If you have an online business, you’ve probably been told at least once to get on Twitter. Maybe you’re already on Twitter but don’t feel like you’re getting anything out of the space.
Truth be told—Twitter can be great for promoting your small business. And while proponents of social media like to say “anything goes, there really are no rules”—that’s not necessarily the case.
There are a few unspoken etiquette rules when promoting your business on Twitter and if you don’t pay attention to some of the tips mentioned below, it can cause people to ignore your friend requests or unfollow you all together.
Just remember, Twitter is a community—not advertising space. People will accept the promotion of your business in balance. Don’t expect to sign up for twitter, put out a few of your links and have whopping sales or clients pouring in overnight.
Seriously– not gonna happen.
But, if you work to make relationships and connect with your target audience, you’ll be on your way to getting sales or clients in no time.
And I do say this from personal experience. As a freelance writer, all of my well paying writing gigs have come as a result of the connections I’ve made on Twitter. Same goes for my network marketing business. While the venture is relatively new, I’ve been able to speak with prospects and sell a few products because of my connections in the space.
So without further adieu, let’s get started with some basic do’s and dont’s in promoting your business on Twitter:
- DON’T sign up for twitter and follow hundreds of people all at once. Instead, sign up and follow people sloooowwwly (You don’t want to be mistaken for a spammer). If a person follows me and they have one update, 500 friends and 2 followers, I just assume it’s a spammer and won’t follow.
- DO follow a manageable number of people and try to keep your followers to followee ratio relatively equal until you get the swing of things.
- DON’T make all of your updates about your company, blog or service. Instead, have REAL, friendly conversations until people get to know you as someone they can trust. This requires you following what other people are saying and engaging in conversations that go beyond yourself or your business.
- DO post links to your latest blog entries, sales, etc.—but KEEP IT BALANCED.
- DO share (or Retweet) links to other people’s giveaways, blog entries or sales items. By paying attention to what other people are saying, those people will be more likely to give your stuff a look when they see it come across the screen. It’s called karma and it works.
- DON’T auto DM! Auto Dm’s are those pesky little personal messages you are probably sending out to your followers that say “Hi! Thanks for following! Here’s the link to my site _______!” If that’s you, STOP. Again, get to know the people you are following before you hit them with your links. Anything a person needs to know about you can be found on your bio line. Keep it that way.
- DO DM someone about something that relates to THEM (again stepping outside yourself). For example, I followed back someone today that wrote how she had 50 some followers and her husband was impressed because that was more than Jesus. Well of course that made me laugh so I DM’ed her to say hi and that I was cracking up over her comment. Friendly conversation in a DM is A’ok 😉
- DON’T announce to the world how many followers you have! I know it gets exciting when we feel like we are finally connecting to our target audience and people want to hear what we have say, but keep your numbers to yourself!
- DO use twitter to invite people in your target audience OFF the space and onto your blog. From there you can be more promotional of your products, your services, etc. On twitter you’ll make and foster the connections—but you’ll actually convert sales, clients, etc. on your own turf. Keep that in mind before you spam 😉
And to help the Twitter newbies out there, please weigh in below with the Twitter habits that annoy you the most. By nicely telling people what NOT to do, we can have a much better experience in the world of social media.
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons Artist wisleywoven
About Amber Watson-Tardiff
Amber Watson-Tardiff is a freelance writer, virtual assisant and solopreneur. When shes not writing or teaching people how to start their own home business, Amber can be found starting trouble here on Twitter or hanging out on her own blog, jerseymomma.com. To contact amber, email ambertardiff at gmail dot com.