Are you a Twitter quitter?
I admit that I was a Twitter quitter. I set up an account years ago and promptly abandoned it. I am not alone though, 60% of all Twitter users quit in the first week.
Then I started Tweeting at events such as Microsoft Convergence. It was fun to interact and connect with other people at the event this way, but I still didn’t see what all the fuss was about.
Two tweets changed my mind.
First, I sent a Tweet to a top Microsoft executive, that I could not reach via email, and got him to agree to do a keynote presentation at my event.
Then I tweeted a stubborn support question to a big name company, and I got the reply right away.
This was amazing! I realized that there was more to this whole Twitter thing that I was giving it credit for. So I decided I needed to finally figure out how it really worked.
I attended sessions from Twitter experts and I admit that I left just feeling confused. It was like they were speaking a foreign language.
The book that finally helped me to “get” Twitter was “The Tao of Twitter” by Mark Schaefer @markwshaefer.
I highly recommend this book for anyone in a business role who wonders why the heck they should use Twitter. And for people who want clear instructions on the principles, and tools, to actually use it effectively. It is short, well written and full of real life practical examples for using Twitter for business. Mark Shaefer boils down Twitter success to 3 principles: Connections + Content + Helpfulness
Here are a few highlights I took away from the book:
- “If you are interesting, entertaining and help people with useful information your followers will be drawn to you and also recommend others to you.”
- Leave time between your tweets, at least 30 min preferably one hour. Don’t overload your Twitter followers all at once or they will stop following you.
- Tweets will be read more if you edit the Retweet so that via @name goes at the end and the tweet looks like it comes from you. And this way your profile photos shows in the Retweet which makes it easier for people to realize it if from you.
- Think of social web like a dinner party. If somebody only talks about himself, his business and how great he is, you’re going to want to get away fast.
- Clicking “favorite” is a handy way to save a Tweet so you can go back to it later. It is also a nice way to give some recognition without sharing it.
- Key an eye on your “Twitter ratio.” If you follow way more people than follow you this can be a sign to others that you are not that interesting. Try to keep following to followers pretty even.
- Twitter lists allow you to organize the Twitter streams so you can make sense of what might seem like chaos. You don’t have to follow someone to see their tweets when you add them to a list.
- Create Twitter lists that will be helpful to your prospects and share the URL. (Such as Dynamics List for New Consultants)
- Having a hard time making the business connection with a new lead through cold calls an email? Try a tweet or direct message. Some people who don’t return calls will return tweets.
- Putting a Twitter feed on your website can backfire.
- You can be successful using Twitter in just 20 min a day using the right tools.
- Even if you are tweeting for a company, use a photo of a person rather than a company logo. People related to people, not logos.
- People with tens of thousands of followers may not readily follow you back. Focus on people with fewer than 5k followers for best chance to build relationships, if you are just starting out.
- Make it easy for people to find your Twitter name. Include in videos, in email signature and on business cards. Add tweetable moments in your presentations and add twitter handle @name at bottom of each slide. Create tweetable links in your blog posts.
One thought in the book especially resonated with me:
“The rule for creating relationships and business benefits through Twitter: “you just never know”. You never know who will connect with you, you never know how he or she will connect with you and you never know where it will lead.”
This optimistic attitude is one that I have already believed is required to succeed in marketing.
Now that I finally “get it” I feel that Twitter is a perfect fit for my style of marketing. In just 3 months of seriously focusing on Twitter I have grown to 800+ followers and a Klout score of 50.
If you are still wondering why Twitter is worth your time, I encourage you to read “The Tao of Twitter”.
By Anya Ciecierski, Collaboration Works Marketing