How do you start engaging with people on Twitter in ways that are meaningful and useful for your business, without being too exclusively self-promoting and also uninteresting?
No-one should be reduced to sharing what they had for breakfast just to use up some characters, so here are a few ways you might approach getting started – keeping a few of these ways to engage with people on Twitter should make you and those that follow you enjoy a richer Twitter experience.
- Be personal. Show an image of yourself rather than a company logo, people want to interact with a person, not a logo; use your bio to summarise who you are what you can offer and what you are doing on Twitter – this will help set context and will allow people considering following you some idea of what they can expect.
- Share more than you promote, and offer help more than you ask for it. Answer questions that demonstrate your knowledge, and make connections between your Twitter contacts that you think will help them. As with any networking situation, don’t just jump in and ask everyone to help you – often helping other people out will lead to better relationship building and in the longer term to more opportunities and recommendations.
- When someone shares content that you like, tell them. When someone retweets or mentions you, thank them. Let people know what you think about the content you are consuming, and encourage them to do the same about your content.
- Automate where you can without depersonalising your activity – link Facebook articles to your account so that they are shared directly on Twitter, tweet about your latest blog post, but resist sharing the same content in the same format across all social media platforms; they are all different and have their own ecosystems and atmosphere – cloning your comments can look lazy at best.
- Use lists to group people into specific areas of interest you are focusing on. Use applications like bufferapp or crowdbooster to schedule your tweets across the day without having to be present on Twitter the whole time – but do make sure that you respond to comments that these tweets may generate.
- Track what is working and what isn’t – as well as tracking numbers of new followers, you can look at how many visitors you get to your website from Twitter, and how many of the links in your tweets are being followed. Note the tweets that are performing best for you, and do more of the same, honing your successes over time.
- In summary, be polite. Be genuine. Be interested. On Twitter, as with anywhere else, this will get you a long way towards your goals.