSlide 10 – Creating ListsSlide 11 – Your First 100 FollowersSlide 12 – Twitter ChatsSlides 13 & 14 – Content StrategySlide 15 – Employee AdvocacySlide 16 – Customer SupportSlide 17 – Measuring ResultsSlide 18 – Your 10 Minute-a-day Checklist

Page 3: Beginner's Twitter Guide


© 2015 BancVue. All rights reserved. Not for distribution.

Terms and DefinitionsAnatomy of a Tweet

Tweet - A 140 character message published to your followers. Can also include links, photos, and video.

Username - Your handle for Twitter.

Hashtag - A categorizing and aggregating feature. Signified by the # symbol. Clicking it opens a feed of all tweets associated with the hashtag.

Reply button - This will open a reply field. Replies begin with a username and will not be published to your feed. They are accessible by the public, but will only alert the person mentioned in the reply.

Retweet button - Retweeting is a way to publish another person’s Tweet to your followers, similar to email forwarding. Signified by “RT” at the start of the Tweet.

Favorite button - Favorites are a way to socially endorse a Tweet, similar to Facebook’s “Like.” Tweets you favorite will be aggregated to your Favorites tab.

Mention - A public message that includes another user’s username anywhere except the beginning of a tweet. Signified by the @ symbol. “@[Handle]”

DM - Also known as a direct message. This is a private message between two users that follow each other.

Follower - Someone who has subscribed to your feed of tweets.

Page 4: Beginner's Twitter Guide


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Creating Your AccountGo to https://twitter.comClick the “Sign Up” button.The join screen is the same for both personal users and business accounts. Enter the following:

• Full Name = Business name (e.g. Freedom Institution)

• Phone or Email = Your corporate email where social inquiries go.

• Password = Use a combination of capitol letters, numbers, and special characters.

• Username = This will be the handle you are recognized by on Twitter. See the Account Optimization slide for best practices.

Click “Sign Up”Twitter will take you through 6 steps to help get an understanding for your account and suggest people to follow. Tip: Skip the “Find people you know,” step. Typically you will not want to link your address book with your account.

Page 5: Beginner's Twitter Guide


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Account OptimizationUsername – Maximum of 15 character. Generally, shorter is better. This makes it easier to include you in mentions and retweets. Make your name memorable and associated with your brand. If your desired name is taken, consider abbreviating or adding your 3 letter airport code to your name. Here are some examples: BancVue, BncVue, BancVueATX. Account Name – This should be the name of your brand / organization. Bio – Maximum of 160 characters. Should be action oriented, maintain your brand voice, and describe your product in a way that appeals to your consumer. A good test of your bio is checking to see if it can answer these questions:

• What services do we provide? • Who do we provide them to? • Where are we located?• What will I get out of following this


Example Bio: Freedom Institution has been serving the people of Austin since 1908. Now we’re bringing our financial know-how to Twitter!Make sure you include your website. This will help customers find out more information and improves your SEO.

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Account OptimizationCover Image (1500x500) – This is the larger of the two images. It should be in line with your branding guidelines, but is also a great opportunity to highlight any promotional activities or news. Feel free to change this image as needed.Profile Image (400x400) – This is the smaller of the two images. It will be the photo associated with the tweets you send out. You will want to change this image less regularly. TIP: Upload your files with names that also promote your brand. An example would be: Kasasa_BancVue_TwitterProfile.jpg

There are two settings you’ll want to toggle. To access them, click your icon in the upper right and select “settings.”Next, on the left of the screen, select “Security and Privacy.”Scroll down and make sure you turn off “Protect my Tweets,” and turn on “Add a location to my Tweets.” This will allow customers that don’t follow you to discover your tweets. TIP: You might want to the verify the “Email notifications” settings to ensure your inbox isn’t flooded with alerts.

