Three tips for growing your business on Twitter.

An Expert's View about Marketing in the United States

Posted on: 7 May 2012

Using Twitter is a great way to increase the number of people who are exposed to your business. But in order to scale up, start engaging a large audience and measuring your ROI, you will first need to build a foundational following. Growing your Twitter followers may not seem like the easiest thing to do, but it’s really no harder than initiating a conversation with someone new out in the real world.

When you meet someone in person you don’t walk up to them and hand them a long white paper do you? That’s what a lot of B2B companies try to do with their social media efforts.

“Nice to meet you and here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Data Center Smart Cooling!” Instead, try making a lighthearted remark about some common ground, share something about mutual friends or comment on similar challenges. The way you act in your offline world should be the way you act online.

Simply having a large number of followers won’t necessarily be helpful to your business. In order to use Twitter to successfully market your business you need followers who pay attention to your Tweets or you might as well be talking to yourself in an empty room. Marketers using social media effectively have moved beyond “likes and “followers” and are now looking for conversations and engagement.

Here are some helpful tips on how to build your business by growing your Twitter following.

1. Follow people and they will return the favor.

People naturally respond to being followed on Twitter by following you back. You can use this to your advantage in building your Twitter audience by taking an active role in finding people who you think would be interested in what you have to say, sell, or promote. But you don’t want to add just anyone who shares the same interests as you because there are plenty of people in your industry who have already established a name for themselves (large number of followers) and have no interest in what you might have to say.

Instead, try looking at other Twitter profiles to find people who have small to medium sized audiences (1000-10,000) and start following them. Another strategy is to find a large audience profile (a mother ship) such as a Guy Kawasaki and using the “Find” function, search through their followers for people with similar interests, Follow them, and with any luck they will begin to Follow you.

2. Engage with the right audience.

When working on growing your Twitter following, keep in mind that having large numbers of followers will not necessarily benefit your business. Focus on recruiting followers who pay attention to you and value what you have to say (engagement.) And whatever you do, don’t give in to the easy way out by buying followers. Not only is it against Twitter’s terms of use, but it will result in a whole lot of followers who aren’t paying any attention to your Tweets.

Look here for followers:

a. Your clients and prospects.
b. Vendors. People you buy stuff from are your big advocates, right?
c. Competitors, (Why not? Make friends and learn from each other, partner on big projects. And of course, there's the old saying, keep your friends close and your enemies closer :)
d. Your database contacts (email inbox, email marketing lists, SalesForce, etc.)
e. Handshakes. When you meet someone at a trade show, don’t trade business cards. Immediately plug him or her into your Twitter account.

3. Have a regular conversation.

One of the most important things you can do to keep your followers interested is to Tweet on a regular basis. Just having followers isn’t enough, you will need to engage them in conversation and provide useful information in order to properly promote your business. Don’t forget that Twitter is about socializing, not advertising. If you sound too much like a salesman or your tweets come across as commercials people will lose interest in you.

Twitter can be a great way to widen your audience and promote your business or product. And it’s really not all that difficult to do if you have patience and keep these simple rules in mind. Faster is not always better in the world of social media marketing; take your time and find the right followers and you will slowly but surely develop a huge pool of potential customers.

Posted: 07 May 2012

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