Here’s the hard truth: the only way to be successful on Twitter is to put in the work.
Creating a following for your company or brand is easy – if you don’t stand in the corner with your hands in your pockets. Twitter is not Facebook. To create an engaged following, you can't be a Twitter wallflower.
Imagine you are at a party. You walk in, walk straight to the wall and just stand nose to the wall and talk. This is what Twitter is if you don't seek out your potential customers and talk with them. Your follower count isn’t the point—the goal is to have meaningful conversations, so just showing up isn't enough.
Twitter is best known for spontaneous conversations, so jumping into the middle of a discussion is normal. How else will you learn about your potential customers if you don’t do a bit of eavesdropping?
Why Use Twitter for This, and Not Just Facebook?
Of all the social media platforms, Twitter includes the most useful search tool. Facebook’s Open Graph search only searches Facebook statuses set to “Public,” which by design limits how much people you don’t know can learn about you.
The large majority of Twitter’s users have public profiles, since the point of Twitter is to have open conversations with others. So not only can you search for tweets, but you can also search for people by keywords and hashtags. This type of search makes it much easier for brands and businesses to use Twitter to their advantage (and hopefully also to their customers’ benefit).
Transforming from a Twitter Wallflower to Social Media Butterfly
Social listening is the key to turning yourself into a social media butterfly. Honing your social listening skills will impact every facet of your business in a positive way.
Listening to your audience and potential audience on social media improves your company’s ability to significantly impact customer experiences, in everything from improving sales tactics, enhancing customer service, and even new product development.
You should be using Twitter to listen to what your ideal customers are talking about, what their interests are, and if they have had positive or negative experiences with your business or your competitors. This allows you to adjust your models for how you handle customer service issues and improve them in the future.
Creating a Buzz around Your Brand
Now that you have social listening down, it’s time to create a buzz around your brand. Engaging your audience in personal, creative, and clever ways is the best way to earn your audience’s attention.
Engaging your audience (a.k.a talking to people as people, not just as consumers) is not the time to push your product or be sales-y. This is the time to express your brand’s personality.
To return to the party metaphor, now is your chance to be the social butterfly - work the room, shake hands, talk to everyone you possibly can. Customers are more likely to buy products from – and build ongoing relationships with – companies they like and trust.
Trust is built over time with meaningful contact, and it’s social listening that makes this possible. Building trust with your audience gives you opportunities to (only occasionally) talk to them about your products and services in a natural way, amid a stream of other content that they need and want.
Once you have a relationship with someone, they don’t usually mind if every now and then you remind them of what you offer. If you’ve developed your buyer personas well and are targeting the right social media audience, your product or service should be something that they will find useful, and the trust you’ve built makes them more likely to become long-term customers.
By being a social media butterfly instead of a wallflower, you can built a robust online community that not only helps you improve your business practices, but also trusts your brand and what you offer, and knows that your customer service team is just a tweet away. Best of all, you have a chance to build brand ambassadors.
This is the new way of doing business and marketing to your current and potential customers. Creating an authentic voice for your brand will seal the deal for your audience.
Congratulations! You’re no longer the awkward wallflower in the corner. Stretch your social butterfly wings, and soar.
Want to be a Facebook MVP too? This checklist can help: