Wow, what a minefield! There’s so much conflicting information and advice out there that it makes using Twitter for small business marketing seem like too much hassle.
I actually love Twitter, now, I didn’t once upon a time. It’s a great medium for sharing information, news, and banter with your clients and peers alike. Building trust and awareness for your brand as you go. With such an open community, you can end up in conversation with anyone – which is great – variety is the spice of life after all!
Almost as soon as you join Twitter people start to follow you and this is your first hurdle – do you do follow back automatically.
Laugh if you want, I know the people I work with do, but I go through every notification of a new follower on Twitter and I manually decide whether to follow them back. I don’t automate this process at all.
Meeting people online is the same as meeting people offline – there’s that magical seven seconds when we form the initial impression of the person or business presented to us.
It’s become apparent, much to the merriment of my colleagues, that I have a set of criteria to determine who to follow back – it literally takes me a few seconds to check out each profile.
My quick criteria for following back on twitter
- have they bothered to upload an image to their profile? If yes they have passed the first hurdle – I don’t follow eggs!
- If there are certain words in the bio I just won’t follow them – end of story.
- No Tweets, nothing that captures my attention in their timeline or just a stream of links with no commentary – yeah no follow!
- Then if I am curious, I follow the link to the website or Evernote it for later review.
If you pass all those subjective and judgemental criteria, then I’ll follow back and add them to one of my lists so that I don’t miss their Tweets in my stream.
Why do I manage my Twitter account this way?
I’m a firm believer in social business. I think it ‘s important to be transparent and as approachable as possible, but you do have to strike a balance.
Our time and resources are limited, so it’s important to me that I find a way of keeping my Twitter stream as relevant as possible to my interests – if I didn’t do this then overwhelm might set in and I wouldn’t be in a position to engage effectively with anyone.
Even the people that are proponents of automatically following back caveat that by saying that if they find that you are not a right fit then they may well unfollow you later.
Why not save yourself a load of hassle and just do the vetting upfront? Saves you from having a stream full of spammers, get rich quick schemes and bots, making your Twitter experience a much happier one!
You of course need to do what makes sense for you and your business, but Twitter as a tool for small business marketing is all about building relationships and connecting with people who could be potential clients or partners.
To my mind you If you don’t know who you are following or who is following you back then how do you know you’re reaching out to the right people or whether or not your strategy has any hope of success.
How do you approach your Twitter account? Do you use automation tools to follow people? How has that worked out for you? I’d love you to share your thoughts and experiences with me.