You may have seen Twitter’s recent study called “Discovering the Value of Earned Audiences — How Twitter Expressions Activate Consumers.” It’s an interesting read and ends with this statement:
Key takeaway for brands: Complement earned media with owned and paid messages as the combination tends to drive greater consumer action and maximize return on your efforts.
Do you see how those three factors work together? That’s the essence of marketing, right there, in business-speak.
- You control your owned media: the accounts, pages, and sites you have as channels to get your message out. You control what your message says, but you can’t control the response to it.
- You pay for stuff like display ads, pay-per-click, paid search, etc. Again, this is within your control because you are paying for targeted reminders of your business message.
- Earned media is the result of the exchange between your customer and your business. The exchanges are based on what you have control over (owned & paid messages) but you don’t have control over how someone else chooses to respond to your message. All you can do is give a lot of positive reinforcement and quick damage control where needed. Trust is earned.
So how does a tweet become a lead? It’s a part of a package deal. You need many points of connection before the trust is earned because trust is based on history. It might be somebody else’s history, but all earned media is seen in retweets, shares, and recommendations.
In practical terms, I’d combine the tweets of linked blog post titles with conversational-type comments on what’s happening at the business today or asking for feedback on product suggestions, for example. There should be that mix of controlled content and open-ended feedback in order to get the mix Twitter has found effective in their study. One tweet by itself does nothing; it has to be part of a package of owned, paid, and earned messages.