Q: I am using Twitter as a marketing channel for my business, but often feel like my tweets are falling on deaf ears. How do I get other users (and potential clients) to engage with me?
A: Twitter is one big conversation. The question is: Are you joining in and engaging?
I have trained many businesses and individuals on how to use Twitter and the reason most people aren’t making it work for them is the lack of engagement. Instead of thinking “what should I tweet?”, if you have the right audience you simply join in or start a conversation.
Twitter is not about selling its about building relationships with existing or potential customers and collaborators and raising brand awareness. The building blocks for this is having the right audience, so as a rule of thumb you should be looking at doing this by following your customers, people/organisation you would like to be your customers, the “competition” (I actually see them as potential collaborators!), people you know in your existing network, other networks who are on twitter near you, businesses related to yours that could feed work to you and vice a versa, industry related press, thought leaders in your field, your peers, other businesses like yours out of area.
Not everybody will follow you back and that’s ok but you will have the right people to engage with.
You can also join in the conversation when conferences, lectures, networking or TV/Radio programmes relating to your business are using a # hashtag – you can still be part of these even if you aren’t physically there!
Using a social media channel is a time commitment and you have to look at the best times to engage with the people who can help you and your business grow. Online networking quickly grows into offline networking if you get it right. If you have the right people to engage with joining in a conversation will come easy. Like any form networking LISTEN first (well on twitter look!).