If you have been on Twitter a while, this is going to seem very basic to you. But i get questions all the time from people who just don’t understand Twitter or are afraid of it.
Decide HOW you intend to use Twitter.
Possible uses of Twitter are traffic generation, market research, brand awareness, customer service and so on. Increasingly, an online reputation is built by what we identify as valuable information.
Do you have a blog? Ideally, you would want to share original content from your blog or website with your Twitter followers. If you don’t have a blog, you can build your reputation by sharing relevant links from other sources and establishing yourself as a curator of important information.
Decide WHO will be responsible for maintaining your Twitter account(s) and how much time you want to spend daily maintaining your Twitter presence.
This is only one aspect of your social media strategy, but one that can be distracting and take away time from more productive activities.
Decide WHETHER you want to do the work yourself.
It may be that you would be best served by hiring a VA or having a member of your staff, or secretary, if you have one, to maintain your Twitter account(s).
There are really two ways to build a Twitter following.
One is the “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” method – a little like the “open networking” concept on LinkedIn, where you accept all friends. This can be accomplished by finding someone with a large following and following all their followers.
You can also go to search.twitter.com and search on the hashtag #teamfollowback. This will return a list of tweets with that hashtag in it and the Twitter names of people who promise they will follow you back if you follow them.
The problem with this approach is that it attracts bots and porn spammers, and you may not get any followers who actually are interested in your product or service.
A slightly more targeted approach would be to find people in your industry or who sell a similar product, and follow their followers. Not everyone will follow you back, but some will. After a week or so, you can unfollow those who did not follow you back.
You can also buy Twitter followers, but they are generally very poor quality. There are better ways, and if you are willing to invest a little time you might be surprised how quickly you can build a Twitter following.
Next time I will talk about the slow, steady strategic method. It takes more time, but results in a more engaged audience of people who are more likely to one day become customers.