Twitter Relationship Tips - Marketing on Twitter

As I trapse around the net, I see that tons of people don’t think there is any value in Twitter and I see that many of those who do see the value think it’s all about jumping in and mass following people to get thousands of people following them.

There is value in Twitter, for practically any and everyone and we’ll certainly delve into that, but for the moment let’s talk about this mass following myth.

The only time I ever rushed out to follow a bunch of people was in the very beginning (well, in the very beginning I think I signed up to review the site for a client) but once I decided to actually use it, I sat in on a phone call about Twitter and that evening, and for the next couple of days, I logged on to Twitter and followed a bunch of people to start to get some followers back.

BUT, I didn’t just follow random people.

I followed people that had similar interests as me and were in the same loops as me.  You need to have something in common with your Tweeple, something, whether it’s personal interests, business interests, or whatever relates to your purpose for being on Twitter.   And I still don’t just follow random people.

So what I only have almost 700 followers, for the most part I believe those followers share interests with me, and I actually communiciate with many of them and read a lot of Tweets from them.

Yes, it’s impossible for me to read every Tweet of over 500 people that I follow but I almost always have my Twhirl open and I scan it daily, often frequently throughout the day, to see what’s being talked about and what links are out there.  And I peek at the corner of my screen when my little bubble pops up to show my latest incoming Tweets.  I also sometimes check the profiles of my fav Tweeters to see what they’re up to.  I do that because I am involved in my Twitter world and I find a lot of valuable stuff there.  And I share, I share business stuff as well as personal stuff - why,

because it’s about Relationship Building, just like it is offline.

I don’t automatically follow everyone that follows me, although @GuyKawasaki makes a great point that he follows everyone who follows him so that they can direct message him - something to be considered and a practice I’m thinking about.

But what does generally prompt me to follow someone is if they start a conversation with me.

That’s what peaks my interest. Otherwise, I assume you’re just following me so that I’ll follow you back and you can build your numbers.  Personally, I don’t care about numbers unless they’re the numbers that are in my bank account.  I’ve never cared about any other numbers, even offline.  In my offline life, I’ve never been in a race to try to have as many friends as possible, I prefer value over numbers.

And that’s what I do - start conversations with people.  Whether it be people already in my Tworld or whether it be that I did a search on Twitter to find people talking about a specific topic and I decided to @ those people to expand the conversation.

If I cared about numbers, as long as I’ve been on Twitter, I could certainly, and would certainly, have followers in the tens of thousands from following people, not because we had anything in common or because they found any liking or value in what I have to say.

Admittedly, I should have been focusing on a bigger, valuable, base, but I spend a lot of my time working on my clients’ social media stuff so mine does often fall to the wayside.  And I’m okay with that because I know that

a) I’m delivering value to my clients and

b) that my base is valuable to me, no matter how small or large it is.

So, you spent hours and hours and hours following hundreds and hundreds of people so that you can have a big follower figure - are those people listening to you at all?  Is there any value in that number at all or is it like an empty bank account where you wrote an false figure in your bankbook just so that when you open it in front of someone, they think you have a bunch of money that you really don’t have?

Okay so you have the numbers but:

Where’s The Beef?

Hey, I’m all about “fake it til you make it”, don’t get me wrong but can you really make it if

a) you don’t deliver value and build real relationships and

b) none of your tens of thousands of followers really even see your link much less tell others about it because they have no connection to  you at all and you’re just another number in their fake bankbook too?

I’d rather have close to 700 people with many of them actually looking at my Tweets because they want to know what I’m talking about than 50k scanning right past my Tweet because they’re looking for the Tweets from the people they have some sort of connection with, or real interest in.  In the latter, I’m just the invisible person at the party who everyone was nice to but who no one really cares about and who no one listens to.

Offline, let’s say you go to a party and you hand out your business card to everyone, but that’s all you really do.

    A number of those people will throw your card away.
    A number of those people may put it somewhere but forget all about it.
    A number of those people will go with a competitor because they have a connection with that competitor or because that competitor made their interaction personal so they remember them, not you.
    A number of those people will see you as one of those annoying people who knock on their door at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday morning trying to sell them something they have absolutely no interest in.

So, you spent all night, and hundreds of business cards accomplishing nothing.

I’d rather be the girl at the party who established some sort of connection so that next time they see me they’re like “hayyy”!  The girl who spent her time connecting with an interested audience rather than someone just being polite long enough to get me out of their hair because they really don’t care.  The girl who if these people want something that I know about or am involved in, they think of me because I made a personal connection with them.

And the formula is so simple - Build Relationships.

Hello Relationship Marketing/Relationship Networking.

Instead of spending 2 hours per day just following people, spend those 2 hours talking to people.

Start a conversation.

    Ask questions - using @xxx, not just necessarily out loud to no one
    Compliment people on something - whether it be something they’re doing, an announcement they made about something they accomplished, their site, whatever
    Help people - direct them where they can find info about something they just asked about; provide directions for something they need help on - not only as it relates to whatever you’re selling - provide Real Value

Target people that will care about whatever  your purpose it.  If you’re on Twitter to help promote something, find people who might care about whatever that is or find value in it.  And start conversations with them.  Pay attention to what they’re talking about and get in the conversation.

Not only will this help you find and get value from your Tworld but if people like you, they will want to help you and support you.  I’m 10x as likely to retweet something from someone I have a connection with; although I will retweet something I really like that I catch from someone who I don’t have a connection with; but, it’s more likely that I’ll catch your Tweet if I have a connection with you, or if you’ve made our Tworld at least a little personal in some way.

Once you connect with someone, when they see your Tweet pop up, they just might take a peek at is because they have some idea of who you are.

Sure, unless you’re already someone big, it will take you a little longer to build your following, but you will have a valuable following; not just an empty one that you wasted tons of hours building.

This is exactly how I handle my own Tweeting as well as my clients’.  It does my clients no good if I just follow 1k people who have no idea who they are and don’t really care.  I’m delivering ZERO value to my client.  But, if I engage with people who share similar interests, I deliver value.

I utilize this practice on the other social platforms as well.

Instead of spending all my time following and friending people,

I build relationships, I create interaction.

So, now you’re asking, just how personal is it if I’m doing the relationship building for a client, rather than them doing it themselves?  Good question.

Answer: For one, I take a personal interest in my clients’ business.  I’m not a robot for them, I’m actually involved, I’m part of their business, I represent them so it’s not just cold convo - it’s as if their profile was actually mine.  I interact with people as part of the company.

I bring people together with my clients’ interests.  If I’m representing a client who is a VA firm, I connect with others in that world, or others who might be looking for that type of service and I do it as ‘part of the company’, not as their robotic, cold seller.  It’s personal.

It’s unrealistic for a business to handle everything.  Just like they need a secretary because they can’t take all of the incoming calls and messages and run their business, they need people to support the other aspects of their business, and social media is one of those aspects.

And I deliver value over numbers.

That’s Where My Beef Is At.

I guarantee if you shift your focus to relationships, rather than just numbers, you will see a greater return in your efforts.

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