Do you ever think, ‘Why do I even bother with Twitter?’
Well, erase that thought right now because Twitter is the ultimate social network. It can quickly propel you and your business to new heights, grab the attention of infinitely more people interested in your product or service (whether that’s localized or worldwide) increase website visits and boost sales.
No, this isn’t puffy hot air. It’s been true for me, my clients inside Twitter Brilliance, and thousands of others I’ve connected with on Twitter.
It’s how you use it that makes all the difference.
Here are seven ways to build a strong presence on Twitter and boost business.
1. Move in the right circles
It’s not enough to tweet and hope it’ll be seen by your ideal connections. You need to be proactive, and that means embracing your inner super sleuth.
Brainstorm a list of 20 dream clients, perfect partners, mentors, clever competitors, key players in your market and media contacts. If you’re not sure if they’re on Twitter, use Auntie Google (she knows everything) – just type their name and ‘on Twitter’ in the search box and pow – you’ve struck gold!
Once you’ve found them, connect with them on Twitter (see #4 – 7), and be mindful of who they’re tweeting with, too. This is a super way to extend your community of active, like-minded people. Just don’t fall into the “hide and seek” trap.
2. Skip the hide + seek
You’ve set up a Twitter account, posted several tweets, and gotten comfortable in your surroundings. You’ve even found some valuable connections and know their every move. But how well do they know you?
Getting Twitter right means showing up and being seen. Lurking behind your computer or smartphone might be totally absorbing but who is it serving? Is it helping you move forward in your business? Is it helping people find you on Twitter? Nope!
If your default setting is to sit back and watch (and even if it isn’t), make a point of staying visible, sending tweets that are helpful and entertaining (more on that later), and getting involved.
And, don’t worry, Twitter doesn’t have to be a massive time suck, especially if you play Twitter hooky.
3: Play Twitter hooky
Since millions of tweets are sent every day, your amazingly useful tweet can be easily missed by those who need to see it (unless you’re using an @reply or mention that’s directed to someone in particular). To make an impact, (especially when starting out) you want to post multiple times a day, throughout the day, every day. Yep, you read right: every day.
Now, that doesn’t mean you should be there ALL day. With your schedule, juggling a busy home and business? That’s crazy talk. But you can master Twitter in just a few minutes each day by using a scheduling tool that drip feeds your tweets automatically while you get on with your life.
Two of my favourites are Buffer and Hootsuite. (I seriously believe that it’s impossible to successfully manage your social media marketing without these tools).
Playing Twitter “hooky” has many advantages but only when you support it with real-time tweeting. Let me explain what I mean…
4. Go freestyle
Twitter is all about making real connections with real people. And it’s these chit-chatty, real conversations that will spark relationships with other likeminded people.
And this is a key ingredient to achieving Twitter success. If you’re not fully present and taking part in the small talk for a few minutes each day, Twitter simply will not work for you.
So, I suggest you combine these two elements:
Go freestyle by making conversation in real time +
Play Twitter hooky by scheduling some messages for a steady presence
= The secret to Twitter success.
Sometimes this means pulling up your Pippy longstockings so remember…
5. Don’t be shy, say ‘Hi!’
There’s something about the social, free-for-all nature of Twitter that spooks people. Being ‘followed’ by complete strangers, or shooting off a reply when you haven’t been invited to can feel uncomfortable, rude and even creepy.
Twitter is by far the most sociable of the social networks. It was the first to make it completely open, without the need for a connection request.
Now, do you need an invitation to speak to someone at an event? Of course you don’t. And the same applies on Twitter.
It’s perfectly acceptable to tweet with anyone and make new friends. This relaxed atmosphere creates a buzzing breeding ground for creating and nurturing new relationships. Ideal for expanding your network and community, even with people you previously thought may be out of reach.
As long as you provide value. Hmmm…what does that mean?
6. Be head girl
When you hear people talking about ‘providing value’ on Twitter, this is what they mean: be entertaining, educational, interested and interesting. When you combine any two of these, you hit the sweet spot.
Every time you tweet, check your deepest intent and ask yourself:
- Is this tweet entertaining?
- Will this tweet educate my followers?
- Am I showing interest in others?
- Will my followers find this interesting?
(Hint: just because YOU do doesn’t mean they will, so try to step into their shoes).
A little warning here: try to keep ‘on message’ and post tweets that your followers expect to see from you. But, Twitter is a social network so there are brilliant opportunities to reveal more about your values, ideals and interests. Always remember the human element by going freestyle. And, your manners. Which brings me to my last point…
7. Remember your please and thank you’s
We all want to do business with people we like, know and trust, and Twitter is the perfect place to nurture those valuable business connections by showing how helpful, friendly and generous you are.
You can do this by:
- Replying to your mentions and replies (your Connections tab is where you should be spending most of your Twitter time)
- Thanking others when they do something nice for you
- Recommending other tweeters you respect and value
- Showing your appreciation and gratitude for tweets posted by others
- Taking part – retweeting and replying to tweets even when they aren’t directed at you
- Sharing entertaining and educational information in the form of links, images, tips, quotes, videos, and other tweets
- Connecting tweeters who can help each other
Now it’s your turn. Which of these seven tips will you use to improve your Twitter presence? Let me know in the comments.
Latest posts by Alicia Cowan (see all)
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- 7 Ways To Build A Strong Presence On Twitter (and Boost Business!) - May 15, 2013