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The SAP Community Network marketing team has come a loooong way since launching our social media channels in late 2009. Over time, we’ve developed eight simple practices that enable us to run a more effective Twitter account as another venue to receive feedback–one that our followers seem to like:

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We like to think of our presense on Twitter as a way to let you know we are listening.  And by no means are we trying to say we have mastered it, but we sure are trying. This list was compiled by Gail Moody-Byrd (@gailmoody) and Palm Phuwarat (@PalmNorch)

 

We must also give credit to *Laura Fitton (@Pistachio),who has been in conversation with our team for the past few months, helping us discover our mojo and get to the core of authentic Twitter engagement.

 

 

Let’s get started:

1. Follow Everyone. We all know by now not to be overly concerned about the follower/following ratio. We have made a effort to follow all the human accounts and hope you see this as an action to know we value you. Also by following you we open up the option to use direct messages, private messages on Twitter. We have had some of our most memorable interactions because direct messaging was an option to communicate.

 

 

2. Collect Followers’ feedback.  Because we want to make sure that we provide you updates that you want, we try to understand why you use and what you see valuable in SAP Community Network by collecting your feedback. We created our own Google survey that we privately send out to our followers when they publicly or privately express how they feel about our content. This is of course different from our official SCN survey. It is meant to provide us more regular feedback on our performance as a channel. If you wish to take it, feel free.

 

 Here is some of the feedback that we received from the survey.

“It’s (@SAPCommNet)  may be the best resource of knowledge for SAP products. Every week pops up at least a great blog or wiki and every month there is some mind-blowing stuff, what can be possible with SAP, I never thought about it before.”

“I use @SAPCommNet for a lot of reasons: to learn something new every day, to introduce myself to new SAP products, to collaborate w SCN members…”

 

3. We review everything, every week.  We make a big effort to ensure that we are initiating and taking part in conversations that you actually care about. We are all busy, but if we can’t take the time to slow down and review conversations that are happening and our own effectiveness, then, why even make the effort? We have been taking time to focus on points such as tweets that receive the most retweets, sentiment of tweets, and clickthrough rate.  

 

4. Honor Thy Followers on Fridays.   You are our everything! We would be nothing without our community members. Our team has been making efforts to honor YOU on Fridays. We try to take note of your big accomplishments for the week and what you are good at.  We are not interested in only talking to other SAP accounts.  We figure #FF is an opportunity to let our followers know we were listening. We also figure this is a great way to encourage a new member to be more engaging and active in our community.

 

@tbedro is a first time blogger in our community and we highlighted her contribution.

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This group of individuals won SAP InnoJam in the Netherlands. They wrote a blog to talk about their winning entry and we decided to honor the whole team. 

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5. Get better engagement by ENGAGING. We want engagement from you, but we realized if we want it we need to initate it. We make efforts to let you know there are humans behind the account.  The gesture seems to be appreciated.

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6. Watch the timing! Watch the frequency!

We aim to post 8-10 tweets a day and aim for critical messaging to go out between 9 am – 1pm EST.

 

In the beginning we tried to please many internal teams by honoring every promotion request. We were sending out tweets every free slot we could find, and at one point sending out 20 tweets a day! Our weekly reviews helped us catch this big mistake.. This helped us realize that we should focus more on the context rather than the quantity. Some of you early followers hopefully notice the difference.

 

 

7. New Week, New Hashtag.  We like to add some spice to our social media mix by following new hashtags or keywords each week to our watch list. This helps us to step outside of routine and discover new followers who may be interested in our content and of course new conversations.  Also, if you ever have suggestions for new interesting hashtags or community to follow, let us know in the comments, in a tweet, dm, e-mail..your choice!

 

8. Be a Cocktail Party Host. We realized that you not only follow @SAPCommNet  because you are interested in the topics but  also as a way to connect with other community members who think alike or can help you solve problems. We try to strengthen our community by strengthening the relationships of the members. For example, we make efforts to:

●     Help expand a followers’ network, introduce follows to one another on #FollowFriday

●     Help those who are new to Twitter to jump in by providing hints like the key hashtags to follow for the industry

●     Support community events like SAP Inside Tracks and SAP TechEd to let you know what great things other community members are doing.

 

Laura “@Pistachio” Fitton is the founder of www.oneforty.com and co-author of Twitter for Dummies.  She is credited with explaining Twitter’s business value at top business schools and to thousands of others tech leaders, she’s been speaking professionally about the business use of Twitter since October 2007. Oneforty was reclently acquired by Hubspot

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  1. Tom Cenens
    Hello Sylvia

    SCN does listen and goes way beyond listening imho by supporting and collaborating with SCN community members which is great.

    Keep up the great work.

    Kind regards

    Tom

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    1. Sylvia Santelli Post author
      Tom,

      Your feedback is always appreciated and welcome. Good to know that our efforts seem to be doing what they intended to do, make SAP Community Network a stronger community.

      Cheers!

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  2. Fred Verheul
    Hi Sylvia,

    Nice explanation of how (and why) the SAPCommNet twitter account works. Personally I like nr. 5 best. Most organizational twitter accounts are really non-human, kinda automated (re-)tweetbots, and the SCN-team is clearly not one of them!
    Keep up the good work, and CU on twitter!

    Cheers, Fred

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    1. Sylvia Santelli Post author
      Fred,

      We are the first to admit that this strategy is a work in progress but we use these guidelines as a way to keep ourselves focused on what’s important.

      Thanks !

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  3. Marlo Simon
    Hello Sylvia,

    SAP as a corporation has been doing a great job within Social Media, but @SAPCommNet is the icing on the cake.
    Thank you for all the positive feedback and engagement.

    Best Regards,
    Marlo Simon.(@marlosimon)

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  4. Michelle Crapo
    Someday I’ll get better at using Twitter.  It feels like a giant big monster to me!  Ready to gobble up my words and make me regret what I’ve put out there for everyone to see.  

    Without having access to it during work it’s a little hard.  Yes, I am thinking about that new fangled smart phone.  I just haven’t decided what network to go with.  Then I could get Twitter all the time.  Follow it, and then decide how to start doing it!

    Twitter – hopefully it won’t gobble me up.  You’ve provided another compelling reason to start using it.  And I’ve been saying I’m going to try for a long time now.

    Great work!

    Michelle

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    1. Marlo Simon
      Hello Michelle,

      I think you’ll really enjoy “engaging” on Twitter. I was a late starter myself and must confess that was a bit scared on the beginning.
      I came up with two personal guidelines for a lean Twitter engagement start up:
      1 – Twitter was made to listen, not to talk;
      2 – Don’t be scared that your friends have 1000’s of Tweets and you just 14;

      You already have many followers, that’s good. Now follow some other interesting people and from time to time rant within 140 chars.

      Best Regards,
      Marlo Simon
      PS:New follower!

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  5. Tridip Chakraborthy
    Hey Sylvia,
    As ever, there is something new to learn from your blogs, from this I have some learning and at the same time similar resonating experiences from the recent past, more than just TY’s for the retweets, some really effective follow-on laurels, some pat on the back re-tweets are also a mixed flavor of the fact that the #SCN is hearing its followers and at the same time motivating for a continuous improvement, presence and follow-on
    It feels great to be an #infectious follower of the community and also getting into action to finally “spread the 3 golden letters” S-A-P
    Cheers to you and will have a great connect and know-how and a #SCNotty session alongside at the
    #sapteched…cheers Tridip
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