When people ask me what the best tip is for their new business, or any business for that matter, the answer often surprises them: Twitter. It is still the only open cocktail party on the internet. Twitter has always been unique in that it is truly a social network and not solely a content-pushing platform.
Someone asked me once in 2013 how the internet had given me a voice, and I responded with this:
Twitter is still a marketer’s dream come true because it allows you to initiate a relationship with your customer. When it comes to cold sales and throwing right hooks, Twitter offers a special opportunity to directly connect with the people you want to reach. At any time, you can use Twitter’s search engine to find people who are talking about topics related to your business, even if only tangentially. Unlike other platforms, it’s the only place where you can jump into a conversation unannounced without seeming like a stalker. For example, cold emailing on LinkedIn does not work as well unless you are asking them to take a job. If you are selling something, it sounds like spam. LinkedIn is still job-centric as opposed to connecting with consumers.
A guy like me was able to succeed on Twitter because I was willing to put in the work and take advantage of the fact that I had permission from the product to jump into every pertinent conversation I saw in order to further my name and brand. This engagement becomes real time feedback from the marketplace.
Here are a few examples of how I built my wine business, Wine Library, through Twitter engagement:
HOW TO BUILD YOUR BRAND ON TWITTER
When building a brand on Twitter, it is important to remember to speak, listen, and react. Any business can use the following steps to grow their Twitter audience:
- Make sure your page is set up appropriately with your current logos, pictures, and contact information. Clarity and relevant content is key. This is your business card.
- How do you find conversations to jump into? Use Twitter’s search and advanced search functions to find tweets that make sense for your business.
- Use the context of your search and tweet them. But, make sure you are adding value to their conversation. Provide information or join in by asking relevant questions. Don’t just talk at them. Find out the value you can provide. Ask what they want from your business. Pay attention to the answers the market provides.
- People can then search for your company based on the conversations you are having. If you provide value, people will find you and you can brand yourself as an authority in that specific space.
Lastly, remember that patience matters. You may only get one reply out of the hundreds of tweets that you sent out. One is greater than zero and that one conversation may lead to the valuable insights you are looking for.
Image credit: CC by Esther Vargas