Thinking about using Twitter to market your business? Before you sign up and start Tweeting your heart out, here are a few simple dos and don’ts that will help you be successful.
It’s all about who you know. If you want your message to get spread far and wide, you need to be friends with the people who can do that for you. Every industry has major influencers on Twitter. These are the people who have a lot of dedicated followers. The key word there is dedicated. Influencers are the ones who get retweeted. Whenever they post something, people pay attention.
Do some digging around, and make a list of the influencers in your industry. Connect with them on Twitter, and start trying to build relationships. Retweet them. Join in their conversations. Comment on their blogs. Do anything you can do to gain their attention.
In my early days on Twitter, I used to follow anyone who followed me. I thought it was the polite thing to do to reciprocate the gesture. But I quickly realised a couple of things. First, just because someone is interested in me doesn’t necessarily mean I’m interested in what they have to say.
My Twitter feed was littered with Tweets that I had no interest in from people who weren’t in my target audience. And second, there are a lot of people who will follow you just for the hopes that you’ll follow them back so they can market to you.
When choosing who to follow, always focus on building a list of quality people that you’re following. If they’re not in your target audience or they don’t share the same interests, there’s probably no point in following them.
Twitter marketing is all about engaging with your followers. If you isolate yourself from everybody else, you’re never going to see any benefits from using Twitter. Each day, you should spend a little bit of time interacting with your followers. Retweet posts that you find interesting. Reply to tweets when you have something to add to the conversation. Thank people who have retweeted you. Make sure to respond to any @mentions that you have.
Of course, Twitter can definitely be a time suck. You have to accept that there’s no way you can keep up with it 24/7. And that’s okay. Set aside a little time each day for Twitter marketing, and don’t let it take up more time than it should.
You might think it sounds weird in a blog post about Twitter marketing to encourage you not to act like a typical marketer, but you have to remember that Twitter and other social networks are a different beast. Everyone has a voice. Social media is about building relationships and taking part in conversations. Shouting a bunch of one-way sales pitches isn’t an effective way to accomplish this.
That’s not to say that you can never do some shameless self-promotion. By all means, if you have something to pitch, go for it. But do so sparingly. You have to balance your sales plugs with valuable, useful content that engages your followers on a more meaningful level.
Give and it will be given back to you. Too many people on Twitter feel entitled. They feel other people owe them retweets. They think their name should be spread on Follow Friday. It’s all about me, me, me.
If you want people to show you love, you need to show them some love first. Retweet content that you find interesting. Encourage others to follow some of your favorite Twitter buddies. Thank people who retweet you. Spotlight some of your followers on your blog. There are plenty of ways to spread the love, and when you do, it will eventually come back around when others return the favour.
Look, if you’re really trying to push something or you have an important message that needs to get out (e.g. you’re trying to help with a charitable cause), it’s okay to ask others for a ReTweet. But I’m sure you’ve seen those people on Twitter who are constantly shouting “Please RT!” on a daily basis.
It’s like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” If you’re always acting like you have an emergency that requires a ReTweet, people are going to stop paying attention to you in a hurry. They’ll stop following you or just ignore your Tweets, and then, your Twitter marketing efforts will really suffer. If you’re going to ask for retweets, do so very sparingly.