In a recent article at GrowMap.com, Gail Gardner talks about the importance of using Twitter to network and help grow your business. In fact, she references an article that she found here at hornface.com: Yahoo! Research analyzes Twittersphere: Is anyone out there really listening?
GrowMap is a website that helps and encourages bloggers to collaborate and it has a tremendous following. Pay Gail a visit sometime and you’ll see why. I read one single blog post at GrowMap and I’ve spent the last two weeks buried in a project that has already more than doubled my online business.
The responses Gail received to her post, “Cornell University Yahoo! Research Twittersphere Study: Who Tweets What to Whom on Twitter” were a real eye-opener. Most of the comments were positive and thanked her for the information. But a few people commented that they hate Twitter and absolutely refuse to Tweet. I, too, hated Twitter, until I read some of Gail’s blog and started following her advice. So, it occurred to me, that maybe these people don’t like Twitter because they’re doing something wrong. And yesterday, my suspicions were confirmed.
Yesterday, I and some of my fellow Examiners got together to compare marketing strategies and one of the key topics was how to use Twitter. Surprisingly, about half said they hated Twitter and didn’t even have an account. Why? Because they thought the Tweets they received were useless and Spammy, that they weren’t getting anything back for their efforts, no bang for their buck, so to speak.
In the past, I would have agreed. I was receiving nothing but spam Tweets and promotional links, too. Oh, and let’s not forget those canned motivational messages that Internet Marketers think everyone loves to read.
But 2 weeks ago I set up a completely new Twitter account and I did 3 things differently:
- I carefully worded my bio, making sure to include keywords relevant to the people who I wanted to attract.
- I carefully chose about 200 people to follow.
- I dove into the Twitterstream.
Those keywords in your bio are of utmost importance. I’m a writer and I wanted to attract fellow writers so we could share writing tips, publishing tips, etc. So I made sure to include the word ‘writer’ in my bio and I wrote something witty, something that would attract the attention of other writers and let them know I’m not just here for the spam, that I actually want to network and socialize. (Hey! That makes sense! Network? Socialize? On a Social Network like Twitter? Who’da thunk?)
When you write your bio, it should be something directed at the people you want to follow you. What words will they be using when they search for someone to follow on Twitter? And what will entice them to follow you?
The first few people you follow on Twitter are also key to your success. Use the Twitter Search tool or follow friends of friends or search the Internet for some cool lists of people to follow, but, no matter how you find people, read their bio first to see if you really want to follow them.
Look for people to follow who will be interested in what you have to say but also look for people who will be able to help you with your business, or at least provide emotional support. If you have a gardening website, then you’ll want to follow people who are interested in gardening and you’ll also want to follow people in the gardening business.
Why? Because both of these groups will have even more people following them and, if they like you, they’re going to be passing your Tweets on to their followers. Eventually, this is how your own number of followers will grow. You don’t want to attract followers who are writers, like I do, you want to attract gardeners. So, be careful who you follow, especially in the beginning.
And, for heaven’s sake, if they’re naked in their profile picture, don’t follow them with your Twitter account that you’re using for your business! ‘Nuff said on THAT subject…
The third thing you might be doing wrong is that you’re not engaging your audience. No one is just going to start up a conversation with you – you have to get in their and engage. No one is going to follow you if all you do is send out promotional (or motivational!) Tweets, either. You have to get involved with your followers and the people you’re following. You have to engage in conversation. Period. The Twitter stream flows much too quickly and wallflowers and spammers just simply won’t stay afloat.
If you hate Twitter, do what I did. Start a completely new account and give it another try. Only, this time, don’t worry so much about the number of people you’re following and who are following you. Instead, go for the quality of those followers. And get in there and engage.
Now, can somebody give ME some tips on Facebook? ‘Cuz I really, really hate Facebook! Truly. I do! I wonder if I’m doing something wrong…
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