In the realm of social media, I enjoy likening Twitter to the world’s largest cocktail party; you have this giant room in which there are millions of people talking, and it is easy for one to become lost and/or overwhelmed. People I have met that are disgruntled with Twitter often have come into the party, found their friends, and quickly left because they find that their friends are talking nonsensical things such as what movie they went to last night or what they are having for dinner.
“I can find out what my friends are doing in person, I don’t need Twitter to do that for me; it’s just plain silliness,” are common words muttered by many people with deserted twitter accounts.
Sadly, those people don’t understand the great opportunity of Twitter; they don’t see the opportunity they had to engage with people that they would normally never have the opportunity to do so. They walked into the cocktail party that included the biggest names and celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Lebron James, The Wall Street Journal, President Barak Obama, Steve Jobs, Nike, and the list goes on.
If you came to a party with those kinds of names, why would you waste your time staying huddled around your friends you already have contact with daily? Isn’t that why Facebook was created?
The Twitter cocktail party is FILLED with people who are in niche-groups talking about subjects relevant to themselves and it is your opportunity to show up to the party and engage with the groups of people that are discussing things that you care about. One of the greatest things about that is that you can engage as much or as little as you would like. You are able to sit back and listen to what is being said, chiming in occasionally (if at all), or conversely, you can engage in the conversation replying to people’s ideas, providing your comments and insights, sharing information, and parting your own knowledge on the subject.
That being said, here are some quick thoughts on how to properly mingle in the world’s largest cocktail party called Twitter:
- Firstly, when you show up to the party, find the people who are like-minded and are engaging in conversation that you are interested in. Not sure how to find them or not sure who they are? Try searching key words in the Twitter search bar using hashtags (a.k.a. the pound sign, ex. #sports, #politics #movies, #engineering, etc.).
- Like a cocktail party, if you show up in a group and immediately start talking about only yourself, you annoy everybody and they eventually tune you out and stop listening to you. You cannot stand on the coffee table, pound your chest and say look at how great I am and expect everyone to listen, even if what you have to say is relevant and/or important. The proper way to engage and be heard is to come into the group, see what they are talking about (read the tweets), engage in the conversation (retweet, @-message, & direct message), and when appropriate, share what new information you have to offer.
- When sharing information and conversing on twitter, you should always try and include a link in your tweet. Recent data presented by Hubspot‘s Dan Zarella (@danzarrella) showed that there was a positive correlation between the number of followers someone has and the number of tweets that has a link within it. The key take-away that stood out to me from that study is that sharing where you get your information gives you credibility. Another take-away was that when you include links in your tweets, not only does it give you credibility, but people tend to follow you because you become a targeted search engine and/or news feed for that particular subject which you tweet about.
- As you engage in conversation with like-minded people, sharing ideas and retweeting others’ messages, they reciprocate your kindness and do the same with your tweets, distributing your message to their followers. It is through this process that you can become known as a thought leader in whichever industry you are tweeting about.
Whether you are a B2B or a B2C marketer, the process is the same. Everyone has the opportunity to become a leader in their industry if they properly utilize social media.
“We don’t have a choice whether or not we do social media, the question is how well we do it” -Erik Qualman