Tracy Petrucci: Twitter: Cut Through The Crap

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Twitter: Cut Through The Crap

Social media can be really time consuming. I wish I could say it doesn't have to be and there is a magical formula for how to get great results in no time at all. But some aspects of it are just going to take a little thought and energy.

I find one of the most controversial social media tools that my clients struggle with is Twitter. Why? Because there is so much irrelevant nonsense. So here are a few tips on cutting through the crap and using Twitter to ultimately reach your goals. I'm sure a lot of people will disagree with me, but remember: there is no set strategy on using social media. Every business is different and everyone will need to tailor their own method to meet their needs and eventually see results ($) from their efforts. This is especially true of small, localized business owners who are trying to take control over their own social media.

1. Get Over The Ego- Sure, you can follow everyone and their mother to get follow backs and improve your numbers, but why? Unless Joe the Window Repair Man's business is relevant to yours, or interests you in some way, don't worry about him. This also goes along with the auto follow-back systems people use to ensure when someone follows them, they follow them back as not to lose them.

First of all, I think it's silly people are spending so much time and energy following people just to get them to follow back. Have you ever noticed how many people start following you on a daily basis just to unfollow you 24 hours later? How about finding people who actually care about your goods and services and following them? Do not feel bad if your twitter does not have 15,301 followers and you are not following 15,550 people yourself. These kinds of numbers with regular Joes are often just the results of auto following back and relationships with spammers, OR they just have a different kind of strategy. But with that being said, here is my next tip. . .

2. Focus on Key Relationships- My twitter does not look very impressive. I have around 650 followers, and I'm following like 350 people or brands. Embarrassing for a marketing profession? Sure. But not really, because I don't care about the ego of numbers. I spend a small amount of time on twitter (because marketing is not a focal point of mine right now), and when I do, I focus on creating lasting or beneficial connections. I like to keep my twitter feed full of interesting people and things that I can learn from. I like to see the people that matter to my business, and I like to be able to have conversations with them.

If your twitter strategy does include getting as much exposure as you can and following everyone, everywhere, then you can create lists to organize these important people so you can easily find them through the chaos. The life span of a twitter comment is short, so if you are trying to build a rapport with someone, you will want to be able to actually follow them, instead of losing their tweets in the mix of everyone else's.

Remember, these tips are more geared towards busy small business owners who do not have a lot of time, or who are turned off by Twitter. I will state again, that other strategies work better for other kinds of businesses.

3. Try to Enjoy It- Follow some people you really like! Mix business and pleasure, and find some people to have conversations with that bring you some enjoyment. If you're a mom, search for things or moms that you can relate to. If you're a sports fan, connect with others who share your interests. Is there a celebrity who really intrigues you? Follow their feed just for fun. And then of course, search for things relevant to your business to comment on as well.

4. Utilize Your Connections- At the end of the day, you have a business with goals. When you need to spread the word on a new product, or a sale, or an important event, you'll be glad you spent time nurturing relationships with a few key people important to your success. Reach out to those you've been conversing with, and keep utilizing your connections.

I hope this helps a few of you relax from some of the hype associated with social media. You can't be everywhere all the time when you're one person in charge of it all, so pick your battles and be smart when spending time on your online marketing. It's only a numbers game if you play it that way.

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