Twitter is all about the conversation. If you want to use the service to help you build a solid relationship with your niche or market, you have to be willing to actually try to connect to the people who make it up. So…how do you do that?
What do you want to say today?
1. Ask Questions
One of the best ways to learn about someone is to ask that person questions. Where is he from? What does she do for a living? What’s his favorite color? Does she like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, or is she more of a Kit Kat lady? When you’re trying to connect to your audience, asking your audience questions about themselves is a great way to do that.
Vary your questions. If all you ever ask are questions about your business or your products, you’re going to have a hard time getting a good response. It’s okay to veer off-topic – it helps you get to know your followers and shows them that you care about more than just their wallets.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about controversial topics. Asking people what they think of recent current events within your community is a great way to start a conversation.
2. Actually, Share Opinions
These days, customers and blog followers care just as much about who you are as a human as they do about what you have to sell to them. Sharing your opinions about things is a good way to show people who you are.
Remember, though: Actions do have consequences. Someone who strongly disagrees with you might unfollow or tell you you’re wrong or get combative. Make sure you’re prepared for potential backlash when sharing opinions about controversial subjects.
3. Give More Than You Get
You know that guy – the guy who only ever talks about himself, or what you might think of him and who never asks about you or tries to get to know anything about you? He’s the guy who somehow manages to steer every conversation back to his own experiences and how awesome he is.
Yep. That guy.
Don’t be that guy.
Give your followers more than you ask from them. Give them the information they will find useful. Send out tweets meant to inform and entertain and inspire. Give them these things for free, and don’t ask for anything in return.
Follow the 80/20 rule (80% aimed at helping or entertaining them, 20% getting them to buy whatever it is you’re selling). This way, in the rare event that you do encourage them to buy something you’re selling, they’ll be far more receptive to the idea.
4. Promote Others
Retweeting things that you think are interesting or might be relevant to your audience is a great way to build trust. It also shows that you are paying attention to what other people are saying on Twitter. This is another very important part of not being “that” guy.
When you ask questions and someone answers, say thank you. You might even ask a follow-up question. When someone sends a message, respond to it. When you see your name mentioned in a tweet, join the conversation. When someone asks you a direct question, answer it. Twitter moves fast, and peoples’ memories are long. Try to respond within an hour to every message sent your way or mention of you. Definitely don’t let more than a few hours go by if you can help it. And never allow more than 24 hours to pass or you’ll look like you’re not paying attention.
Remember: Twitter is a social media platform. The most important word there is “social.” It means giving as much as you get and actively trying to engage your market and build a real and workable relationship with them. These are just a few of the ways you can do that.
Have you stumbled upon or developed a killer Twitter strategy? What’s worked for you? What hasn’t?