September 07, 2011 / by Heidi Sullivan

Last week, fellow Cision Blogger Yvette Pistorio and I hosted the free Cision webinar “Twitter 201.” There were so many great questions, we couldn’t answer them all in an hour, so we’ve taken the opportunity to answer them here on the blog today. Read on for answers about Twitter influence measurement, peak tweeting times, hashtags and personal vs. professional branding. You can also check out future free webinars on Cision’s Resources Page.

Lindsay: Are peak Twitter times pretty universal? I have a client I tweet for that targets mommy bloggers and I suspect their peak times are different – especially late at night when their kids are in bed. Is there a way to know for sure?

Heidi: There are a bunch of free tools available to analyze your tweets and your followers’ tweets to determine the most active times of day for your community, like Tweriod and WhentoTweet to name a few.

Mauren: Are there certain places to check and see if your desired hashtag has already been used or just do some searches on Twitter?

Heidi: You can just do a simple Twitter search and see who may be using your hashtag, but I also like TagDef, which has type-ahead hashtag recommendations, interesting trending analysis and definitions of popular hashtags.

Sarah: Are there tangible ways to influence your client’s Klout score (like SEO for Google searches)?

Heidi: There is no magic trick to increasing Klout score (like follow these 10 guys and send 7 tweets per day to increase your score) but there are some tangible tips to ensure your score increases over time in an authentic way:

  • Start and participate in discussions. Klout looks for @replies and conversations, not just people who push content and disappear.
  • Connect all of your outposts. Klout measures over a dozen social sites.
  • Get important people to talk about you. The more influential the people that talk about you, the more influential you are.

Yvonne: Should you tweet other people’s content even if you are running a ‘corporate’ account?

Yvette: Absolutely! What you tweet out on a corporate handle can be a bit of a mixed bag. I use the rule of thirds…

  • 1/3 should be original content distribution which includes tweets about your brand and also news about the industry you’re in or blog posts that influencers have written that you think will be beneficial to your audience.
  • 1/3 should be genuine conversations and engagement.
  • 1/3 should be social karma. Think retweets.

Lindsay: When tweeting for a brand/company, is it better to use their corporate name or your personal name? Is it harder to build relationships as a brand vs. a person?

Yvette: It varies by company. With the @Cision handle, we have the corporate name, but in the bio, my information is in there so our audience knows that I am the one to contact and am the person who is actually doing the tweeting.

Ultimately it will depend on your brand’s voice. If you work for a small business or your company is very personable, you may decide it’s better to put a name on your handle, but if it’s a more corporate brand, then maybe the brand’s name should be on the handle.

Dana: Is there any way to retrieve tweets that were posted a week or month ago, and no longer appear in Twitter’s search?

Yvette: If you have a paid media monitoring solution, you can retrieve older tweets that are stored for a good deal of time, like in Cision’s Social Media Dashboard. In Hootsuite, it is dependent on Twitter Search’s API so you can search back as far as Twitter Search will let you.

Rachel: “Twitter Influence Measurement Tool” = suggestions??

Yvette: A few free Twitter influence measurement tools are Klout, Edelman’s TweetLevel and Peer Index.

Another excellent solution is a new feature in CisionPoint, the Cision Influence Rating. Using our wealth of data on hundreds of thousands of media outlets and more than 1 million influencers globally, we’ve devised an approach that provides a 360-degree view of each journalist and blogger, regardless of which media they use to get their story out – so you can not only measure Twitter, but a contact’s overall influence in the social and media spheres.


Have other questions about Twitter? You can tweet Yvette @cision or Heidi @hksully.

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About Heidi Sullivan

One of PRWeek’s 40 under 40 in 2012, Heidi Sullivan is Senior Vice President of Digital Content for Cision and a self-proclaimed social media metrics nerd. She leads the company’s digital and broadcast content teams, the global research team for Cision’s media database, Cision’s social media community team and the company’s content marketing strategy. You can find her on Twitter @hksully.