Twitter can be a great tool for learning, listening and having conversations. Unfortunately, many people only use Twitter to broadcast their own agenda, just putting out content and self promoting material without ever interacting with anyone. These people are not having conversations, they are delivering monologues and as one might imagine, not too many people stick around for the speech. This result was highlighted to me recently when, in an effort to streamline a client’s posting strategy, I took over the posting for two days.
Up until that point, various people in the client’s marketing department had been doing the posting at the direction of the CEO. The CEO was bringing his staff a collection of articles on politics, religion and lots of other controversial topics. This could have been OK, however, the company’s audience was not the least bit interested. There had not been a response of any sort in weeks. The majority of this client’s followers were looking to learn tips to help them run their businesses in a more efficient and effective way, and this type of information was not being shared. Not from their own storehouse of knowledge, nor from others.. This lack of interest was exhibited in a total lack of retweets, no favorites and ZERO conversations. (To protect the guilty, I have omitted screenshots of the client’s account)
On the first day that I was posting for the client, I made sure to retweet and engage with other industry leaders. Within a few hours we were being retweeted and having conversations. Was what I did difficult? Absolutely not. It simply took listening, contributing to the community of which the client should have been a part, having a conversation rather than pushing out information that was off topic and sharing information that was on topic. I also made sure to mention the handle of the person who had written one of the articles that I had tweeted. This last strategy is helpful in creating conversations as people are alerted to the fact that you have shared their information. They thank you and you can, if you are careful to pay attention and are interested in being gracious, create conversations from those interactions.
Creating conversations is not difficult. In many industries there are hashtag around which the community revolves. There are also things like #FF (Friend Friday) where you are able to mention others and be gracious. Below is an example of some conversations that I have had with others using our own Calendar Warehouse Twitter account. In this account we primarily interact with other B2B companies. We were looking for an additional trade show that we could exhibit at. I reached out to someone who tweets on behalf of an association whose members are a perfect fit to our target audience. Here is part of the conversation.
As you can see Liz and I were engaged in the same kind of conversation that we might have had if we were standing in the same room. That is the goal, viewing Twitter as just another tool to network and share information.
Not sure how you can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your time on Twitter, call me to see if I can help you.