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Twitter: It’s a Relationship, Not a Religion

Jan/Wed | Category: Uncategorized | 

The social media revolution has done wonders for making conversation with consumers more accessible and measurable.  With simple statistics, businesses have been able to get a clearer understanding of how successful they are as a brand.  But many businesses get lost in the numbers while going through the motions, and, in the process, they forget about their bottom line.  A high twitter follower count may look good, but what percentage of your so-called followers are truly listening to what you have to say?  Better yet, are you listening to them so you can say what they want to hear?

Everything you do should be geared towards getting people talking about your brand, and getting the media writing about your brand.  

Auto-following, auto-direct messaging and auto-updates can be beneficial, but they can also make your twitter page very impersonal and robotic, and can lead to a temporary or insincere following.  Who wants to talk about that?

Let’s say yours is one of the said “robot” twitter accounts.  When people follow your account, they receive an automated direct message.  They read your automated updates, and when they reply, they get no response because YOU are simply not there.   This isn’t networking; this is spamming.  In addition to being robotic, detached Tweeters such as these are probably also engaging one or all of the “7 habits of highly annoying twitter users” that Rob McGuire discusses in his post.  A detached, robotic tweeter is sure to be unfollowed as John Chow describes in his article, “Why I unfollowed 55,000 Twitter Users.”

So how can you be an effective tweeter?

1.      Get personal. Communicating with your followers takes time and dedication, but if you want to create a genuine following and some true positive buzz for your brand, it is a must.  Use and look for people talking about you.  Look for people who need help on a topic, and join in on their conversation.  Don’t just put out post after post and wait for people to come to you.  Go to them! 

2.      Be polite.  Answer their questions, thank them for retweets and mentions, and do some retweeting and mentioning of your own.  Always do it professionally but with a personal tone.  Talk to people as if you’re looking them in the eye.

3.      Be interesting. No one wants to follow someone who only tweets about their new products or only thanks people for following them.  Change it up.  If it relates to your business somehow, and could be of interest to your target audience, try to use it.  Tweet what you think others will want to share with their own social networks.  When your brand becomes entertaining, fascinating and newsworthy, people will start talking, and positive buzz will grow exponentially. 

4.       Use hashtags.  To pick up buzz about your brand or topics related to it, use hashtags.  Why?  Because as Kirsten Wright says, “Hashtags Give Your Tweets Legs.” Highlighting key words is crucial to starting new conversations and keeping up with old ones.  Still not sure you understand the power of the hashtag?  Read more about the “Science of the Hashtag” here.

5.       Know your goal.  If you aim at nothing, you will be sure to hit it every time.  It is important to know what direction you want to take your business and WHO you should be networking with and “targeting” on twitter.  Know what you want to accomplish, and create updates and conversations that will lead you in that direction.   If one of your goals is to create true positive buzz, repeat steps one through five. 

We think about it like this:  Imagine Twitter is one really gigantic cocktail party with all types of people having all kinds of conversations.  Naturally, people will evolve into having these conversations in groups, so use your search and monitoring tools to identify people having conversations you can add value to.  These might be people talking about your brand, but it might also be people talking about a topic that surrounds your brand.  If you’re a real estate agent, look for people talking about “selling homes” or “buying property.”  Now, don’t just butt into a conversation yelling your message.  Listen to what they’re saying and then politely find a way you can add value to a conversation.  It might be sharing an article that person or group would find interesting or it may be just giving them a tip.  If you tell them you can sell their home in the first tweet, they are likely to ignore you.  Warm them up first.  Buy them a drink.  Chit-chat a bit.  Then politely slip them your “card.”  If done right, chances are they’ll ask you for your help/service/product before you even have your card out of your pocket. 

NOTE:  Rome wasn’t built in a day and your brand and reputation won’t be either.  It’s a day-by-day, brick-by-brick process.  Commit and dig in, but don’t forget to measure along the way. 


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