There’s a lot of rubbish talked about social media marketing. But when you use it wisely it’s a genuinely good way to build trust, promote your business and – eventually – win new business. Here are some common sense tips for using Twitter to its full advantage yourself, without paying for outside help.
- You win followers by following other people. It’s best to follow people who stand a chance of being interested in your stuff. If you’re working B2B, for example, you need to gather business followers. And if you operate locally you need to collect followers in your area. It’s a slow process, so be patient.
- It’s about quality, not quantity. You can have 2,000 followers but if they’re unlikely to need your services or products, they’re pretty useless in a business context.
- Some people just Tweet outwards, but interaction is probably your most powerful tool. It’s easy when you work at your desk – I hop in and out of Twitter during the day, re-Tweeting other people’s Tweet, replying, ‘favouriting’ Tweets and starting discussions. It’s the only way to get noticed and build trust.
- Unless you’re at a computer all day, it’s not realistic to use Twitter for business. That’s why so many people employ others to do it for them. You can automate your Tweets so they go out at regular intervals – there are plenty of tools that let you do it easily. and smoothly. But unless you can actually join in and respond as people react to your Tweets, you won’t make the necessary impact.
- Twitter isn’t about direct selling. It’s about building long term relationships. Don’t Tweet an endless stream of sales and marketing messages. You’ll only bore and irritate people. Get personal instead. Be yourself. Be human. Have fun. Ask questions. Seek advice. Be helpful. Just drop a subtle sales Tweet in there every now and again. If you get stuck, think about the kind of things you like to see on Twitter, that you enjoy, and act accordingly
- It makes a lot of sense to send followers to your website whenever you add something new and exciting. Tweet your blog posts so people can click through and read them, and you’ll get extra traffic, win friends and influence people and let search engines know your site is a popular place people enjoy visiting.
What qualifies me to say all this? I’ve been using Twitter for more than a year to attract new clients and it’s worked really well. I also collaborate closely with a Twitter expert, writing for her customers, and I’ve learned a great deal from her.
What do I Tweet about?
- funny and entertaining stuff I come across during the working day
- the weather… us Brits are obsessed with it and it’s always popular!
- comments on breaking news and events
- questions I’d like answered
- links to unusual and interesting places
- links to my latest blog posts
- the antics of our cats Molly, Steve and Dave, including photos
Keeping tabs on the time you spend on Twitter
You’re doing it yourself, but there’s still a cost attached: your valuable time. Make sure you keep a note of the time you spend on Twitter then you can calculate whether you’re earning a decent return on your investment.
A lot of people give up far too early, probably because they’ve been led to expect miracles or are treating Twitter too much like a sales vehicle for it to do the trick. Give it at least six months. While it isn’t magic, it can be potent stuff if you give it a chance.