A Tale of Two Twitters

Are you on Twitter?

Like many people, I have 2 twitter accounts, one personal and one business. It’s both normal and practical. But for the longest time, I barely used either. It annoyed me. It was useless, fluff content strewn around, and I felt inadequate because I could never seem to be up to date. There was always something more.

Still, we hear daily, constantly, about how Twitter is changing the world, how news is breaking there, how voices are heard. I look back to my sleepy business feed and wonder.

I don’t engage in pop culture in my business feed, and stay out of politics, because, well, that’s just what businesses do. I use it to get info on marketing, business, and industries that I’m experienced and interested in. It’s passive use. And it’s not just me, I check some of the larger contributors, known leaders, and still their tweets have single digit likes, nary a comment, occassionally a retweet.

But my personal one. Well, that’s a different story. Lewis Black retweeted me recently.

Lewis F’ing Black.

Retweeted ME.

So I look back at my business one and try to harness the engagement, to understand the difference. Why are there essentially two Twitters? The “adults” and the “upstarts”? The social car and the quiet car?

Is your Business on Twitter?

Twitter for business is a tricky channel. Our natural instincts are to be restrained, look for information, research what others are doing. But if we come to it from the business angle first, we miss the power of the platform.

Twitter is an information channel, but it is still a social media channel. And engagement is king. Sure, you can watch from the sidelines, but if you’re a business, you won’t be gaining awareness or reaching any of your KPIs that way. And you’ll likely only be exposed to an echo-chamber of your peers.

A few tips to follow to increase the value of your Twitter initiative.

  1. Be authentic. Yes, you’ve heard that before, but on Twitter, bland doesn’t work. The platform itself is short, quick, fleeting. Be memorable, be impactful. 5 tips to help your email program is a better topic for, well, an email. People are here to get info or engage, and that blurb does neither.
  2. Follow the right accounts. When you sign up you’re given all sorts of options and suggestions to follow, but you know better than that. C’mon, you know you do. Follow your customers. Sure, you want to follow competitors and like businesses, but do not forget your customers.And don’t forget HOW they use the platform. Also remember the audience of the platform. Read up on how and why people (your customers) use Twitter, and decide if it’s the right platform for your brand. Twitter has fewer users than many other platforms, but there are specific demographics of users. Find your audience in them.
  3. Craft your content. This joins the previous ones, but honestly, don’t be boring. Be exciting, funny, helpful, provocative, timely. Write it FOR your audience, not TO them.And one last quick tip.
  4. Engage. It’s a social media channel. Don’t forget the SOCIAL part. Reply on content shared by others, respond authentically, with value (information, humor, clarity, etc.). This will increase your exposure to the followers of that user, and if it’s a thought leader or influence, can get their attention, too.

Remember, Lewis Black retweeted ME!!!