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Engagement is the key to successful tweeting, says report

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Online PR agency Immediate Future has published 'The Truth About Twitter', a report which examines the use of the micro-blogging service by major UK and global brands in an attempt to provide insight into which strategies and techniques work best.

The authors found that the majority of organisations on Twitter are still using the platform to broadcast news and content from other sources — usually their own websites. However, an increasing number are seeing the value of engaging their audiences in conversations through Twitter.

Warming to their theme and Twitter's famous 140-character message size limit, the authors have examined 140 brands, and include a 140 character summary of how each is using the service.

The report includes analysis of the Twitter profiles of the All Saints, Argos, ASOS, H&M, Ikea and Topshop, and singles out Topshop ("informal, gossipy and targeted at teens") as one of the few organisations that understands the value of engaging with its audience.

The authors found organisations that use Twitter effectively to engage with their audiences are more likely to employ an informal style of writing in their tweets, while those which primarily broadcast without engaging are more likely to use a formal voice.

And most of the organisations, whether they are broadcasting or engaging, display introverted behaviour — they only discuss their own brand and activities — with only a minority happy to discuss issues that are not always directly related to their own operations.

The Truth About Twitter also looks at the implications of brand-hijacking and impersonation, as well as including advice on Twitter best practice, guidelines on tweet frequency, tone, content and level of interaction, and a guide to attracting followers.

The full report can be downloaded free of charge from Immediate Future's website.
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