I’d like to thank Tom Strumpski @ The Strump Blog for adding this article as a guest post to his blog, the response has been great and I enjoy reading all of the comments.
Many people use Twitter as an online marketing tool for their business but fail miserably at it because they don't get that Twitters main purpose is to carry on a conversation.
Here are a few common mistakes:
This is something I had to learn the hard way and it's the same for your website content and all other things you put on the internet; people don't care about you and what you have to say unless it relates to them.
Do your tweets look like this?: "just baked cookies, ate 3 already yum!".
Our self indulgent ego assumes we are the center of the universe...but we aren't and no one cares that you just ate cookies. Here's how to fix that statement so everyone else benefits from your baking:
"Just baked cookies, ate 3 already, so delicious here's the recipe" AHA! Now we love you, and we will RT (retweet) that so we too can be the ones that shared a great recipe and then you become this valuable resource for all good things...see how that works?
Or do your tweets look like this:
"Just updated my blog..." "Just updated my website..." "Just wrote this post..."
"Want to learn how to think like a millionaire? Click this link which leads to my affiliate website that I'm trying to pass off as something I read and liked when really I'm tricking you" (kinda like what I just did with the cookie recipe)
Twitter is social media, think of it like attending a gathering of people, you wouldn't approach someone and talk about yourself immediately because you look like a jerk. People want know "what's in it for me, how are you going to benefit my life?" Keep that in mind whenever using social media, especially while promoting your business.
Why would I want to follow ABC moving company? Even if I was moving, why would I want your boring tweets scrolling through my twitter updates? Seriously, no one likes advertisements and that's all you're doing is advertising. There are very few exceptions like Starbucks, they're a huge company with many fans and can get away with it, but for everyone else, we want to talk to a real person not a logo.
Talk to people, get to know them, comment on their tweets, RT the ones you like. Use your expertise in your field to jump into a conversation and give some advice but don't use twitter as a billboard for your business.
I get many different people following me from personal trainers promoting their protein powder to wrestling enthusiast and I know they're only following me to gain more followers for themselves...but I check their updates anyway to see if they are worth following. What makes them worth following is seeing they converse with others and are actively participating in the bigger conversation through Twitter.
The other thing I check for is the ratio from followers to following, if they're following 1,200 people but only 200 are following them I know they went on a following spree clicking on anyone and everyone hoping to beef up their twitter followers. I usually won't follow back unless they have interesting tweets.
Stop following people and start tweeting interesting things, start a conversation. I've had people follow me with an empty twitter page, why would I follow you if you literally have nothing to say? Let the followers come to you, it's not a popularity contest, it's the quality of your tweets that matter.
Whining, complaining or just tweeting about all the things that piss you off in this world really won't land you too many followers. The exception to that is if you're clever and witty about it and it's become your trademark. However most of the time it's a drag and it makes you look sour and can be very bad for your business.
Look for positive things to say, compliment others on Twitter, brag about someone else's achievements, point out something that makes you happy and share it with others for them to try. Avoid talking politics and religion unless that is what you tweet about, it's too easy for those tweets to spiral into a heated argument...and they almost always do.
I've had people follow me who tweet about something I'm not at all interested in like golf. I don't golf and I personally find golf incredibly boring, no offence to those that love the sport, it's just not my thing. So if you follow me and all of your tweets are about golfing I'm not going to follow you back because I have no interest in the sport.
Talk about other things too, comment on other conversations, post a link to a funny video. It's ok if many of your tweets are about golf as long as you add other things that aren't related so someone like me can find something in your tweets I can relate to.
And just for an added bonus:
When someone follows you, never send a direct message that says: "thanks for following, check out my secrets to online wealth at www.Icouldcarelessaboutyou.com". I've stopped following a few people for that. This is better: "thank you for following I look forward to your tweets!" It's a bit generic and I get that a lot but it's much better than blatant self promotion!...Like this: Follow Me on Twitter.