Made up of a little bit art and a little bit science, proper tweeting is essential if you want your Twitter account to work for you, and not against you. There are a lot of opinions out there about the right way to tweet. Like so many things, it really comes down to the fact that there isn’t a single answer. It depends a lot on the type of business you have and what you’re trying to accomplish with your Twitter account. So how often you tweet and which combination of the types of tweets you use is not addressed here. But it’s just as important to explore the different types of tweets and know what your options are. So here’s a breakdown to get your brain working:
Personal - Twitter is for connecting with your audience. One of the best ways to do that is to let them get to know you. The type of business you’re in will dictate the nature of these tweets. For instance, if you’re a blogger, you can afford to be more personal, as you’re probably on a personal level with your readers anyway. If your business is tax consulting, you might be more concerned about how your clients will see certain kinds of tweets. That doesn’t mean you don’t tweet personal stuff, but you might be more inclined to tweet about your son’s soccer team winning last night, and less likely to tweet about the cool iPhone game you just found. The key is to show your human side, while adding some value in the form of insight into your life or maybe something entertaining. Tweets like, “Had a bowl of cereal for breakfast,” while personal, are probably of little to no value regardless of your goals.
Useful 3rd party information – Posting a link to a blog post, video, e-book or other useful tool or information will help your followers and show them that you’re interested in more than just self-promotion. If you have a way people can save money or learn something interesting, share it, and they’ll keep checking your feed for more.
Re-tweets – Re-tweeting is saying that what someone else had to say was of value, and you’re letting your followers know that you respect the person whose tweet you repost. This adds value to your followers by passing on useful or entertaining information, and it lets the original tweeter know you appreciate them, which strengthens bonds on both sides.
Thank-yous – Mom was right – saying thank you is always a good idea. You can tweet thank you messages to thank people for following you on Twitter, which is a good way to connect, but might be difficult to keep up with, especially as your followers grow. Another way to use Twitter for a thank you shout out is for off-Twitter deeds. If someone wrote a guest blog for you or has agreed to speak at your event or webinar, for instance, thanking them on Twitter will accomplish the thank you, and it will get the word out about the blog or event as well.
Promotional – It’s no accident that this is last on the list. Twitter folks are very leery about people using Twitter for blatant self-promotion. That doesn’t mean you should never post a link to your products or services. It just means you need to be careful that you don’t turn anyone off. There are a lot of supposed “golden ratios” out there, ranging from 1 promo post per 3 other posts, to 1 per 10. The “right” one is probably somewhere in the middle, and again, it depends on your business and your goals.
If you want to see someone who uses a combination of all of these to effectively market her business, check out @MariSmith‘s page. Everything from her page design to her tweeting strategy are outstanding. Then again, she’s a social media consultant, so she’d better get it right! Do you have other recommendations for optimizing your Twitter efforts? Share your thoughts below in the comments.
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