I may be splitting the room, but here goes, when starting to build an online business, Twitter is the first place you should be looking (although for SEO purposes, Google Plus deserves a mention). The microblogging site may not be as popular as Facebook, but its raw simplicity and wide reach more than compensate for this.
Facebook may have many more users, but these are much harder to find; its much more personal nature means that its stringent privacy settings are understandable. Twitter though, is a lot less delicate and, unless a user opts to hide their tweets, you can potentially reach anyone.
If a consumer wants to get hold of a company or celebrity, Twitter is the first place they look. So this is where your social media presence should begin. Despite its simplicity though, there is a great margin for error.
Like most social media activity, you have to provide your fans with something of value. If you enter Twitter half-heartedly, you will find yourself posting pointless superficial tweets. Here are a few shallow marketing tactics you should avoid if you want to build an engaging audience.
Starting from the basics, write something that will either entertain or educate. You are not Justin Bieber, you cannot write what you had for lunch and expect half a million retweets.
Build good relations with other credible people within your industry, but do not try to leech off their existing following, not without providing something in return.
The Follow Friday hashtag is one of the best tools on Twitter, but has been used and abused by leechers. Many people, looking to find new followers, just tweet the #FF tag then a long list of influential users, in the hope that one will return the favour.
Why would your followers blindly follow these people without an explanation? When using a Follow Friday, limit your tweet to one or two accounts, explain what they do and why we should follow them. It will have a much greater response rate and they are more likely give you a mention.
Handle bad news with care, do not try to take advantage of a bad situation. The worst example of this was when American Apparel used Twitter to announce that they had a sale on during Hurricane Sandy, just in case we were bored.
Real time marketing can reap many rewards, but not during an event which took almost 150 lives.
Your Twitter account needs to develop a personality of its own, which it cannot do if you keep changing your angle or stance. You often see accounts commenting on totally unrelated topics, just because they are trending. This gets you exposure, but even the most naïve of tweeter will see right through you.
Develop a certain attitude and writing style, and maintain it when commenting on a story. Do not break character, if your attitude is inappropriate for the story, then the story is inappropriate for you.
Take Home Lessons
• Don’t tweet for the sake of it, offer something of value.
• Be opportunistic, but be consistent to your marketing strategy.
• Maintain a personality, show your human side.