Twitter, like most other things, is what you make it. When you’re first starting out, it is easy to get overwhelmed and to think that the key to Twitter success is to simply find a way to send out product promos in 140 characters or less.
This is pretty much a guaranteed way to alienate your potential audience. Twitter is becoming overrun with marketing messages. Most users skim over things that are blatantly designed to sell stuff. So how do you engage your audience, build your business, and raise your profits?
Offer More Than You Ask
Give more than you take. You already know this rule for email marketing. It applies to Twitter, too. Send out informative and entertaining tweets more than you send out sales-related tweets. This helps you endear yourself to your audience and increases the likelihood that your messages will actually be read (and responded to).
Actively Engage Your Audience
This means asking questions. It means asking for feedback. Giving people the chance to tell you what they think of you and your products is a great way to get people interested in your account. They’ll appreciate the opportunity to speak their minds.
It’s also good to ask questions that do not actively relate to your specific products or services. People like to feel helpful and useful. Asking them for recommendations or advice for other things humanizes your feed and encourages people to remember that you’re human, not just a profit machine.
This feels like cheating because you aren’t the person composing the tweet. Still—retweeting shows people that you pay just as much attention to what others have to say as to what they buy. It shows that you are actively engaged with others.
Share Personal Stuff (within reason)
Talk about things you’ve got going on personally within your business. Obviously you want to remember that you’re not talking privately with a close friend. It is okay, though, to write tweets about things like new babies, personal accomplishments, etc. Ask personal questions. It’s okay to stray from the absolutely professional once in a while. It reinforces your humanity to your audience.
Talk about a great experience you had with another service or product. This helps show your audience that you want to help them (see tip #1). It also endears you to other marketers and helps you build your network. Your endorsement will be seen and likely retweeted, which helps you build your audience.
Is there something important happening in the world? Is Twitter abuzz about a specific event or news item or rumor? Spend some time reading before you start composing. This way you can make sure that the tweets you compose are in keeping with the tone for the day.
TIP: Turn off your automatic updates when something major happens. When the Boston Marathon was bombed, it became painfully obvious who was paying attention and who wasn’t. Businesses who allowed their automated messages to continue were openly mocked. You don’t want to be that lady.
Respond to Your @s!
When someone “replies” to you (or publicly sends you a message), make sure that your own reply is public as well and that it happens quickly. This way if someone looks at your feed, they’ll see that you care just as much about what people say to you as what you say to the world.
Here’s the basic rule for anything you’re thinking about on Twitter: Would you want that tweet to show up in your feed? If yes, publish it. If you would be annoyed by that popping up amongst the other tweets in your feed, go back and rework it or scrap it.
What is the Twitter technique that has worked best for you?
Pic 1: Photo Credit: Rosaura Ochoa
Pic 2: Photo Credit: Marc Smith