Guest post by Barbara Jolie. To gain exposure by partnering with us, read our write for us guideline.
Superficially, it may seem like Twitter, with its 140-character limit, would be the simplest social network to use and master. As in any pursuit, the great ones make it look easy. But the bite-size scale of each tweet belies the skill required to truly use this medium effectively.
Using this platform in a successful way is a lot harder than it appears. Much as in the Japanese botanical arts of bonsai or ikebana, seeming simplicity is often the result of much attention and insight. You’d be surprised how much thought the real Twitter stars put into their overall micro-blogging strategy (if not each individual tweet).
Here is a run-down of tips that will make you a twitter guru:
1. Perhaps due to its “micro” size, Twitter is less formal even than other social networking platforms, i.e. Facebook. When communicating with the ‘Twitterverse’, it’s not so effective to be constantly selling something with a smidgen of personality on top. It’s better to be a personality who happens to be selling something. Be unfiltered, be uncensored, be yourself!
2. Engage! Remember that Twitter is NOT a broadcast medium. Your communication is only as powerful as your list of followers. Make sure you nurture these followers: be generous with re-tweets and favourites on tweets by other users in your sector. Cultivate connections not only with customers or potential customers, but also with competitors, role models, and up-and-coming figures in your field. Put the networking in “social media”!
3. Likewise, give your followers ample opportunities to interact. We talk a lot about “calls to action” in online marketing, but with tweets they can carry the whole show. Ask questions. Solicit opinions. Companies pay marketers plenty of money to gauge consumer sentiment; here is a tool that allows you to reach out directly to the public and leverage their input.
4. Offer your readers a steady, but not spammy, stream of content. Tweet at least once a day, but not once every fifteen minutes. There is an upper limit to how much people want to see you popping up in their feed.
5. Don’t repeat yourself. Twitter, despite its many admirable qualities, surely has only added to the problem of short attention spans. Internet users today have come to expect a constant flow of addictive “all killer no filler” bursts of information. If they sense you have nothing new to offer them, or that you’re rehashing the same tired marketing message over and over, they will unfollow you.
6. Don’t repeat yourself. (Seriously, don’t.) Haha!
7. Consider offering your customers incentives via Twitter. Discounts and coupon codes are a good start, but try to think outside the box and come up with creative ways to use your tweets to drive business. Offer a discount that only comes with a retweet or a follow. Promote special events and one-day-only offers.
8. Finally, try using a third-party client like Tweetdeck. The start-up behind this software program was acquired by Twitter themselves last year. Tweetdeck, and other applications like it, offer a more robust and navigable interface, especially for heavy Twitter users with lots of followers to sort through.
I’ll stop at eight, because after all, Twitter proves the Shakespearian adage that “brevity is the soul of wit.” But now you see how much more there is to the microblogging platform that’s taken the world by storm…and this is just the beginning!
Your business must be sure to find a way to get its message across if it’s going to thrive in this new, constantly shifting ecosystem. Stay fast and nimble by promoting constant engagement via Twitter!
Barbara is freelance writer and full time blogger. She enjoys sharing her knowledge at www.onlineclasses.org on accredited online college classes and online education with her blogging community. You can reach her at [email protected]