Social Media now accounts for almost a third of all activity undertaken on the Web. A lot is spoken about how it can be a fantastic tool for companies to accelerate growth. However, many businesses venture into this brave new world only to be left disappointed with the results.
Of course, platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn or many of the others are merely tools. It is how companies utilise these that really matters.
Many businesses are still confused as to how Twitter is best used. Too many are simply using it as a broadcast tool, shouting their message to a small group of random individuals who happen to follow them over time.
Twitter, however, like all these social platforms, is a great way of developing relationships and staying engaged with prospects and customers alike. Of course, in the first instance one requires followers in order to have people with whom to build relationships and stay engaged.
When starting on Twitter one of the easiest ways to engage, with the right people, is to follow people who are interested in what you do.
This is achieved by searching on individuals and businesses that work in the same sector as your company. When you identify one of these, you can then see who follows them by clicking on their followers tab on the top of their profile. While some of their followers may be family and friends, it is also likely that many of these followers are interested in what this company or individual stand for, or provide. Therefore, by following these individuals you will start to be in contact with many people who are predisposed to be interested in what you do.
Once you are following these people you can start to listen to their conversations, develop relationships and contribute content of value when it is applicable. Many of them will probably follow you back and, therefore, you will start to be able to reach out and engage with them.
When trying to build relationships and engage, Twitter is no different from any other social platform. There are certain principles to keep in mind.
Firstly, listening is more important than speaking, which is true in any online or offline conversation.
Secondly, people don’t join Twitter to find out about your products and services. They join to stay in contact with friends, meet new people and obtain information of value to them at their time of choosing.
Therefore, simply broadcasting messages is ineffective and inappropriate. However, providing content of value, retweeting content which your followers may find valuable, and entering into real and genuine dialogue with people, will enhance your reputation and will, over time, lead to opportunities for your business.