As business owners continue losing interest in Facebook because of their declining reach, rising click fraud, and skyrocketing prices, Twitter is becoming more popular every day.
But as the number of people flocking to the real-time microblogging platform increases, so does the number of people who have no idea what they are doing.
It seems simple on the surface; follow some people hoping they’ll follow you back, tweet a link to your latest blog post, fill the #remaining #space #with #hashtags, and repeat, right?
Well, not quite…that approach doesn’t work and will alienate your followers. (You know, they people you’re trying to turn into customers.)
To be successful on Twitter, you need to think of it more like having a conversation with a room full of friends and less like making an announcement on the loudspeakers of a crowded auditorium.
Follow people who are relevant
Everyone wants thousands of followers, but what do you really gain by following people just so they will follow you back? If you have no mutual interests, they aren’t going to pay attention to what you say and your efforts will be wasted on them. Quality is more important than quantity, so seek out people in your industry who care about the same things you do.
Engage, engage, engage
If your Twitter feed is a fire hose of self-promotional posts, you’re going to wear your followers out pretty quickly, and before long, you will start losing them. Instead, engage with your followers by asking them questions or answering theirs, responding to their tweets, and even favoriting and retweeting their tweets. People care about people who care about them.
Corporate vanilla disappears almost instantly on social media while personality stands out. It’s OK to ruffle some feathers—you’re going to piss some people off no matter what you do, so you might as well make an impact. I’m not saying to be a douche just for attention (unless you actually are a douche, in which case, roll with it) but don’t walk on egg shells trying to keep everyone happy because it will never happen.
Enough with the #hashtags already
There is a time for almost everything except a tweet filled with hashtags. If you’re not familiar with this term, a hashtag turns a word or phrase into a searchable link or keyword on Twitter. It’s a handy way to communicate with others who share an interest, for example, #campingfail as seen below:
— REI (@REI) May 22, 2014
But it’s easy to go overboard. Limit yourself to one or two, and don’t include a hashtag on every tweet.
You should tweet every day, ideally, several times a day to build a memorable brand. If you show up every few weeks with a flurry of tweets that fill up your followers’ feeds and then disappear, they will unfollow you. Remember what I said earlier about engagement? This is similar; if you only log into Twitter when you want to say something, your motives will be very transparent and you won’t keep many active followers.
If you want to become a Twitter pro, check out Amazon’s #1 best selling book, The Tao of Twitter: Changing Your Life and Business 140 Characters at a Time.
Are you following these steps to use Twitter like a pro, or do you have room for improvement? Would you like to share your own tips? Let us know in the comments below.