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Building Tweet-cred: Engaging the Community via Twitter

Orange County Library System
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Innovation Leader: Jimi Kunkel, Community Relations Specialist , kunkel.james@ocls.info

Problem Statement

Every day, 140 million Tweets are posted to Twitter. People openly dish about celebrities, debate social issues and express their likes and dislikes for the entire world to read. But what happens when your organization or company is the topic of conversation and you’re not there to answer questions, correct misconceptions or just politely accept a compliment?

Innovation

Starting in March of 2010, the library initiated a strategic plan for building a Following on Twitter that would specifically reach Central Florida residents, officials and businesses. The plan was three-fold: locate the most innovative and popular Twitter users in Central Florida, engage them in Tweet-speak and earn their respect, as well as gain credibility for our Twitter feed, and finally use our new “Tweet-cred” to build a Following made up of potential customers only. This would allow our Twitter account to achieve maximum success in reaching our specific audience while detracting spam Followers who have no value to our overall mission other than simply padding our Following numbers. It will also help promote our innovative resources to tech savvy users and deter customers from incurring unnecessary costs for resources they can access free of charge at the library.

Progress

The initiative surpassed our lofty expectations and helped increase our Following by more than two-hundred percent. We receive daily questions and feedback from our customers via Twitter and regularly engage in conversations with other organizations, thus building mutually-beneficial partnerships in the process. In fact, the initiative is so successful that consumers and organizations have taken to Twitter to promote the library on their own…

  • On pace to reach 4,000 “genuine” Followers in the next 450 days
  • March 18, 2010 – 562 Followers
  • March 18, 2011 – 1,706 – Followers
  • NET ANNUAL GAIN SINCE START OF INITIATIVE: 1,144 Followers (more than 200% Increase)
  • More than 2,700 Tweets: Averaging 5 Tweets per day, 110 Tweets per month
  • 20% of our Tweets are responses to Tweets we received from Customers and Organizations
    *Stats provided by TweetStats.com, TwitterCounter.com, Twitaholic.com