Most business professionals understand the value of a big, engaged following on Twitter. After all, the more people you’re able to reach, the more likely it is that you’ll start meaningful conversations and, over time, generate higher quality leads. Many people also assume that if they can’t build that kind of massive following, then it’s not worth investing a lot of energy in Twitter.
That’s a mistake. And here’s why: Twitter isn’t about engaging with the entire network.
Twitter is about engaging with your network.
Whether your network is 200 or 5,000 followers, the right approach can help you rise above the noise, build meaningful relationships with prospects, and successfully move conversations offline. That last part should be the goal, because it’s very difficult to sell a service directly from Twitter.
Here are six tips to help you do that:
- Don’t follow everyone. Instead, follow only your customers or prospects, and the thought leaders or influencers in your industry who have already built credibility with the community you’re targeting. Over time, you’ll want to update your contacts regularly and make sure you’re only following those types of accounts. Once you have a strong grasp on your network, you can then expand to secondary connections. For more on this, check out this post on how social media can strengthen your indirect prospecting.
- Organize your network into lists. The home feed can be overwhelming, thanks in part to algorithms that dump content that Twitter thinks is relevant to you or your industry. An easy way to avoid the chaos is to organize your network into lists – think groups of people with similar traits or interests. This allows you to monitor those lists and engage the right people with the right content at the right time.
- Use, create, and monitor hashtags. Hashtags are crucial for finding new followers and helping potential followers find you. You can do a google search for the appropriate hashtags, but we also recommend paying close attention to hashtags that your followers use. Another option is to make up your own hashtags and track others’ engagement with them.
- Be consistent. When it comes to building credibility and driving engagement with your network, Twitter as with other important social channels like LinkedIn (more on that here), you must be consistent and relevant. On Twitter, this means checking your network every day. Post a couple of times throughout the day (spreading tweets out instead of blasting a dozen tweets in an hour). Engage with the content other people share. To make your tweeting more accessible, download the Twitter apps on your smartphone. With a few swipes, you can check-in, engage, and be done.
- Use a social media management tool. Software products like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Tweet Deck make it easy to create lists and manage communication with your followers. For lists in particular, it can feel overwhelming to create and monitor each one individually. But with a social media management tool, that process is much simpler. With follower engagement, these tools are also super helpful because you can easily find and engage with content from a hand-picked network of people, instead of sifting through your entire Twitter feed. This allows you to keep conversations flowing in a more natural, personalized way.
- Incorporate multimedia when and where it makes sense. It’s all about balance. You don’t want every post to be text only. But you don’t want to flood your feed with stock photos, either. Instead, do your best to mix in images, memes, and GIFs to make your content stand out.
Many people still mistakenly assume that Twitter is a medium best left to consumers, athletes, and superstars, but that’s just not true. With a little bit of focus and careful curation, you can develop a Twitter network that helps you build better relationships with prospects, customers, partners, and key industry influencers. Over time, those relationships will yield valuable engagement and help your business drive a steady flow of high quality leads.