twitter birdTwitter is a bit like Marmite – people tend to love it or hate it.  Some people see it as an amazing network where you can talk to anyone and get pretty instant responses – a bit like text messaging on a global scale.  Other people just don’t get it and think it’s a pointless time waster.  If you’re in business it’s worth having a presence on Twitter – the challenge is maintaining it without being forever tapping away on your keyboard or mobile devices.

The secret is having a strategy and focus for your Twitter activity – and using some of the tools that make Twitter more valuable as a business marketing tool.

Firstly, Twitter is more of a ‘join-up-the-dots’ activity than a serious relationship building tool.  Yes, it allows you to interact with people, but the short message restriction makes an in-depth conversation challenging.  However, it is a quick way to reach a lot of people – and there are a number of pluses to consider:

  • If you post valuable, interesting, engaging content – or links to it – people do share it, which means you reach the connections that are following people who follow you.  If you only have 100 followers – but one or two of those followers have 100,000 followers, every one of your posts that those well-connected followers share potentially reaches a large number of those people.
  • If you want to organise the people you’re following into groups so you can keep track of what your clients, networking contacts, thought leaders etc are saying – you can do this easily so you don’t have to read everything everyone is saying.
  • If you don’t have time to post every day there are plenty of useful tools that help you to schedule posts ahead of time – and automate SOME of your activity.
  • If you are overwhelmed by the amount of chatter, you can siphon off the bits you want into a separate feed so you don’t have to pick your way through everything to find the gold dust.
  • It’s a fantastic way to curate content from industry experts so you can share great material from the gurus in your industry (or any other industry your clients and potential clients might find useful) – gaining you a reputation for having your finger on the pulse.

I find that people are either Twitter fans and find it a great chatosphere or simply don’t get it and can’t see how it can possibly help their business, I’ve found that:

  • It helps me to stay visible with people I may have met once several years ago – they keep reading my posts and don’t forget I exist.  I’ve had both business and recommendations this way.
  • It’s a quick way for people to connect up a ‘want’ with a solution.  People often post ‘Does anyone know a good …?’ and if that missing word is ‘copywriter’, ‘LinkedIn trainer’ or ‘reputation marketing expert’ or anything along those lines, the people who know what I do often respond with my Twitter name (@lesleywriter) so I see it too and can follow up with the person who originally asked.
  • I discover and read more good quality blogs because I follow interesting titles on Twitter – so I stay informed on my industry and learn more and more all the time.

Learning how to make Twitter operate on Rocket Fuel is a combination of having a strategy, generating good value content, using tools to make life easier and save time, making monitoring as much a part of your daily activities as your email is (but it takes much less time).

Unsurprisingly, I run occasional webinars about Twitter on Rocket Fuel – the latest pair (at the time of writing) are Part 1 – 7.30-8pm on 25th June, 2015 and part 2 – 1-1.30pm on 2nd July 2015.