Not Twitter for Business. Twitter for My Business.
A Little Advice on Being Yourself in a Social Media World
I’ll be the first to admit that I really don’t have this whole “Twitter” thing all figured out. At least not yet. I can’t begin to tell you about how many countless hours I have spent online or in the marketing section of Barnes & Noble pouring over everything Twitter. Twitter, Twitter, Twitter. I even dream about ways in which I can reach out and increase my following. Pathetic right? I know. Trust me- I know.
That little blue bird has become somewhat of an obsession and I often feel like I’m carrying the whale all by myself. (Please get that reference) This whole Twitter phenomena is scary and confusing, and for a while, I would have much rather pretend it didn’t exist than try to immerse myself in it. But to do so would have been social media suicide. The business world would pass me by as I lay hiding under the covers in my racecar bed. (Its more of a towncar bed- I have a California king.) So I did what anyone looking to increase their company’s exposure would do- I jumped out of bed, changed out of my Jammies, and confronted Twitter head on.
Sign Up Now?
Yeah, I’m doing this.
Full Name, User Name, Password, and E-mail?
I know that stuff- this is easy!
Type the Above Words?
Ok, I can’t really read that, this may be harder than I thought.
Create My Account.
Boom. I’m on Twitter.
“So now what? Oh look, I’m following Shaq!” And that’s where the success of my well thought out Twitter marketing campaign ended. Maybe in between jumping out of bed and changing out of my Jammies, I should of thought about how I was going to use Twitter. So again, I did what anyone looking to increasing their company’s exposure would do- I spammed Shaq. Someone with as many followers as him will surely listen to my cause. And maybe he’ll even call me on my birthday like he does with some of his other Tweeps. Genius.
@Therealshaq: COME CHECK OUT MY SALES AND BUY FROM ME!! (URL deleted for blog purposes)
Surprisingly, he didn’t respond. He didn’t even #, RT, or @ me. This was a disaster. I guess he was right; don’t tell grandma. Or anyone else for that matter. It was like this with everyone I tweeted and still is in some instances. No one would respond to me. I was forced to stand idly by as the Twittering world moved on and conducted business as usual. I was totally uncool- it was High School all over again. My acne cleared up and my voice no longer cracked, so what was I doing wrong? Why wouldn’t anyone notice me? For me, Twitter quickly became the Sadie Hawkins of the business world. I had been wall-flowered.
I had to rethink my Twitter strategy; I needed a game plan. What was everyone else doing that I wasn’t? And that’s when it hit me. Some of these so-called experts on Twitter were wrong. Twitter shouldn’t be a place for you to tout your newest deals or sales- it shouldn’t even be a means to add a “face” to your company’s name. Twitter should be a tool for self-expression, a tool that just happens to express you through your company’s name. No game plan needed. Just be cool.
So I did what anyone looking to increase their company’s exposure would do- I started posting jokes and responding to other people’s tweets with smart remarks. Then I started to branch out and find my own interests on Twitter adhering to some rules I made up just now for this article.
1.) Be yourself-
#MusicMondays? I listen to old school Hip-Hop on the way to work so I tweet that, not whatever artist or song is trending. NWA, Bone Thugs, KRS 1? Yeah, they’re there on any given Monday.
2.) Make your Twitter about you, not your products-
I follow @Boyintheballoon because its funny and I constantly check @RealTracyMorgan and @DanielTosh for the same reason. The people you follow shouldn’t always be what are strategically beneficial for your business but should make your Twitter experience enjoyable for you. After all, you’re the one that has to be glued to the computer all day.
3.) Don’t take yourself too seriously-
Yes you’re using Twitter as a tool for your business, but don’t become a tool. Its okay to poke fun at the things you post, or write something a little embarrassing. I do it all the time and it’s mostly unwittingly. Call yourself out- its funny.
Here’s a perfect example:
#theresway2many Great deals on our site! Hows that for a shameless hashtag plug?
Twitter isn’t something that you just start doing. Its something that you react to, and as a reward for doing so, it grows. Getting on your soapbox and screaming about your product isn’t going to get you noticed. Just be cool and your following will grow organically. Offer a joke or a cute remark to something that someone has posted. Tweet the things that you’re into because someone else might be into that too. Include some aspects of your business or website but be up front and genuine about it. Tweeps will start to notice that you offer much more than a product. You offer yourself as an individual, not as a company. Isn’t that what Social Media is really about?