Have you noticed how unlikely you are to get a response if you go out into the street and start talking to yourself?
Social media works in the same way.
The very name of the medium should really be a clue as to the best way to utilise it: social. This applies to all forms of social media, but for this particular example I’m going to focus on the platform I feel offers the most potential for businesses, Twitter.
Admittedly, it’s not the most widely subscribed to platform (Facebook has many, many more users), but it is the most open, with journalists and members of the public alike – whether Twitter users or simply curious web searchers – turning to the site to gather news, opinion or simply be a little bit nosy.
However, just because Twitter is the place people turn to for information doesn’t mean it’ll be an instant success for promoting your business – unless you make an effort. The biggest reason for this is that traditional advertising rarely works on this platform.
Posting an advert, or in this case tweet, about your product or service is a bit like talking to yourself. A passer-by might hear a few words of what you say, but they’ll continue to pass you by as they get on with their day. So how can you get people’s attention?
When it comes to social media, the best approach is to be human. While advertising (promoted tweets) can help to draw some attention to your profile, the most successful way to get anywhere on Twitter is to interact.
For example, no matter how good your product or service is, simply posting ‘My #biscuits are made to my mum’s #secret #recipe!’ won’t have shoppers rushing out to buy your brand of sweet treat.
If people even read beyond the third hashtag you might get a couple of favourites, but to actually make yourself noticed and remembered you need to start talking: ‘Have you tried my biscuits?’ or ‘Would you like to win my biscuits?’ are a good start. Being less obviously self-promotional would be even better: ‘Is it time for a tea break yet? I’ll treat myself to a biscuit too.'
Adding a picture to your tweet also helps (especially if you do happen to be involved in the biscuit market).
Returning to the word social, it’s important to remember Twitter isn’t just about selling your product – followers want variety.
Each business is different and the social media achievements of the likes of Innocent Smoothies aren’t attainable for us all, but there’s no harm in letting such an account inspire you. Share the occasional funny, say a random hello, and talk around your subject so that when you do post a link to your product or website people will find themselves interested in what you do – and not clicking the unfollow button.
It takes time to build up a successful profile. I don’t mean sit at Twitter for eight hours a day – I’m sure you’ve more important things to be getting on with – but building up a profile worth reading won’t happen over night.
You need to invest a little time every day to post something interesting and interact, gradually building up people’s interest in you. For some this can take a couple of days, for others weeks, but one day you’ll realise you’re being social about media.
Once you know what you’re doing Twitter can be a very worthwhile experience as both a business and an individual, but it’s not always easy to find the right approach by yourself.
We can help to get you started on social media, become familiar with your online surroundings and support you as you start interacting. Having once been novices ourselves we know how lonely it can be to get started, but with our help you won’t be lonely for long. We’ll talk you through your early days on the platforms and help you to identify the people to follow, support your interaction and answer any questions you might have.
Get in touch to find out how we can help and before you know it you’ll be a fully-fledged twitterer.
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