Well folks, we've reached over 220 twitter followers this week. You may think, well... that's an odd number to be excited about. But to a twitter newbie such as myself, every single last one of those follows ignited a little "woo hoo!" from the inside. Prior to starting with Sprocket Websites, I didn't have a twitter account. So, when asked to start up a twitter page for Sprocket Store, I said, "Sure! No big deal!" and thought, "gulp." Before this, I hadn't even browsed into twitter to poke around or see what the buzz was about. To be honest, I was a Facebook girl. There was no denying that I knew the in's and out's of my Facebook page like the back of my hand. But one thing you'll learn, if you're starting a social media following for your business, is that Facebook has made it a little harder for business pages to get moving off the ground. Facebook 'likes' are probably five times more precious to me than twitter follows. I can't go out there, as a business page, and 'like' someone's page and hope that that causes them to 'like' me back. So for all you DIYers out there, here's a bit of advice: Don't panic, it's going to take some time -keep trying and it will pay off. This was a huge trial and error experience for me. As a business, twitter is a great tool for you. It helps to get your name out there and make your postings visible to more and more people. Some people are even nice enough to share newsletters of yours, sales that you have going on, etc. with their own followers to give you a little extra boost. It's a great networking tool.
I'm not going to sugar coat this for you though. After you set up your account, choose some great pictures to put up, and write a great little bio -the scary part sets in. (It did for me at least) You wait. You stare at your screen, with a big fat zero next to the followers, and you wait. Then you'll start to think to yourself, "What am I doing? I don't even know what a 'tweet' is. What am I going to write as my first ever tweet?! It's probably going to sound lame. Who is going to follow me? This is nuts." On, and on, and on. And so, from that nerve racking experience, I've come up with a few tips for those of you that are just getting started. Will they work for everyone? Probably not. Are they working for me? Slowly but surely!
- Your first twitter post isn't life or death (seriously, it's not). To be honest, unless it was a particularly traumatic experience for you, you're not going to remember it anyway. Keep it light and casual.
- Don't be too proud to ask for a follow! Is your grandma on twitter? You have got to get started somewhere. Once that zero flips to a one or two, you'll feel mounds better. So what if it's a friend or family member, rip off that band aid.
- Don't be afraid to follow others first. There are many businesses that may be similar to yours, people that do the same types of things that you do, and organizations in your community that all have twitter accounts. Follow them, chances are, they'll follow right back.
- FOLLOW BACK. This one has helped me a lot. I see a lot of businesses that don't follow back. (Some of them are pretty big, so maybe that works for some) In my opinion, people like that personal touch. They're not just liking a business page, someone from that business is taking the time to turn around and like them back. I've had a lot of response from this.
- Talk to people. Yes, you should totally post about sales/specials/blogs etc. But, you should also talk to people. Respond to posts. It gets a little daunting as your followers grow; but, keep up as best you can. Choose four or five a day to talk to and make it manageable.
- Lastly, be yourself. Put a little bit of your own personality into your posts and make them your own. Some posts are going to be a little generic. Not every post has to be that way though.
That's my short list. Like I said before, I'm not claiming this will work for everyone. I know that some businesses go out and buy their twitter followers and that's fine for them. If you're looking to go out and earn every one of your 220 - I'd recommend some version of this method. It's working so far, fingers crossed I keep moving along!
If you have any questions about the wonderful world of twitter, let me know and I'd be happy to pass on any insight I might have.