If you haven’t been using Twitter or have been an avid participant in this tool, you know that it’s been one of the hottest and fascinating social media networks to date. Since it’s inception, I have been using the network to share my thoughts, favorite things and comment on other people’s tweets. Because of Twitter, I have built serious friendships and great connections that have helped propel my business in various ways. But what still suprises me, and shouldn’t, is that many people don’t use it or “get it” just yet. And that is TOTALLY understandable. Twitter isn’t meant to be a device for business. It is simply used the most that way. Twitter doesn’t have rules, but we have created quite a few to use it effectively and successfully on a personal and business level. We’ve learned what to do and what not to do. But of course, it’s a very intuitive and agnostic tool. It’s meant to be used however you wish. It’s free after all….
One of the most widely accepted ideas is: Have a profile of your picture with a blurb about you, any way you wish. You want to go for credibility.
However, anyone can use Twitter and not exactly get this “rule”. But most of the time, when we see a strange profile with a strange picture or no picture at all, and their follower count is nonexistent, we automatically discount it as a spambot or annoying user ABOUT to spam us. We never take into account that it’s possibly a new person just getting used to the site and it’s “ways”.
I personally was guilty of ignoring the newbies and discrediting many accounts to be a waste of time. If the person isn’t talking to you, maybe they are just “readers”. I rarely add people back who don’t talk to me. I also rarely followed any new followers who didn’t have an avatar.
Then came one of my best clients. A foreign businessman, hailing from Europe with a restaurant designer business across the world. He didn’t “get” Twitter and had created a profile with a model avatar and a strange bio. It looked more like a porn bot than a respected businessman’s profile. He didn’t tweet weird stuff and though his follower count was low, he was making good conversation and appeared to be a real person. So I followed back. Within a few weeks, he had commissioned me for various custom work including design. If I had not conversed with him, I would never have known!
The unexpected Twitter lesson in this is, to give people time to get used to social networks like Twitter and don’t automatically reject anyone who makes conversation with you. Consider anyone who is making connections as a possible business client or colleague. You never know who you are talking to.
Some rules for using Twitter more effectively in business:
- Check your followers list regularly. Read their bios, check their twitter stream posts and who they are following. If they seem like a real, legit person – reach out to them.
- Remember that some people only use Twitter as a “reader”, to follow their favorite people or those in similar topics as what they are interested in. Many don’t use Twitter to converse but if you reach out, you may find that they want to chat with you.
- Make the effort to talk to your followers.There may be value found in connections you don’t expect. Don’t just pay attention to the “big ones” you want to pay attention to you. Karma, my friend.
- Don’t expect that everyone is as web-savvy as you. There are some people who are professionals or successful people in the world and they have no clue how to use Twitter, etc. Maybe even offer help to those who don’t seem to know how to use it and could enjoy the help!