Page 7: Beginner's Twitter Guide


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Common MistakesLike most platforms, there are some unspoken rules to Twitter. Breaking them isn’t just annoying, it can cost you relationships. When you are starting out, we recommend you spend a week only following and listening. Try to figure out how your audience communicates with each other. Here is a list of mistakes we most commonly see.

• Being overly promotional – People don’t follow you to see more commercials. Be personable. This is covered in greater detail on the Content Strategy slides.

• Not Tweeting enough – The strength of Twitter lies in its real time communication. 96% of engagement occurs within the first hour of a tweet being sent out. If you are inactive, you won’t get the benefits.

• Going hashtag crazy – Hashtags are used for categorizing your tweets, often times you’ll only need one hashtag. Never exceed three.

• Auto posting from/to Facebook – Social media should be personal and targeted, and while it might be a time saver to automate your Facebook content straight to Twitter, it looks bad and is a great way to spam your followers.

• Sending automatic “Thank you for following” messages – Similar to the last point, a generic thank you does more damage than sending nothing at all. This is a good chance to engage, so if time allows, take a moment to see what your new follower is interested in and make the “thank you” more personal. Ask a question. Form a real relationship.

• Ignoring comments – Your organization should have a “last word” policy. If someone has taken the time to comment or message you, then you should take the time to reply. Even a “Thanks!” or “” can be enough. Note: This rule can be broken if 1) The conversation goes on for an excessive amount of time 2) The comment is a “troll” (unnecessarily negative with no potential resolution). Engaging with trolls never ends well and they should be ignored.

• Posting APY or other rate information – Work with your compliance department to ensure that you’re keeping the institution safe. Set up procedures so you know what kind of content or conversations you can engage in, and what would require compliance language.

Page 8: Beginner's Twitter Guide


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Who Should You Follow?Now that your account has been created and optimized, you’ll want to start following people. Twitter should suggest some accounts to follow during your sign-up process.Here are some ideas of people you can follow right away:

• Employees • Local Businesses and organizations • Local Celebrities / News Channels• Industry Leaders• Vendor Partners• Potential Influencers• Customers

We’ll talk about how to search on Twitter, but searching for industry keywords is a great way to find people worth following. When you follow someone, check out who they follow and the lists they are a part of/subscribe to. You can usually find similar accounts that way.Use Twitter directories like,, and There is an interesting bias that occurs when someone looks at your profile and you are following more people than follow you. If that ratio is too extreme, your account looks spammy. When you first start out, try not to exceed a 10:1 (following:followers) ratio. As you get established, change that to 2:1.

Page 9: Beginner's Twitter Guide


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Twitter’s SearchYou can find Twitter’s search bar at the top of your window. You can search by any term, hashtag, or a boolean search.Results will return in different categories.

• Top – Tweets from influencers.• Live – Tweets as they have been

received.• Accounts – Accounts that have the term

in their bio.• Photos – Photos associated with Tweets

that included the term.• Videos – Same criteria as photos.

In the “More Options” section, you can further refine your search, save the search, embed the search, or switch to Advanced Search.Advanced search allows your to target tweets based off of criteria like geographic location, precise terms, exclude terms/accounts, by date, and even by sentiment. Imagine the power of being able to find a customer that is talking about “checking accounts” within 50 miles of your branch with a negative sentiment. With the advanced search, you can reach out to that person in real time and help with their issue. Whether they are a customer of yours or not, that kind of service leaves an impression.

Page 10: Beginner's Twitter Guide


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Creating ListsAs you follow more people, your news feed will become increasingly cluttered. Using lists is a great way to segment people you follow into niche conversations. You can manage your list two ways:

• By selecting “Lists” from the drop down menu associated with your icon.

• When looking at someone’s account, select the gear icon and then click “Add or remove from lists…”

From both these views, you will see the option to create a new list. The most important thing to decide when making a list is whether you want it to be public or private.

• Public Lists – Accessible to anyone and people who get added will be notified. An example of a useful public list would be “Personal Finance Gurus” and then promoting this list to your customers to find money tips and tricks.

