Twitter for business
Love it or hate it, Twitter could have an important part to play in networking your business.
Despite being firmly in the glare of the media spotlight for the past 12 months it is easy to overlook the potential opportunity for networking and lead generation via Twitter, and as more and more of our client base at Scotch Egg ask us how to benefit their business through capitalising on its success we’ve decided to share our top 10 quick tips to help get you started…
1) Background Image
Personalising your background image is the most important visual element in getting you noticed. Using the default image looks lazy and lacks the strength of setting your own corporate identity. Twitter can be a great tool in bringing your business into the new decade and helping you stand out from the crowd so use it accordingly. Some people choose to add contact details to their background image; however I would prefer people to get this from the website I link to 🙂
2) Profile Picture and Bio
Get a good picture and you automatically stand out in a crowd of tweets. My personal preference is for characters or real photos as they offer an approachable edge to the most up to date and informal way of networking. If you are using a host of sexy marketing girls in your profile picture beware, to some this makes you look like a spam account on Twitter whereas the guy with the big nose or funny hair suits the Twitter vibe and more importantly looks real! Finally from a personal point of view try to avoid wearing sunglasses in your picture, it looks like you’re trying a little too hard to be “cool”.
The bio is really important; it is your time to shine by showing prospective clients exactly what you want them to see and ultimately, determines whether or not they will become your followers. Include what your business is about but try shaping it with a little character. It sets you apart from the competition and matches the casual tone of tweeting. It is important to contain the key words and the elements of your business that you would look for if you wanted to get a snapshot of another page yourself.
3) Follow, follow, follow!
This is the big one so you have to get it right! Follow the people in the field that you would like to respond to you. Other twitterers will be interested to see who recently followed them, so they will check you out. If your page and bio is right you will more than likely get a follow back! Google can help you find lists of people in many business markets and even towns. Google terms like “top 50 web designers on Twitter” and “Birmingham Twitter list” then view their page. If they are indeed interesting and not wearing sunglasses…follow them!
4) Where do you find people of interest?
If you work in web development yourself have you tried searching Google for ‘top web developers on Twitter’? Any search like this will more than likely return various blog sites with top lists of people to follow on Twitter. Check the comments section for other people requesting Twitter followers and while you’re there leave the name and link to your own Twitter page!
Twitter has its very own search box which you can use to look for keywords mentioned in various tweets. If you’re looking for people in Birmingham for example, search “Birmingham”, if you are looking for people who go snowboarding search “snowboarding”! It sounds simple and it is. You can look back over days and weeks of results to follow people of interest.
6) Talk to people
Once you have your own loyal following waiting to hear from you, it’s time to get tweeting! Answer any questions they might have, share ideas and offer your own opinion on what they are talking about. If someone says something interesting then ‘re-tweet’ their message and give them credit using ‘RT @their name their message’. It’s an easy way of building rapport and strengthening relations in the market place.
7) Be polite
If someone gives you a mention, give them one back! Not only is this a great way to engage in conversation with potential clients, but it shows your efficiency in responding to a message and adds a personal touch. It speaks volumes if use Twitter to be friendly, not just to spam your own website or business and if someone has taken the time to ask you a question or comment on your tweet it is always nice to take the time to reply 🙂
8 ) Vary your tweets
Find a balance when you tweet. As important as it is to show your expertise and knowledge in your own area of business, it also helps to make it original, inspiring and interesting! Mix in a few opinions and fun details that help to build rapport and a real understanding of the type of person you would be in a working relationship. Character building and trust is an important element of networking in both the real world and virtual.
9) Man vs. Machine
Not so much a tip but just a little something to think about! You may come across automatic twitter posting solutions like ‘twitterfeed’. These can be a great tool in linking your dynamic forum content and posts to Twitter with automation to save you time, but if all of your Twitter activity is “bot” like are you really worth following? The growth and popularity of Twitter is due to friendly, personal news and updates, so make sure you mix your automatic posts (great for getting content and searchable results to twitter) with a mix of ‘hands on’ personal tweets to really engage your audience.
10) Help others!
If someone else said something interesting then Re Tweet it for them! Why not? Your followers want to see your posts with interesting content. Whether you wrote the original news story or tweet is irrelevant. Place ‘RT @theirname’ at the start of your tweet and then paste in the comment. Not only will they will love you for it but will most defiantly RT your comments back as ultimately spreading the word is what Twitter’s all about 🙂