Last week when working with a new client that I am coaching in social media integration, we focused on Twitter, and I was reminded of my first home buying experience. I was in real estate for a few years, but always worked on the seller side, and never went to a closing (in NY the attorneys handle the closing details). Everyone involved seemed to forget it was my first time buying a house, and going through the buyer side to closing, as a result assumptions were made and I was frustrated and made uncomfortable. I realized the need for a buyer training program that assumed they knew nothing and that held their hand through the process and created one that was very popular…flash forward.
This week I read three good twitter articles (see below) that made me want to share my experience.
Many of us who use Twitter regularly have a hard time remembering what it was like to not have an idea. People new to twitter don’t know what we know, and we need to assume they know even less then we did, or they would have jumped in sooner. With that in mind, I wanted to share a few things we discussed after setting up the initial account. First, Do fill in your profile, as more experienced tweeters will not follow you if they can’t tell what you are about. Now mind you, newbies who might be reading this, this is not an all-inclusive, but instead, the tip of the iceberg of things to consider.
You need to figure out who you want to follow, and you should keep in mind why you want to follow them, and why they might want to follow you back. Check and see who you might already know on Twitter; Twitter makes this easy as it will search your Gmail, Yahoo, Linkedin, and AOL accounts to see who you might already know using twitter.
You can also search by interests on Twitter or search by names. After adding the easy to find, your friends, now it is time to look to other resources. TweepML is a great tool to look for lists that might already have groups assembled that you might wish to follow, I was introduced to this by @WhoisGregg back when we were working on the first Foursquare day and it was new to me, I did learn that when you sign in at the bottom of a list the app will automatically follow everyone who is checked on the list, so read carefully before you accidentally follow a list of several hundred. In addition to the importance of a profile filled in, it is helpful to announce yourself and let people know you are new, seasoned tweeters are much more forgiving of blunders when you are new, and will even offer advice when asked…ok sometimes when not asked also:)
Search on Twitter Search for keywords that will guide you to people tweeting on topics that you like. I also like to use Twellow as it gives you the ability to search for businesses and individuals that you might wish to develop a relationship with by categories or area. Last week we were searching for doctors in Florida, and guess what, we found them. Keep in mind most people will look at you following them and wonder why to answer that in your initial tweets and in your profile. i.e. I focus on new technologies and social media, so it should not be rocket science to individuals who study social media why I am following them. The bonus is that hopefully, they will follow you back. Do create lists on Twitter to help you better manage the people you follow. I recommend: Friends, People I’ve met, prospects (might want to make this or other lists private) and whatever other groups you might need. You can add people to a list without following them, you might choose to demote those with thousands of followers who don’t follow you back to a list, I have a Media list of people I don’t expect to follow me back. BTW you can follow other people’s public lists, so look and see what lists your friends have.
When you start out, if people see you following a bunch of people and only a few following you back, not to mention very few tweets, they are going to look at you a little skeptical as this could easily look like a spam account, so try to be active showing your real, and discuss being new and wanting to learn from others in the medium the proper etiquette as well as what to do and not do.
When someone follows you, follow them back, you could dm (direct message) if you wish, but it is not a big deal if you don’t. Just make sure if you do, it looks authentic from you to them, and DO NOT PLUG your business. If people think you are only their to sell them, they will un-follow you fast. My favorite is when real estate agents ask if the can help me with my housing needs on their first DM, Unfollow.
Make sure you look at these articles; The Lemonade Stand Approach…Twitter for Home Based Business, 50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business, and Treat Your Social Media Contacts Like You Would A Third Date.