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! [Tweet “Twitter is the great equalizer.”] 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
- 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
I used to use twitter quite a lot when I lived in a large metropolitan area and I found that not only could I have great conversations with people I could also go and meet them face to face. Now that I have moved to a different country and in a small town, I have fallen out of the habit of using it. What would you recommend using for finding new people to tweet with now that I am not so location focused?
Whenever I come across a resource list of people, I look up their Twitter handles, follow them, and add them to a particular list. So you can do that! Check out local chamber of commerces, that kind of thing, and start following people. Search hashtags related to your location. Then go into that list occasionally, and start engaging with those people!
Thanks for sharing all of this! Learned a lot too. I am going to check out ManageFlitter for our clients as well.
I’d love to know what you think of it! It saves me SO MUCH time and money.
Oh, Karen, that is sooo incredibly useful. I used to hate Twitter too but I do know that it can be great for your business (and it really is a lot less “moody” than FB). I will give Social Oohmp a try! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Nathalie, once you get a-tweeting, you’ll love it. 🙂
Oooh I’m so excited to try out this Social Oomph. I currently use Hootsuite.
Whoa! An average of 22 times per day – where did you get this number? Can I ask that? I’m way behind! I’ll strive for 22 this week! Thanks 🙂
Once you start using Social Oomph queues, it gets easier!
What a fantastic article!! Thank you for sooo clearly drawing out the benefits about Twitter. I especially resonated with the tip that it’s democratic. Time to give my Twitter account some love. My first step = commit to using the Buffer account that I set up. Thanks!!!
Start tweeting, I’ll RT and help you out! 🙂
I have to say that I am at that place where you were before you loved Twitter. Only I hate it for the fact that 140 characters is NOT my forte. I’m super long winded and would have to write a post and then link to it on twitter JUST for them to see what I really wanted to say haha. I don’t even really know how to USE Twitter. And 22 times a day is killer!
Oh Brianna I can so relate! I can talk forever and ever. BUT, no one wants to read our long winded stuff, so Twitter is a great way to start to learn how to be concise!
Great article, Karen. I’m still new to Twitter and have yet to crack the code. I know I need to put some time and effort in, but when you don’t understand the language it’s hard. Do you have any resources for beginners?
None official, more to come soon!
This is most certainly food for thought. Thankyou, Karen. My twitter account sits sadly unused most days. I’d been operating under the mistaken assumption that posting too much might seem obnoxious or be irritating to my followers. This puts me squarely in the newb camp, I’m sure. I have a lot to learn! I’m not even sure what to post or how to hashtag and tweet to other people effectively. Time to start exploring!
You would have to work really hard to over post on Twitter! Twitter streams move fast. Post away!
I know I need to start taking twitter more seriously. This is a good luck in the pants for me 🙂
Twitter can be a lot of fun! Let me know how you make out.
I have been avoiding Twitter for a long, long time. You made some GREAT points that have made me reconsider my twitter-exile. Pointing out how it is “the great equalizer” and “democratic” unlike Facebook really caught my attention.
Now I need to just figure out where to start 🙂 22 tweets per day sure sounds like a lot! I’ll be looking for the best free option to start with.
Thanks for the info 🙂
Just start where you are. Start tweeting about what you’re got going on, start scheduling on Hootsuite’s free interface. No need to start with 22 posts per day. 🙂
Thanks Karen! I was trying to figure out how to effectively use Twitter and this post was right on time. I’ll be setting up Social Oomph this weekend and scheduling posts. Thanks again.
I love love love Social Oomph. Let me know what you think!
Good article. You and I follow each other already. Love your content, I use Social Oomph and Manage Flitter on a daily basis amazing tools.
Keep up the good work!!
Thank you for an informative article. I think it sounds like a good idea to set up a queues. Being exhausted from posting from day to day 🙂
Do you bulk opploud a document and then set it up in a queque? I will try setting it up on Socialoomp 🙂
Both. Some I bulk upload, and then I ad-hoc upload more entries as I create them. Let me know how it goes!
Thanks for a great article. I found it on Twitter! 22 Times a day?! Wow, I have work to do