Unlike the phrases ‘hazardous materials’ or ‘free money’, people often ignore the first word in the phrase ‘social media’…
I’m still new to this Twitter ‘thang’, but already I’m surprised at the basic mistakes some companies are making. People new to social media tend to resort to what they know. And often, what they know is how to advertise their company as they would in a magazine or television ad. On Twitter though, this just doesn’t work.
The Internet is Big, So We Need a Megaphone
There are different types of Tweets. One of those is the Broadcast Tweet. Broadcast Tweets are impersonal and are seen by all your followers. For companies they usually go something like:
‘Here’s our amazing product. You can buy it here. It costs just £X.’
What these companies are missing is that Twitter is about conversations. Tweeting only Broadcast Tweets is equivalent to standing in a crowded restaurant shouting whether or not you like your meal at the top of your voice.
What to Do Instead
Here are some quick tips when tweeting to encourage interaction and look less spammy:
- Create a need to respond
What are people going to reply to ‘Buy our product’? Either ‘OK’ or ‘No thanks’. Most likely it’ll be ‘No thanks’. Instead try asking open questions the way good salespeople do – ones that will allow you to talk about the benefits of your product in a way that is relevant to your prospect.
- If no one is talking with you, start a conversation
Look at your prospect’s Twitter timeline. What are they talking about? If it’s their cats, ask how they are; if it’s a business trip, recommend your favourite restaurant. Tweet things of interest to the people you want to engage.
- Read your own Twitter page
What would you think if you were a prospect reading your tweets?
Don’t Do All the Talking
Twitter is a different kind of promotion. It’s not about shouting how great you are; it’s about building relationships, earning trust and then winning business.
Think about every tweet you send and ask yourself: ‘If I read that tweet as a stranger, how would I respond to it?’ Would you retweet it because it was funny, discuss its relevance, or start a debate?
If you’re struggling to think of a response, well, you should be able to see the problem…