Following is an excerpt of an article I wrote for the BC Chapter of the AMA (You can download the entire magazine and read the full article here)
Great conversations in the offline world are about listening, providing insight, empathy, and at times the right measure of humor. The same goes for online tools. In using a tool like Twitter here are some tips on being engaging:
• Fill out your profile completely with a current photo, link to your personal blog or site, and use the entire 140 characters provided for your bio. Hiding who you are or not providing your company information can create a barrier to trust or engagement.
• Update regularly, for most active Twitter users that’s 8 to 15 times per day. Key principle: don’t update unless it adds value, solves a problem, inspires or entertains your target market.
• Share useful links to sites other than yours. Also pass on and share (know as retweeting on Twitter) useful information from other Twitter users. This will strengthen your relationship with them and increase the chances of them sharing your messages.
• Use social search to monitor what people are saying about your company or your industry. http://search.twitter.com can give you by-the-minute opportunities to engage people who are talking about your brand. You can instantly solve a problem or correct a situation as it happens.
• Vary your message and the frequency so that you appear human and not robotic. Your updates should be a combination of personal messages, corporate updates, answering questions, commenting on other people’s great tweets, and links to valuable information.
• If you sound like everyone else you’re not a brand or a leader. Create engaging content and unique conversations. This is vital to building a brand and solidifying client relationships.
Great use of Twitter and other social mediums and networks is 90% listening and contribution and 10% marketing and messaging. While that seems like a bad marketing ratio we can go back to what John C. Maxwell said about leadership “It’s 90% connection and 10% content.”
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