• Private Lists – These are invisible to everyone but you. When you add someone, they will not be notified. An example of a private list you might want to keep would be a list of competitors or a list of prospects.

• TIP: You don’t have to follow someone in order to add them to a list. Segment your list based off the type of relationship so that you can quickly engage and measure results.

Page 11: Beginner's Twitter Guide


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Your First 100 FollowersGetting from 0 to your first 100 followers is the most difficult. After that, assuming you are publishing high quality content and engaging, the word-of-mouth and the viral nature of the network will help fuel your growth. So, where do you find you first 100 followers?

• Ask your employees.• Have your front line mention the news to customers. This

can be especially effective if you tie this to a launch promotion.

• Ask your partnering local businesses.• Include your Twitter username on business cards.• Add a link in your email signature.• Add a link to your website and other social media

channels. • If you have an e-newsletter, make an announcement. • Put up signage in the branch. It can be as simple as a table

tent with the Twitter icon and your username. • TIP: Reciprocity is a powerful tool. Assuming you were

strategic in who you were following, you should acquire some high quality follow-backs.

While you always want to be growing the number of followers you have, remember, quality always trumps quantity. 10,000 fans that will never open an account have a ROI of $0. 100 true fans that help to spread the word on your brand to their friends and family? Now you are using the power of social currency to attract accounts and save on marketing spend.

Page 12: Beginner's Twitter Guide


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Twitter ChatsWhat is a Twitter Chat? It is a way to get people together at a predetermined time and talk about a subject. All Twitter Chats are organized by a hashtag that usually speaks to the topic of interest.Why are Twitter Chats powerful? They can help you to connect with influencers in the industry and expose you to a large audience. The conversations will also keep you informed on industry trends, consumer mindsets, and provide you with content or discussion ideas for your other platforms.How do I find out about a Twitter Chat? There are many sites dedicated to listing Twitter Chats. We recommend you start by searching and Before you jump in a chat, watch how one works. Since it is a public and open forum, you want to make sure you are following all the proper etiquette rules. Don’t be promotional. Determine who the host is. Stick to the topic. Twitter Chats can be a time investment,. You can make this investment more valuable by turning the experience into other pieces of content. Here are some examples:

• Take a tip from the chat and overlay it on a stock photo. Post to Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

• Write a blog post on the key takeaways from the chat.

• Send a “Thanks” to people who had really great advice. Build a connection and then ask if they would like to guest blog.

Twitter chats are fast-paced, so once the chat is over, click the hashtag and go through the conversations to see if there was anything you missed. This is a great time to favorite and follow people whose comments you enjoyed.

Want to host your own Twitter Chat?

1) Make sure you are comfortable with the forum. The best way to do this is to participate in several.

2) Try co-hosting one before you go solo.

3) Start with a plan. You should know your target audience and the topic you want to discuss.

4) Pick a hashtag. Make sure you research it first so that it isn’t already in use or associated with something inappropriate/irrelevant.

5) Brainstorm questions that are relevant to both the target audience and the topic.

6) Announce the chat. Not just once, but several times and across multiple platforms.

7) Invite people to join. These could be your employees of influencers and other members or the industry you respect.

8) Always remember to say thank you. A quick note after the chat to participants can go a long way.

9) TIP: Remember, if you start the tweet with a mention, it is 1-on-1. If you want the world to see it, place a period before the mention (.@bancvue)

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Content StrategyWhat you post is the most important aspect to consider. It starts with asking the question “Who are we talking to?” Once you have defined your target audience, you can begin to ask the following:

• Who else do they follow?• What are they talking about?• What questions are they asking?• What is most important to them?• What is their perception of our brand currently?• What do they find interesting?• What is our purpose for being on Twitter?• How do we want to make them feel?• What is our voice?• Do we want to do customer support on Twitter? • Do we have the resources to accomplish our goal?• Who else in my organization should be involved?

Research shows that accounts that talk about themselves of over self promote have significantly less followers. We recommend following a 70 / 20 / 10 formula.

