Part 3 of 5 in a series of blog posts on how to use Twitter for business. This post covers five easy steps to engage your audience.
The right content converts people into customers, and turns customers into advocates. Every marketer dreams of being able to engage with their target audience on Twitter. In my last post, I covered various search functions in Twitter and how you can use those to find those you want to engage with.
Unfortunately, marketers often overthink social media and Twitter. They can get caught up in the bureaucracy of social media and the improbable legality issues that can arise. All marketers and social media managers just need to remember the first rule of social media:
Keep it simple, stupid.
Here are five easy steps that are oft forgotten while trying to create an engaging Twitter account:
1) Be A Listener First
The first step in engaging your audience properly is to listen. By “listening”, I mean that you need to sit back and read what your audience is talking about and what’s important to them. Comment and retweet on others’ messages as you read them; show that you are listening at what they have to say and that you value their opinion.
Nobody likes the guy to barges into a room, is loud and annoying, and shows that s/he has no interest in what anyone else has to say. They think they are the cream of the crop, the beez-neez, mr. wonderful, and that everyone wants to hear what they have to say. Don’t be that guy.
2) Be Personable
Too often, businesses are overly formal on Twitter. Your Tweets should reflect your company’s personality. People (your audience included) respond best to friendly, conversational Tweets.
Granted, there is a fine line of personality vs. professionalism. I wouldn’t recommend that brands use excessive slang that makes you sound childish.
3) Be Original
Use Twitter to convey insights and information about your company that your customers can’t find elsewhere. Provide value to your followers, and there are various ways of doing that; you can offer exclusive deals, insider information/reviews on products, offer tutorials, etc. and so on. What you offer will depend on your business and what product/service you have to offer.
Simply answer the question for your audience, “What’s in it for me”?
4) Be Responsive
It’s common courtesy to reply when people tweet about you, even if it is a simple “Thank you for the RT”. Be sure to “favorite” and retweet positive messages, and thank those who are praising you. Conversely, promptly address critical tweets about your business and rectify the problem.
With that being said, some conversations need to be taken offline. If there is too much back and forth between you and your customer, or the exchanges become too specific for your timeline, ask the follower to send you a direct message (DM) with contact information so you can communicate further by email or phone.
I know first-hand as a consumer that it is downright annoying when I tweet at/about a company and receive no response. They just turned my experience with them, regardless of it being positive or negative, into one of disgust.
5) Be Consistent
Some marketers wonder how often they should tweet, unfortunately, there isn’t one “right” answer. Tweeting every five minutes might be too often and tweeting only weekly is very likely too infrequent. At first, make a goal of tweeting a few times a day. Over time, you’ll see what works best for the amount of content you want to share and for your particular business.
If you struggle with content, or you feel like you don’t have much to say, don’t be afraid to follow reporters, news outlets, and magazines that cover your topics, and retweet their relevant comments and insights. Not only will you provide interesting content to your followers; some of those reporters will follow you back. There is a wealth of information on the internet, it is on you to scour it and deliver relevant information to your audience.
Read part 1: What Is A Tweet?
Read part 2: How to Customize Your Twitter Profile
Read part 4: How to Get More Retweets
Read part 5: How to Get More Twitter Followers Organically