Millions of people are active on Twitter daily to learn, teach and network. If you, as an organization, are on Twitter to broadcast your news, sales and promotions alone, then you have likely been frustrated about “getting it”.
Following are some tips to help you build your community, and deepen relationships with your current and potential customers. This should be your primary goal for being there. Sales growth is the objective.
But first, some fundamentals. What is your strategy? Who is your target audience, and what do you want to accomplish? When I ask that, I don’t just mean “to increase sales”. That’s a given. Make a plan for what type of information you want to share with your audience. How can you be of help to your customers so they will purchase your service or product?
Secondly, a great profile pic (avatar) and a compelling online bio along with a link to your website or blog are a must.
A quick look at an organization’s twitter page and I can make a snap decision if I want to be following their stream or not.
Here is how I decide if I want to follow you:
- Is there relevant content in your twitter stream? Content that interests me, educates me, and/or entertains me?
- Are there any @ symbols in your twitter stream? This shows me you are interacting with us as individuals – answering our questions, engaging with us. If there are none, you are what I call Output Only. The boring guy at the cocktail party that talks non-stop about himself and then walks away. Sometimes I make an exception and follow these twitter streams, but with rare exceptions – like @breakingnews, for example.
- Who is tweeting on behalf of the organization? There should be a person behind the brand. I don’t want to tweet with a thing, I want a person and a personality to go with it.
- Is your feed full of links to your blog and YouTube videos? There’s a fine line between sharing your blog and videos, and again, mixing it with interaction. If you are using twitter simply to drive traffic to your blog, etc, you’ve lost my interest. If I want to subscribe to your blog, I’ll do that.
Are you harnessing the power of Twitter?
- If you’re using the web-based Twitter application, you’re missing out on many powerful features to help you reach your goals. Download tweetdeck or hootsuite. I promise you, you’ll start to get it now.
- Set up search columns for key words to your organization and industry. This will help you to respond to questions directly related to your business by people you are likely not following. I’ve seen a number of questions go unanswered locally, including my own, because you aren’t paying attention to the twitterverse.
- Watch what your competitors are doing on twitter. Set up a column pertaining to them, and their keywords.
- Go out and actively follow people. Use a directory such as twellow and search people to follow based on geographic location, or key words in your potential customers’ bios.
- Conduct market research: once you have a decent, loyal following. Ask them questions that help you understand your customer better.
Lastly, and I can’t say it enough: Don’t just talk about yourself. Balance with the following: Ask me what I’m doing, share news from your industry that I might find interesting. Retweet what others are talking about. Tell me something personal but not mundane – I love a good story.
Does this help?[ssba]