• 70% of your content should be about what your audience is interested in. Example: Money saving tips.

• 20% of your content should be engagement in the industry. Example: Retweets from a thought leader.

• 10% of your content should be about your brand / product. Example: Celebrating a milestone.

When you share other people’s content, make sure you put your own spin on it. Social Media professional, Gary Vaynerchuk, calls this being a “content DJ.” A DJ samples other peoples music, but always puts their unique spin on it.

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Content StrategyHere is a list of ideas/topics to help you get started:

• Money saving tips• How-to’s (open an IRA, save for college, etc.)• Local news • Trivia (local, financial, etc.) • Upcoming events• Highlight a partnering business or institution• Customer testimonials• Quotes (financial, motivational, etc.)• Promotions (competitions, sales, deals, etc.)• Behind the scenes (employee highlights, did

you knows, etc.) • Historical posts (local, company, “this day in

history,” etc.)

If you struggle in keeping content organized, try assigning a topic to each day. Examples are:

• Monday – Money saving tips• Tuesday – Local news• Wednesday – Behind the scenes• Thursday – How-to• Friday – Customer Testimonial• Saturday – Partnering Business• Sunday – Upcoming Events

Twitter Statistics to Consider

• How much should you Tweet? Data scientist, Dan Zarrella, says “More than you are.” It’s hard to over tweet, so the real question is “how many quality tweets can I produce a day?”

• Talk about others. Research shows accounts that use “I, we, us” have significantly less followers than ones that have “You, they, them”

• Retweets are most likely to happen between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. and on Fridays. Repost you best content in those windows.

• 94.2% of engagement takes place in the first hour a tweet is live. Social Media Expert, Guy Kawasaki, reposts his content every 4 hours to hit different target audiences.

• Write headlines. Data shows that there are more retweets than link clicks on twitter, meaning people will share without reading the link.

• Include your keywords in the first 42 characters. This is the limit of what gets indexed on google.

• Only post 1 link per hour. Click-through-rates drop dramatically when more than one link is sent in an hour.

• Always experiment and look for what is doing well. These are general stats taken from millions of tweets. Your audience, brand, and industry might be different.

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Employee AdvocacyYour employees are your best advocates. They were likely your first followers, the first people you followed, and the people who most frequently engage with your content. You want to do everything possible to enable and reward this, but there are a couple safety considerations. Establish a Social Media Guide – Prior to interacting with your brand, employees should be familiar with your company’s social media policy. In this guide you should enforce the following:

• Employees who interact with the brand should have an opinion clause in their bio. Example: “Teller at @FreedomInst, but tweets and opinions are my own.”

• What is appropriate to disclose? Employees should never ask for personal information. If a customer offers it, the employee should alert them to the risk that the information is public and encourage them to delete the tweet. Internal operational information should never be disclosed.

• Always be honest. • Remember, social media is public and permanent. You must assume everything you write

will be seen and possibly saved. Even though an employee might be using a personal account, they are still representing your brand.

Host a kickoff – When you first launch your account, get your team excited by hosting a kickoff celebration and some type of Twitter challenge. Not only will photographs from the party make great content, but it will encourage employees to follow and retweet your posts. Invite employees to weigh in on content. As we discussed, coming up with fresh and interesting content is the biggest hurdle you will face. That said, chances are good you are already 90% of the way there. What financial blogs or magazines do you and your employees read? What life milestones are happening in your team, and how has that impacted their thoughts on finances? What local events are you counting down to? Do any of your team members perform volunteer work? Does anyone on your team have a hidden talent that would make for a funny video? The content exists: you just need to make it easy for people to give it to you.

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Customer SupportTwitter is famous for its ability to connect with customers in real time. This connection is a two-way street, and often times customers will use the platform to voice their issues. If your FI has an active account, this is an inevitability, and it should be an important consideration before joining Twitter. That said, if people are voicing their complaints – don’t you at least want to be there to know and address them? Here are some best practices for handling customer support through Twitter.

