I always want to find new ways to persuade people to use Twitter. But sometimes that can be really hard, especially when they are first starting out on Twitter. After all, no one likes to hear their tweet echo.
When I talk to folks about how I heart thee (Twitter), they say, “Isn’t Twitter just a bunch of twenty-somethings tweeting about what they had for lunch?” For those of you that use Twitter, you know that Twitter is nothing of the sort. In fact, you know that twenty-somethings only represent a third of Twitter users. You also know that Twitter is a good research tool and a great place to get your news.
Twitter is a smart application that has taught us a few things. It has taught us to be better writers, taught us to communicate on another level, and in a nutshell, it has taught us how to be less verbose. When you really think about it, Twitter is just like sex: when it’s good, it’s really good. And if someone says the wrong thing, it can ruin your mood in an instant and suddenly make you not that into Twitter.
Twitter is not a hard application to wrap your hands around. It’s quite easy, but it’s also not like the movie Field of Dreams, “build it and they will come.” In order to be effective and successful on Twitter you need to think about Twitter in the same way you think about relationships and sex.
- Size Really Does Matter: First, let’s end the myth about size. The infamous 140 character tweet is not all it used to be. To get your message to go further you need to tweet fewer characters. To get your message retweeted once, you want to make your message around 100-110 characters. But if you want your tweet to be retweeted by multiple people then you should try to focus somewhere around 60-80 as a sweet spot.
- How often you do it matters: How often you tweet matters. Just like sex, it’s important to a relationship. If you do it once a month, people start to lose interest and look elsewhere to satisfy their needs. Besides, no one likes to follow someone who doesn’t tweet. At a minimum you should be tweeting 5-10 times per day and this can include self-generated content, retweets, and replies. The point is to put something out there that your constituents need and want to hear.
- Rigorous repetition is required: If you have something important enough to say on Twitter then you need to repeat yourself. On the advice of Guy Kawasaki, you should tweet the same tweet four times over a 32 hour period. If you are worried about losing readers, you won’t because chances are that the same people will not be sitting in front of their computer at the four different times you tweet the same tweet.
- When and where you do it doesn’t really matter: When you tweet your content doesn’t matter if you are using a scheduler like HootSuite or Buffer. Space out your tweets and repeat them over time and you will get maximum exposure and farther reach of your message. If you use a scheduler make sure there is a mobile app you can download so that you can respond to tweets on-the-go. The great thing about Twitter is that you can tweet from anywhere you have an internet connection. Remember that being conversational is part of the equation.
- No hard and fast rules: There aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to Twitter. There are nuances and pet peeves people have, but the general rule is to be social, make conversation, and build relationships that matter and can further your business.
- Reciprocating pleasure goes both ways: Let’s face it, if you take and take and take, then you are not building rapport (and a selfish lover). If someone gives you a shout out by retweeting your content or mentioning your brand, then be sure to give them thanks. Tweeps who reciprocate the love often receive more love. Selfish lovers on Twitter tend to wind up alone.
- Eventually you quit or commit: Twitter requires slow and hard work to build up the relationship. Just like if you went into a bar and met someone for the first time, you don’t just talk about yourself incessantly. You ask questions about the other person. You get to know them a little before asking them out on a date or jumping in the sack with them. Twitter is not any different. People like to have their handles (egos) stroked, if you will. They like you to talk to them and make tiny conversations. It makes them feel like you are listening to them. It makes them feel like they are being heard. They will start to trust you. And every great relationship is built on trust. Once you build up a relationship you can ask them for a meeting or pitch them on your product.
p.s. this is an excerpt from my new social media eBook coming out this summer. If you want to be the first to know about it, then sign up for eBlasts on the right nav.