Social Round-Up: Conquering Twitter

Social Round-Up: Conquering Twitter

by Chad Jones

This is the third post in our series, “Social Round-Up”.  We will be discussing the “next steps” after someone becomes a follower of you or your page.  Many of the steps will share similar principles across social media but be modified to take advantage of the different functionality offered by each platform.  

Today we take on Twitter.  More than any other platform Twitter requires engagement.  It is, more than any other platform, an ongoing conversation.  To be successful you have to spend time on the platform every single day.  It’s an investment.  So you’ve got your profile set up, you’ve been sending regular Tweets and the followers come calling.  What’s your next move?

It’s Not About the Money It’s About the Love

Please and thank you go a long way so a quick "thanks for the follow" or "thanks for sharing the content" doesn't hurt, but it really has to go beyond that.  Unlike the other two platforms we’ve talked about so far (Facebook and LinkedIn), the focus of Twitter is more on creating brand ambassadors and less on converting prospects.  Not that you can’t use Twitter to gain customers, but it is best at building advocates for your brand.  There are two ways to go about this.

  1. Provide Value - Give them something that's going to help them out.  Be a solution to a problem their having.  Make them laugh.  Make them ugly cry.  Whatever it may be, it just has to be valuable to them.
  2. Nurture Altruism - Connect with people in a way that they want to help you out whether they need your product or service or not.  

To help do either of these, you'll need to categorize your followers. 

Organize

Like we mentioned in our Facebook post last week and the LinkedIn post before, organizing your followers is going to be key to maximizing your efficiency and success.  Luckily Twitter has a built in list feature with which you can categorize your followers.

We like to split these list into atlas three categories:

  • Leads
  • Advocates
  • Influencers. 

Don’t worry these lists can be kept private.

Creating a new list

Creating a new list

Adding user to a list

Adding user to a list

Leads

Leads are those companies with whom you’d like to do business.  Pretty straight forward, however, you don’t necessarily want to include the company Twitter handle in that list.  Instead see if the decision makers for that company have a profile.  Those are the folks you should be targeting.  

Advocates

Advocates are those who regularly share your content and spread the love for your company.  Keeping track of these followers can help you get a wider distribution of your published content, because you can reach out for help when you push out new content.  

Influencers

Influencers are really everyone else.  They may occasionally, share your content or favorite one of your tweets, but they aren’t consistent.  The goal here is not to turn them into customers but rather convert them into advocates.

Study Up

Now that you have your followers organized, it’s time to study.  I told you Twitter is an investment.  Learn what kind of content each list likes to share.  Is it pictures?  Is it video? URLs?  This takes some time and is an ongoing process.  You should always be learning more.  Armed with this type of knowledge you can craft a strong message tailored for each list.  Followerwonk from Moz is a great tool to use to gather some of this data.

Reach Out

Unlike Facebook, where I suggest using tags sparing, when it comes to Twitter, tag away.  Don’t be afraid to spark up a conversation with one of your followers, but steer clear or spamming or the “used car salesman” tweet.  Don’t just swap your "@" tag and have a stock message for the rest.  If you don’t have time to personalize each of them, don’t bother.  It can do more harm than good. 

I’m not going to get into hashtags in this post, because those are most effective at reaching new prospective followers and not existing users.  Perhaps in a later post.  For now, try to keep your hashtag use to one or two.

To Automate or Not to Automate

It is definitely tempting to automate the thank your process.  Especially if you have a lot of followers.  Obviously it saves time, and you are still engaging with your audience.  The one big draw back, and in my opinion, it’s a huge drawback, is that you lose personalization.  Where that hits hardest is with the advocates list.  Because they’re sharing your content so frequently, it will not take long before they realizing they have been put on autopilot.  Not only does this not help, it can actually hurt by turning those advocates away.

Standing Out

For Twitter there is no real trick.  The best way to stand out is to be genuine and timely.  Make sure whatever “voice” you are using, it is yours and not some idea of what you want to be.  It’s a hard thing to fake and people tend to reward authenticity.  Because the platform moves so quick your content must be relevant and you must respond quickly.  Think about if a person was in front of you and asked you a question.  You wouldn’t make them wait a whole day before you respond.  You shouldn’t on Twitter either.

Roll Up Those Sleeve and Start Tweeting

I think Twitter is the most daunting of all platforms, and it isn’t right for everyone.  It takes a lot of effort if you’re going to do it right, and there aren’t any great time saving shortcuts.  However, in my opinion, you can also build the deepest relationships on this platform.  Find your voice, start connecting with folks, and if you can do that successfully, you will have conquered Twitter and won the internet.

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