Twitter, perhaps more than other social networks, has somewhat of a reputation for marketing spam. Quite often you’ll see companies using their Twitter accounts for nothing but self-promotion, to the point where the entire tweet stream becomes tantamount to spam. Not surprisingly, this is a good way to lose followers fast, and what these companies are not realizing is that there’s a reason the word “social” is the first part of social media. Here’s how you can avoid making the same mistake.
1. Post relevant content that’s not directly about you or your product. This could be helpful tips for your customers, interesting news from your niche, or any other content that’s not a blatant product promotion. If you really do care about your customers and want them to trust you, you need to do more than just push them to buy things.
2. Follow people in your niche and converse with them openly. This could be colleagues, competitors, people who provide complementary services to yours, or independent experts in your field. Ask them questions, comment on their tweets, and provide as much useful information as you can to the conversation. Not only does this make you seem more human, it also shows you to be both knowledgable and approachable.
3. Retweet content you think will be valuable for your audience. Did someone else post something really great and you think your customers would like to hear about it? Retweet it! People love being retweeted, as it helps them spread awareness of their own brand, so if you get in the habit of retweeting those who are posting quality content, they’re more likely to start retweeting your content, as well. This results in larger audiences all around; everybody wins.
4. Participate in hashtag chats. There’s probably a regularly scheduled hashtag chat that goes on in your area of expertise, and if there’s not, start one! Hashtag chats are great because they give experts a chance to show their knowledge, and the audience a chance to interact and ask questions in a structured environment where a lot of people are listening at the same time. Over time, if you get enough people to participate regularly, you might even be lucky enough to get your hashtag trending.
Don’t forget – social media is social above all else! What steps are you taking to make sure that your social media accounts are conversational rather than exclusively promotional?