The Balance of Mentions and ReTweets on Twitter

In the business world and corporate accounts, there is a balancing act with most things in social media. Do you direct your users back to your website from your Facebook page or engage with users on the page to build trust and loyalty? This is a common balancing act community manager’s face. One of the most recent balancing acts in social I have come across is happening in Twitter. I have seen companies mentioning every account that tweets them and I have also seen companies retweeting multiple promotional tweets. Let’s take a walk through the pros and cons of each of these strategies and see why balance matters. First, a little 101 lesson. Defining the ReTweet and the Mention. Mentioning Everyone that Tweets You This can be a difficult balancing act when your company has a lot of customer service questions or a very engaging social media channel. As some companies tweet back to every mention, it can drive your followers away from following your account. This happens because the followers will see your stream filled with noise and lacking quality content. I would agree that some mentions are necessary to build relationships, but would encourage community managers to pick your battles. McDonalds is a great company case study on how they handle millions of mentions. Feel free to listen to the interview here. ReTweeting Everyone This balancing act has been seen on a company Twitter accounts when the community manager would like to recognize the mention, but not take the time to engage with that user specifically. This is valuable but too much can look lazy and may not value the networks community. It may also come across to followers the brand is not experienced in Twitter and best practices. Many times, we see this lead to an unsatisfied user experience within the channel. Your followers want to see original content from your brand. It’s also great to add your own thoughts to the retweeted message. This will help create a more humanized tone for the brand. An even balance of mentioning and retweeting is a key component to managing successful Twitter accounts. It’s important to pick your battles with mentions, provide the most valuable content, and always remember your followers are the ones that matter. What do they want to see? Will this information be valuable to them? These are questions you can ask yourself as you manage each community. This will take more time, effort and energy but if executed the right way, your community should be active and engaging.

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