When we work with a new client to improve their social media presence, very often one of the most confusing platforms for them is Twitter.
Frequently we hear:
“I don’t get Twitter.”
“Twitter is just for celebrities.”
“Twitter is a waste of time for my business.”
It’s easy to understand why people feel this way.
More than any other platform, Twitter has its own language, its own customs and its own way of rewarding the users on the platform. Because of this, it has a steep learning curve.
Once you get a ‘feel’ for how Twitter works, it gets easier to use it for your business. Here are some tips to help you get the right focus when it comes to using Twitter for business.
1) Focus on helping in your industry
Imagine being in a room full of people who are busy talking about themselves. That’s how it feels to be on Twitter sometimes.
The tendency on Twitter is to focus energy on trying to look cool, to share updates about your business, and trying to sway people to visit your profile. But the problem is, that this is exactly what everyone else is doing as well.
Instead of this, if you take time to explore the topics and trends that are part of your industry, you will find that you can start to grow your interactions and engagements. You can find ways to help those who have questions and offer potential solutions to them.
By commenting on and sharing (retweeting) interesting posts and ideas, you can start to grow a following for your business. When other people realize you are a helper, then you are more likely to keep them interested. If they just see you trying to self-promote, they will ignore you just like everyone else.
2) Listening is important
Have you ever noticed how nice it is when someone listens to you? They don’t just wait for their turn to talk, they actually listen and absorb what you are saying. How much better do you feel interacting with that person a second time? How much more do you trust them?
The equivalent of listening on Twitter is to like (heart) and retweet the things that are valuable that other people share. Make thoughtful comments that further the conversation. Ask questions. These are ways that you are showing them that you are listening and engaged with their point of view.
3) Give first and you will receive
It’s the old cliche that always works. Zig Ziglar was famous for his saying “You can get whatever you want if you help enough other people get what they want.”
This is also true for social media, and especially Twitter.
On Twitter ‘giving’ can be as simple as acknowledging a good post, it can be sharing something with a person who you think it could be valuable for. It can be retweeting other people’s ideas and content. There is a myriad of ways to help, and it all starts with the right focus.
One valuable tweet that helps people can be retweeted to the world many times over. But if you try to self-promote, then people will see through it.
By flipping the script to focus on helping, curating and being a trustable authority, you will notice that more people begin to notice you. This may be small at first but it will grow in momentum. There are countless examples of people who have built large followings on Twitter simply by interacting with a community and serving a specific need.
Rather than obsessing about how to get more Twitter followers, or spending money on Twitter Ads, maybe a better way to start building your brand is to simply be worth following. Act like you would in real life, be helpful, be reliable, and you will find your online influence begins to grow.