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printed.com Guest blog: How to engage with Twitter followers

Guest blogger: Mark Shaw, Author, speaker and CEO of EngagementIndex.co.uk

Has your business started to engage with Twitter Yet? Here are some reasons why it should.

Twitter is not a broadcasting station or a direct selling platform but it is a communication channel which, in its’ simplest form, allows you to post status updates on what you are doing and receive updates from others. The real value is in the ability to search for real people talking about real stuff right now and in real time. Currently, Twitter has approximately 500 million worldwide accounts with approximately 1million new accounts being opened daily, therefore it’s a community you should not ignore!

The rapid growth of Twitter means there is now a strong likelihood that anyone can find clients, customers, strategic partners and suppliers and even new business market sectors. 

By becoming visible in the Twitter community you can create advocates which in time can lead to referral business.  Twitter not only allows you to demonstrate an expertise but affords a vehicle to gain recognition of that expertise that traditionally, and without big budgets, would have been difficult if not impossible to achieve. 

Twitter is an excellent signpost to other things. It is an excellent tool to drive people to read your blog posts, articles on your website, videos on YouTube and so on.  It is a great way to gain extra publicity for your content. But to have the greatest chances of success on Twitter you have to be social. Being interesting and interested in others, sharing knowledge and other resources to help others is key.

Twitter is a bolt on to other marketing activities and it takes time and effort to understand how to use the platform. One of the key things to learn is that of having a committed and consistent approach.  This means setting your profile up to look professional and completing a short biography highlighting key points about yourself. You will also need to do a 

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little bit each and every day rather than turn up, do some messages and then disappear for a few months.

The ‘goldmine’ of Twitter is its’ search engine which is similar in many respects to Google but with one major difference. Search engines are traditionally used to find suppliers whilst Twitter’s Search Engine can be utilised by a supplier to find individuals who are in need of their service.  Furthermore, it allows the individual looking for a supplier to find conversations relating to their search and then engage immediately. Twitter’s search engine can be found at: search.Twitter.com

Twitter has developed into a real time search engine and platform.  It allows businesses to eaves drop as brands might do, allows brands to be, or perceived to be, more accessible in the hope of creating advocates.  It allows consumers to have a voice like never before and enables them to be more influential with their opinions. Going forward Twitter will become ‘the’ communication channel to find business, conduct business and manage business.  Twitter is also an excellent channel to offer great customer care from, as many of your customers will message you looking for support.

So, when are you going to join the conversation?

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