In my quest to maximize my presence on the social websites, it was time for me to learn more about Twitter. I've had an account with Twitter for over two years and only had 5 followers and was following 6 people. It was embarrassing to even stay online with this social media site if I didn't start working the site by building my network of Twitter friends.
Frankly, I had spent most of my social media time on Facebook and LinkedIn, largely ignoring the Twitter site. Part of the problem with keeping up with the site has been a lack of time to learn how to effectively use the site and gain new followers. I also have a Blackberry which is not "Twitter-friendly", taking much more time than I have to pull up the site and try to read the small text on the screen.
One of my friend's who is a social media expert urged me to get an I-pad which she said was the best tool for exchanging information and using new applications. I broke down and bought a 3G I-pad that I typed this blog on. I also have added Twitter as an application making it easier for me to use the site. So, now what? How do I get people to follow me?
Do I have the time to build my LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter network and still have a life? One thing for sure is that it does take loads of time to keep up with all of these sites and do it well. I am having a difficulty keeping connected on Facebook and LinkedIn, where days have gone by and I haven't corresponded and messages have been sent to me that I never picked up! These sites are only effective if they are kept up with or I wouldn't bother with them for building a social or business network.
The people that get the best results work diligently on these sites or hire someone to do it for them. I've written about LinkedIn being the better site for networking than Facebook, especially for the job seeker. There's much more pertinent information on LinkedIn that support a job search and is a better investment of time. But, what about Twitter; is it a good investment of time for a job seeker or for business generation?
My social media expert friend says it is! Twitter has a place in the game of social media that has become a thriving industry for building an audience for business and personal branding. We worked on my Twitter site together to update it and get more followers. I still only have 26 followers and am following 30 people, but I now know how to best use this amazing site. She adds on about 200 followers a week and has great tips for us on use Twitter as a branding tool.
- Set up a fun profile on yourself that includes both your professional and personal life, so people know who you are and what you like to do. Have fun on the site, without being too serious. Evidently, the Twitter audience has a sense of humor! So, she says have fun with the site and let people get to know you. This is not the place to list your business pitch or to quickly build or sell your brand. You need to let people get to know you and let them come to you.
- So, no hard selling on the Twitter site. Giving out information on your product, where you are speaking and your latest You Tube video is not the place for Twitter. Save this for LinkedIn or Facebook.
- To quickly add followers to your site, follow them. You can customize your followers for your own brand by selecting people you want to get to know and following their network. Most people will follow you if you follow them. The key here is to start out with the right group of people that you can build relationships with that will be mutually beneficial.
- Tweeting on Twitter is a commitment and you'll need to Tweet at least once a day to get people to engage in your life. So, if you are not committed to spending time on this site, I wouldn't even sign up.
- Comment on your networks tweets often and they will reciprocate. Your dialog will strengthen as time goes on and you will build a relationship with those you correspond with.
- Offer information, advice and ideas 80 % of the time and an only 20% self-promotion.
Tweeting now has become big business for businesses that seek instant communication to build and track followers for their product. Everyone is in the game now from CBS news to the Weather Channel to American Idol! Twitter is all about building an audience for your brand and communicating with them about your brand. It's the ultimate tool for building your personal brand if you use it wisely or it can be a disaster with no one paying any attention to you.
Be selective in who you follow as they will end up following you. Be consistent in your postings and be yourself! Nothing sells better than honesty, humor and a willingness to help others. See you on Twitter!