I work within a small editorial team at a company that publishes short, translated summaries of financial news for investment professionals. I spend my days swiftly editing copy, confidently changing and rearranging words in everything from market-moving news stories to marketing collateral. When it comes to writing, you could certainly say our editorial team here is prolific – We look at hundreds of news summaries per day, polishing their wording for top hedge funds and investment banks in NYC and beyond.
But finding words for 140-character tweets was a challenge at first. Our entire editorial team is working collectively to contribute ideas to the company twitter, and so there should have been no shortage of smart content. But there were times during our first week running the page that we were acting like complete digital wallflowers – watching the virtual party unfold while waiting for tweet brilliance to strike. Since then, we’ve gained confidence and continued to innovate with new ways to bring value to readers and increase engagement, and our twitter feed has seen the benefits. Speaking Twitter is like speaking a new language – if you’re too shy to talk, you’ll never become fluent. But also like learning a language, the value of active listening cannot be underestimated. Successful listening is key to any successful social media strategy.
When running the @BrightWireInc feed, reverting to that “wallflower” status for at least a few minutes each day has been extremely beneficial for our branding – and I’d encourage any new or veteran social media user to do the same. It’s tempting to focus on what you’re saying via Twitter, without listening to what your audience wants to hear. Once you’ve established what kind of voice you’d like to offer online, spend at least 15 minutes a day just watching your feed, and take notes on what people are talking about. On the @BrightWireInc feed, we’re trying to continue to hear our audience, providing value and steering away from being just another voice in an already-loud forum. Keep detailed accounts of who the influencers are in your sphere. Take note of rising stars – the less-noticed but compelling feeds. Financial news gathering via twitter has really seen a surge in the last year, with companies like StockTwits leading the way. By listening well to the influencers in this area, the @BrightWireInc account has made use of unique tagging structures to engage financial readers specifically. We’ve been able to connect with some interesting brands by offering content tailored to their needs, of course with RTs in mind. A great deal of this value has been driven via our listening efforts, rather than efforts to talk more.
Running a strong Twitter feed is about finding a balance between asserting your voice and reacting to other noise in the digital world. For the @BrightWireInc team, a few minutes of reading through the home page each day has gone a long way towards establishing our unique mix of in-house content, corporate branding, and promoting others’ content.
Author: Robyn Baitcher is an Editor at BrightWire, a financial news company that provides investment professionals with curated English-language summaries of news from foreign-language sources.
(Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons – vocabulicious)