To many, Twitter has gotten a bad rep. Is it a venue by which to vent your frustrations and opinions without fear of repercussion? Perhaps it’s a place for some to share their insights to fixing the world’s problems? Some fear using it and some pray it just goes away.
In reality, Twitter is like attending a networking event. It’s an opportunity to be your best, play the part and be an expert in a world of many eager to hear your point of view. Like attending a networking party, you can have a cocktail, mix and mingle and share the passions and opinions of others you meet. The key to success is knowing how.
Here are My 9 Tips to Connect and Build Your Twitter Community:
- Personalize your bio. Let others get to know you. If you aren’t sure how your bio should read, look up others in the same industry or those with a large Twitter following. You’ll find their profiles aren’t limited to just a business description or a collection of hashtags. They typically share something personal in addition to their professional description. Feel free to list a goal, priority or passion. Don’t fear a little whit as it makes you appear more approachable and personable. You only have 160 characters to work with so keep it short, sweet, and simple. Here’s an example of a well-crafted bio:
Social Media Mktg Maven | Determined Day Dreamer | Telecom Maniac
*Deny any addiction issue to chocolate, shoes & handbags*
2. Be geographically aware. You want to be easily found by others in your area looking for your specific expertise.
Attempt to specify what city or geographical area you do business. You don’t have to limit it to one city, but the more specific you are, the easier you are to find.
3. Invite someone to play instead of just standing around. Like 5th grade kickball, everyone wants to be picked first but many are too scared to shout out “Pick me!” Here are easy tips to get attention (aka: followers)
4. Follow Back. This is one of the easiest things you can do. If someone follows you, and isn’t a spammer or of questionable integrity, follow them back. It’s the virtual handshake.
5. Follow Twitter’s Recommendations. Twitter will determine recommendations for people you can follow based your geographical location, description, those you follow and those following you. The more you follow, the more recommendations Twitter will make.
6. Use Tools, Manageflitter, Hootsuite, SproutSocial and even Twitter have tools available for you to search for specific industries, professionals, individuals and locations. If you are doing business in Philadelphia and want to target attorneys in that area, use these tools to do specific searches allowing you to zero in on your desired audience. Getting specific helps you flush out unnecessary connections and target the market you desire to work with.
7. CyberStalk. If there are specific companies you’ve worked with, would like to do business with or get the attention of, it’s time to do a little stalking (without the fear of a restraining order.) Find them on Twitter through key word searches of their business name, industry name, email address, hashtags they use and/or through others you know they are following. Can’t find them directly on Twitter? Go to their website and chances are you’ll find their Twitter handle online. Once you’ve begun following them, don’t stop there. Write tweets and mention them in it:
- “Found the perfect pair of Enzo’s @Nordstrom today. Count on them for a great selection & service every time! #ShoeAddiction”
If they are on top of their social marketing, they are bound to see and comment on your post. This is a GREAT way to get their attention and have them follow you back. Anyone doing a search for them is also going to come across your tweet, possibly following you too.
8. Get the party started. You’ve gone out of your way to find these companies, people and connections. They may accept your invitation, but will they participate? Twitter is the party you want to be well attended and memorable. You can’t just hand out the invites hoping people will come. Start talking, interacting, spreading the word about the amazing insight you have. Most importantly, don’t think merely posting content will guarantee a reaction. Ensure you are commenting, retweeting, sharing and posting on their content. When you make them feel special, welcome, like the guest of honor and life of the party, they will reciprocate.
9. Remaining professional doesn’t mean remaining neutral. Many companies fear having an opinion anymore. They fear they are going to turn off an audience by sharing an opinion that may not be agreed upon by others. People may not stop following you when they disagree with you, but they will stop following you if you’re boring and don’t provide to their daily progress. This isn’t giving you permission to be annoying, or hateful, but rather bold. By knowing what you stand for, represent and promote, others will feel a stronger connection with you and desire to be a part of what you represent. There are always ways to remain professional without remaining neutral.
The key to increasing your Twitter following is no different than any other old fashioned way of getting to know others… networking and sharing. Assume others want to play, be the first to invite and promote others. When you’re known for your expertise and how you make others feel, people will be drawn to you like I am to…well…shoes.
Misty is one of the ROCKSTAR Community Managers at SocialKNX who juggles babies and fireballs, as she rounds up new business leads, builds social communities strategically, and drives traffic to client sites! Her background in marketing and telecom allows her to share her business savviness with the clients she serves and she does it all while chasing her two little ones around and supporting her military husband!
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