I love Twitter. I didn’t always! It wasn’t more than a year or so ago that I was whining that Twitter takes up a lot of time, and I wasn’t seeing any real results. Some business friends called me out on it, said that basically Twitter is the great equalizer, you can tweet directly to Oprah, Richard Branson, your favorite celeb, really anyone you want!

They were right. I quickly stopped whining, and started building my Twitter following. It might be the single most effective thing I’ve done to grow my business in the past year. The more followers I have, the more followers I get. The more followers I get, the more respected I become as an industry expert. The more respected I get, the more interview requests I get. The more interview requests I get, the more profitable my business is. Now, I’m a HUGE Twitter fan! I tweet all the time. Twitter is fast, it’s chock full of information, it’s sometimes hard to understand, but it IS an important place to be and here’s why:

  • Twitter is democratic: Unlike Facebook, Twitter doesn’t screen your posts based on most liked or commented upon, it lets each post be equally visible in the stream for anyone to see.
  • Twitter is a trove of information: Search what your competitors are saying, search for the people who like what you like, find out what your ideal customer needs. Bam! You have enough information to create your next service offering, to find your next tribe of followers, to write your next blog post and more.
  • You have equal reach to all Twitter users: You can talk directly to every user on Twitter. It’s a great way to reach out to influencers in your industry, and to get your name in front of them! Engage with their posts, and you may be able to kickstart a real relationship.
  • Twitter establishes your expert status: Show what you know without pressure, just a few words and a link and you are set! No need for fancy pictures or perfectly worded posts, just the facts. (Ok and maybe a little funny in there too)

On the flip-side Twitter can feel like a lot of work. I recommend to my clients that they post an average of 22 times per day. No worries! There are ways to take the burden out of the bulk and I’m here to tell you how. Scheduling and automation is key. The one caveat here, automate your tweets not your DMs (direct messages), please don’t risk sounding like a robot. Automated tweets are important foundational posts about who you are, what your business is about, your business WHY, and all of your expert knowledge in one place rotating through queues of topics. You can share quotes, statistics, industry information, and general information about your products and services. Hootsuite and Buffer are two popular scheduling tools, however my personal favorite is Social Oomph. Unlike Hootsuite and Buffer, Social Oomph allows you to create re-occuring queues of tweets. It takes a little bit of time and effort to set up, but in the end, just like everything else, the hard work pays off in time saved and ability to focus on the more meaty parts of Twitter – namely having time to engage. I like to set up Social Oomph with the following queues:

  • blog posts
  • industry stats
  • favorite quotes
  • promotions
  • general “my stuff”

Once you have your queues set up, each time one of your posts is tweeted Social Oomph automatically places it at the back of the line to wait until its turn comes again. This could take days, weeks, or longer. The longer the better of course as you want to have a lot of fantastic content for your audience to chew on, to get to know you with, and to trust you because of it. With the bulk of this churning in the background you can finally sit back, relax, and actually enjoy social media again through connecting and conversation. THEN I use Hootsuite to engage and for analytics. I also use ManageFlitter, a paid service that allows me to sort followers by all sorts of traits, helping me to follow and unfollow strategically. That’s a more advanced service. So what’s your first step going to be with Twitter this week? Find me and tell me! @karenyankovich