• If you have a high volume of customer support related issues, create a second account just for that purpose. Make the purpose of this account obvious in both the username and the bio. Example: @FrdmInst_Help

• Create a service-level agreement (SLA). What is the expectation for a response? Some research indicates that today’s consumer expects a response within 2 hours. On a similar note, if you only offer Twitter support between certain hours, make sure to note that in your bio.

• Link to your support channel in your main accounts bio.• Always direct customers to your support channel. Do not offer support through your main

account. • The customer is never wrong. It’s a spin on the old saying, because let’s face it – sometimes

they aren’t right. Sometimes the problem is a result of the customers actions, but since they ultimately keep us in business, they are never wrong. Assume good intent.

• Cultivate an attitude of appreciation. Getting a chance to solve a customers issue is a gift. They could take their business elsewhere, but instead they have given you the opportunity to win them back and show off how much you care in a public forum.

• For truly sensitive issues, try to take it offline ASAP, by providing a phone number.• Never ask for personal account details. If a customer provides them, recommend the tweet be

deleted ASAP.• Listen. Sometimes a customer won’t come to you, but they will still complain. If you are using

Twitter’s search to stay on top of brand mentions and keywords, you should be able to catch and respond to these.

• Follow up when appropriate. 24 hours after an issue has been resolved, check-in with the customer to make sure everything is still satisfactory. They will appreciate the sentiment.

• Make sure you are dedicating the proper resources to this account.• If you are getting a lot of the same questions, consider changing an internal process or

creating an FAQ.

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Measuring ResultsTwitter can take a lot of effort, and you want to know it is worth the time and money. Measuring results can be difficult, so it’s useful to start with a clear goal that can be tied back to business objectives. Here is a sample chart of some objectives and the metrics you would associate with them. Some metrics require calculations, and you’ll find the formula in the calculation column. You should take these once a month and compare month-over-month trends, as well as this-time-last-year trends.Objective Metric Calculation

Grow Brand Awareness Growth Rate (This month’s follower count – last month’s count) / last month’s count

Grow Brand Affinity Engagement Rate (Favorites+Mentions+Retweets)/# of followers

Build Loyalty Sentiment Score (# of positive comments)/Total comments

Drive Traffic to Site Click-through-rate N/A

Provide Customer Support # of issues resolved N/A

Time to ticket closed Close time – Open time

• Growth rate will give you a percentage of growth over last month. • Engagement rate will let you know what percentage of your audience connected with your content.• Sentiment score will let you know if your followers attitudes are generally positive. You can do the

same for negative comments.• Click-through-rate is useful to see how many people went to your site as a result of your Twitter

efforts.• It’s also important to look to see trends in high performing content. Look critically at common factors

like the type (photo, link, etc.), length, voice, and time of day the tweet was sent.

Page 18: Beginner's Twitter Guide


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Your 10 Minute-a-day ChecklistDaily[ ] Respond to all notifications.[ ] Do a Twitter search for any brand mentions.[ ] Respond to any newly found issues.[ ] Write and schedule status tweets for the day.[ ] Target 2 lists and look at their feeds.[ ] Comment on 3 Tweets per feed.[ ] Retweet 2 relevant Tweets.[ ] Favorite any testimonials or Tweets you find interesting.

Once a month[ ] Check your metrics and adjust your strategy.[ ] Check with coworkers to see if they have content suggestions.

That’s it! Take this consistent approach and you should see Twitter turn into a useful platform to connect with existing and find new customers.

Page 19: Beginner's Twitter Guide


D i d y o u fi n d t h i s g u i d e u s e f u l ? L e t u s k n o w b y s h o o t i n g u s a t w e e t !

@ B a n c V u e@ K a s a s a

S t i l l h a v e q u e s t i o n s ?W e ’ r e h e r e t o h e l p . A s k y o u r M P M f o r a T w i t t e r c o n s u l t a t i o n .