What is Twitter?
Twitter for those of you who still live under a rock is a social media platform where users can send short messages to each other. Some would say Twitter is a giant cocktail party or a giant playground depending on your outlook in life! With that in mind, I will have a Glen McKenna— neat.
In this proverbial cocktail party, you can act how you desire. Walk through the party without a word to anyone, talk to a few select people, or stand on a table yelling and dancing.
Why should you be on Twitter?
Jeff Bullas has a great blog post on social media stats. Some very interesting Twitter stats:
- There are now over 550 million registered users
- 34% of marketers use Twitter to successfully generate leads
- Twitter was the fastest growing network with a 44% growth from 2012-2013
- 215 million monthly active users
How to grow your list of twitter followers and generate leads…
In the world of Twitter, there are two ways to generate followers. The first way is to follow a few people, wait a short time and un-follow those who don’t follow you back. The process of following and un-following is called churning. Churning could be seen as a total waste of time.
Followers gained by churning generally do not have a care about your product, service, or what you have to say. Most of the time, their motives are selfish and they will not engage with your content.
The second way to grow your Twitter followers is to post relevant information that interests your audience, engages in conversation and has discussions. This takes time every day, but in our humble opinion, it’s totally worth the effort. This is the “organic method” of attracting Twitter followers.
Though this may take more time to build a following and time in your week to manage, the results are a beautifully targeted list.
6 key steps to start generating a targeted following on Twitter:
- Set up Google Alerts about keywords in your industry. This will send relevant, new information and content to your email so you don’t have to search for it.
- Use URL shortening tools like Bit.ly, Buffer or Hootsuite and schedule posts ahead to save time.
- Periodically jump on and engage in conversation with yours. Most Twitter users will respond and engage with you if you ask them open ended questions (not questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no”).
- Use tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck and follow key hashtags for your industry. In Tweetdeck, you can create columns to constantly show the newest tweets with a certain hashtag.
- When someone has a great piece of content favorite his or her tweet. Favorites are a metaphorical “pat-on-the-back.” Users become curious of you and your content when you favorite their tweets. This is a great way to increase your engagement.
- Find people you want to engage with, follow them and ask them questions. Look up people or companies that have a similar following to whom you are looking for and follow their followers. Tweet to your new found friends with questions that show that you are genuinely interested in them, their life, and product or service.
How to Network Like a Pro
Engaging in conversation is extremely easy— it just takes a bit of practice! Newbie marketers consistently make two big Twitter-networking mistakes.
Biggest Networking Mistake #1
Starting Tweets with @username before the Tweet:
This limits who can see the tweet to only those members who follow you and that other individual. If you start a tweet with any other character such as a (.) or a hello, then EVERYONE can see what you are talking about. An example would look like this: “.@CocaCola I love your drinks” or “your drinks are delicious @CocaCola” This would let everyone know I love Coca-Cola.
Biggest Networking Mistake #2
Looking to Sell Right Away:
Often people and companies will send a message “Hey check out my blog” or “Hi follow me on Facebook” etc. as soon as you follow them. This only causes your recent followers to view your potential authenticity with suspicion.
To generate leads, there is a very simple formula…
Be Authentic + Give Value = Targeted Followers
Authenticity starts from within. Why are you on Twitter, and what are your business goals? If you are on Twitter because you understand the value of conversation and relationships than being authentic will come naturally.
Ask your Twitter follower questions. Learn about them. Everyone has a unique story that is worthy of your attention. The bonus here is that when you are authentic, people become naturally interested in you and your product. You become magnetic! It’s human nature.
This means adding value to a conversation, solving problems your prospects have, making people laugh or educating your audience. Think about the last time you had a conversation with a person who just “got you.” That conversation added value to your life—you gave and received freely not asking for anything back.
Giving value is the act of giving without asking for anything in return.
How to “Close” on Twitter and Generate Leads in Less Than a Week:
Let us assume for a moment you have followed the rules so far. You have found your prospect, spoke with them for a number of tweets, and have built a strong rapport. Before the weekends, take the conversation offline.
Ask your prospect to have a Skype call, a phone call or an in-person meetings works great! Work your sales magic once you get them offline. Remember to keep being genuinely interested in them!
Do you use twitter to network? If so leave your username and we will talk! Happy Tweeting!