I have watched Twitter from the side lines for a few years and am sure I still do not fully understand it’s value. I have however been closely watching my wife as she engages on Twitter and continues to give and get more value from that platform. When I first saw the service I just called it stupid and pointless (much like I did with Facebook when that started to gain popularity). Oops! Lets just say that experience allows me to look upon everything today with optimism and potential.
For the complete newbie to Twitter check out Twitter Basics.
What Do You Use Twitter For?
Traditional media outlets like to push information out but Twitter is a different, it is about 2 way communication, as with all other Social Media platforms, but to the extreme. It can be used to broadcast information and some people will follow that just to keep up to date with a specific entity or person.
It’s real power is in connecting with people. You need to engage.
Engaging With People
Twitter allows you to chat with people quickly and easily. Too quickly and easily in some cases. But if you really want to use Twitter you need to put in some effort.
- Share interesting links or facts
- Directly talk to people and build that relationship
- Comment on anything that is of interest to you
- Respond to everyone that tries to connect with you
It’s Time Consuming
There is not another social network that requires more concentrated effort than Twitter. Tweets go past so fast these days and anyone can tag you in or direct message you (if you are a follower) over Twitter. Unless you have at least 1 hour to spend on it everyday, then I might suggest you give Twitter a miss for now.
Twitter is there to help you build relationships with friends, business associates and potential and existing customers. This is where you can build incredible brand loyalty and increase your profits. When you are talking to people everyday on Twitter and building that relationship, when they come to buy, they will choose you (if they like you). People buy from their friends.
But try to put this in ROI terms and it gets tricky. What is the value of a relationship and the process in which you take to build it? I can’t put an exact figure on that, all I know is it is very much worth it and many clients and contacts today are from social networks.
Expand On Relationships
Don’t expect to build complete and powerful relationships with Twitter. Consider twitter as a way to stay in touch and connected with your followers or people you follow and give you the potential to connect further. If you are really enjoying what the other person is saying:
- Connect on Facebook
- Email them
- Call them
Twitter will introduce and let you know people on a basic level. Choose those you are interested in really connecting with and take the conversations somewhere more personal. Connections made outside of social media also have the added benefit that regardless of whether your entire social media presence is wiped tomorrow, you will still have real relationships that you can contact in other ways.
Companies With Staff
If you really want to get everyone involved, get them Tweeting. Not only does it help team members be involved with the company, they can offer new perspectives and create different relationships with people. Just set a few ground rules before letting them loose. The number 1 rule I will put forth is everything must be in the positive, even if it’s a problem. A problem is an opportunity to improve.
It is also great to look at what they are tweeting to get an idea of whether your team is coherent with the vision of the company.