*NOTE: I’ve been on a quite a Twitter kick lately! But it’s all for the benefit of your Twitter experience. Enjoy.*
Millions and millions of social media enthusiasts use Twitter to communicate with their friends and family, follow the lives of celebrities, and simply share with their followers what they’re doing. Many business owners use this powerful tool as a means to generate traffic to their websites and develop leads for their business.
But, like just about every other social media platform on the world wide web, some people just don’t get it. They spend their day doing absolutely nothing but spamming a link to their website. It’s the equivalent of the stranger who chases you down in the mall parking lot to tell you all about his “super business opportunity” and “how great the compensation plan is.” And we all know that guy is annoying as hell.
When using Twitter for building your business, you want to be sure you’re focusing on building quality relationships that, one day, lead to business. It’s not so much about sales, but about engaging with your audience. The last thing you want is for everyone to tune you out because you do nothing but spam links all day and talk about yourself.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out your tweets!
1. Personalize Your Profile and Brand Yourself – Above all else, make sure you post a picture. People want to interact with YOU, not the provided Twitter avatar. Be sure your profile informs your visitors who you are, your experience, your goals, and what separates you from the next person. People are looking to join other people, so use Twitter as a platform for them to familiarize themselves with your business. You can design your own background on PowerPoint or visit TwitterImages.com for a customized background to enhance your Twitter site.
2. PROVIDE VALUE – This is crucial! As I mentioned, you don’t want to be the person who spams their link every single tweet. Make sure you give your followers something that is OF VALUE TO THEM. You can tweet links to videos, articles, quotes, jokes, even random thoughts that pop into your head. This shows people that you’re a real person and not someone who’s automated their Twitter usage to only advertise their business.
3. Pay Attention to What Industry Leaders and Gurus Do – Industry leaders don’t spend their day spamming. They provide useful knowledge that educates and entertains their followers. They build a self-image based on who they are, not what company they’re apart of. Follow suit.
4. Build a Targeted List of Followers – You want your tweets to be seen by those they’ll matter to, so it’s important to build a list of followers that is targeted to your niche. For example, if you send a tweet about a great recipe, you want other people interested in cooking to see it, not a group of people who love bowling. Use the Twitter Search feature to find people who have similar interests. On the same subject, utilize #hashtags to categorize your tweets (i.e., a great recipe tweet could be hashtagged with #recipe or #greatrecipe). This will help you connect with others interested in the subject matter you tweet about.
5. Don’t Be a Snob – You never know who’s going to provide value to your life. With that being said, you don’t want to build a massive following of people, but only follow a handful yourself. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt. If they turn out to be a spammer, simply unfollow them. It’s that easy. One rule of thumb: this is your choice, but I do not follow anyone who does not post a picture of themselves. If they do not care enough about themselves to put a face with their message, then chances are they’re not going to provide you with any value.
6. Follow People You Find Interesting – As I said in #5, you never know who can provide value to your life, so be on the lookout for those interesting cats that truly get the meaning of Twitter. Those are the ones you want to follow closest. Send them messages, retweet their valuable content, and get to know them more personally.
7. Automate Your Twitter Marketing via Plug-ins – We’re all busy people, and the last thing we have time to do is sit in front of the computer 24/7 tweeting with our followers. However, in this world of short attention spans we live in, if we don’t send any messages for days at a time, our followers will forget about us and move on to someone else they find interesting. Fortunately, there are several tools, such as TweetDeck.com and Hootsuite.com, that allows you to schedule tweets so your followers remember you! Also, you can set up your accounts to follow those who follow you, as well as several other options to enhance your Twitter usage.
8. Implement a Tweet/Post Strategy – Determine times during the day that you want to tweet and be sure your messages are filled with content people want to see. There are several services that can help you determine what’s best to tweet about, such as Alltop.com. You can also check the Trending Topics on your Twitter home page to find out what’s hot in the twitterverse that specific day, and then send tweets with links to that content.
9. Manage Your Twitter Followers and Followings – To avoid being a snob, it’s good to follow those who follow you, unless that person has proven to be a spam-bot before you even get the chance to follow them. You should also unfollow those who do not follow you…unless it’s a guru in your niche that you know will provide you value, or one of your favorite celebrities that you want to keep tabs on.
10. Let Your Personality Show – Social Media is a great place to not only brand your business, but yourself. Even when the most successful people in the world go to a party, they don’t talk about business the whole time. This is a great chance for you to let your personality beam. Nobody wants to talk to someone who does nothing but talk about work. So talk about the fun things in your life, the people you enjoy, post links to funny quotes and videos. It’s all about transparency, so let the world see who you are.
11. Set Up a Second Account To Follow Gurus in Your Niche – This will give you the opportunity to see exactly what the experts do, plus give you access to what they find valuable. Chances are, if they’re tweeting it, their enormous group of followers finds it valuable. So take that information and tweet it yourself. Your followers will most likely find it just as valuable, and begin to view you as an expert as well.
12. Interact – Send Direct Messages, ReTweet your followers’ messages, send @replies, ask questions, and by all means, always reply to a Direct Message or @reply someone sends you. You never know when you’re going to meet the person who’s in dire need of what you’re offering, or is simply interesting to interact with. If someone takes the time to send you a Direct Message, chances are you said something that impressed them. Get to know that person.
13. Be the Person Everyone Wants To Know – You see these types of people every day. Famous people, athletes, and celebrities do a superb job of branding themselves based on their line of work; therefore everyone wants to be around them. You want to become that person, too! And the only way to do that is to give the people something that will make them see you in that light. And trust me, sending them a link to your website every ten minutes isn’t it! Make YOURSELF attractive. Be yourself.
14. Be the ‘Life of the Party’ – You can pick this person out from across the room. The person that everyone is gravitating towards and telling everyone else about. That’s who you want to be! Your goal is to build a network of followers who are interested in what you have to say and what you’re doing. If you’re M.O. is to talk nothing but business, you’ll suffer the fate of being the boss that no one invites to happy hour. No one will want to be around you. Be interesting! Be fun! Again…BE YOURSELF.
15. Do Not Spam 24/7 – I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. If you want to create a presence on Twitter, do not think it’s going to happen by consistently tweeting a link to your website and expecting people to click. You’ll get labeled as a bot in minutes, and people will unfollow you. So be sure to give your followers something they want. If you’ve properly branded yourself and your business on your profile page, they can check out what you do from there.
The purpose of Twitter, and all social media, is not to make money, but to brand your business and build relationships with potential and existing customers. You need to treat it as any social function you’ve ever attended. Parties, chamber meetings, live networking events…these are all venues to meet new people. And at these events, “work talk” is mixed with “life talk.”
So do the same thing on Twitter. Put these tips into action and you’ll be on your way to becoming a Twitter rockstar!