Recently a colleague of mine asked a poignant question which I think many business owners who are new on Twitter struggle with on a regular basis. You have done everything we’ve told you to do, you now have many Twitter followers who are engaging your content by retweeting and favoriting it, but now what? What do you do with them? How can you further engage them and nurture that relationship to capitalize on it? You see, you already know what to do to build the community, but you’re not sure on how to take it to the next level.
Perhaps “capitalize” is the wrong approach here. After all, it does seem that the quickest way to lose a social media follower is to spam them with self-promotional content, doesn’t it? Doesn’t anyone remember the 4-1-1 rule?
4-1-1 Rule of Twitter ratio:
- Share 4 pieces of relevant content that is not your own
- Retweet 1 piece of content from your followers
- Tweet 1 piece of self-promotional content
As another colleague of mine pointed out, the short answer to “capitalize” on your new found popularity on Twitter is: “Engage with them! Twitter is a water-cooler conversation, not a megaphone.” Well said and I agree, Twitter is not a free billboard for you to sell your products or services with every other tweet. It’s a place to have conversation and figure out what you have in common with your audience. Build up that trust. You wouldn’t just go to a business dinner and spew out your latest product release, would you? Of course not. You’d work it into the conversation if it fit. But if it didn’t, you’d wait until the right time.
The thing is that as time consuming as it seems, your goal is to keep engaging and putting out high-quality content as you have been doing so you stay top of mind when your followers really need your services; which may not be right now. Or, when one of their followers needs your services and they are made aware because one of your followers retweeted your high-quality and timely content. Timely being the operative word here. Because you can put out great content all the time, but someone has to be needing it in order for it to be relevant to them at the time they consume it.
Heck, we’d all like to consider ourselves profound philosophers in our area of expertise where people hang on every last word that sputters out of our mouth. But the truth is, in order to build credibility, gain visibility and influence, you need to talk about something other than yourself and your own content, listen, and engage with your audience.