Friday 9 March 2012

Why Would Anyone Follow You?

We all know Twitter is a good marketing tool - don't we?

Well, at least we get told it's a good marketing tool.  And quite frankly, it is.  But only if it's used right!

The biggest mistake I see people make with Twitter is this: posting link after link after link, with all updates looking similar to each other.  I know at first you can feel a little disconnected from people on Twitter (like being the new girl on the first day in a new job) but, think about it: why on earth would I follow you if all you do is post links??  And why would I click on those links?

It's spam. I get enough spam in my inbox - I'm not going to follow you for more of the stuff!

I've made a point not to follow people if all they do is post links.  If you catch me on a good day, and you've got a very different handmade product that I really like, I might go all soft and follow you back.  But probably not.  However, if I can see you're a real person, who engages in conversation, then I'll certainly follow you back.

What I recommend on Twitter is this (and I don't always do it myself - but it's good practice and will make a difference):

  • get involved in conversations.  Before you tweet, see if you can reply to or retweet a couple of people.
  • be nice, thoughtful and considerate, just as you would in real life.
  • be funny
  • tweet about your own products with links or photos only sparingly - definitely no more than about 1 in 3 tweets and probably even less than that. And try to give people a reason to click on those links.
  • don't go asking celebs for retweets, especially for your business (except when they invite it, like Theo Paphitis and his #sbs Small Business Sunday tweets - look out for them on Sunday evening as being retweeted by Theo will bring you lots of followers and website hits)
  • use real words and not text speak wherever possible (although I know how constrictive Twitter can be)
  • to begin with, follow people you know (online or off), likeminded people with similar interests to you, small businesses and people you admire.  Most will follow you back (as long as you don't just tweet links at them!).  You'll eventually not need to look for followers - you'll start to gain followers on a daily basis as they find you first.
  • don't automate! But if you feel you must, don't make it too obvious.  Twitter is about connections not broadcasting.
  • finally, don't get sucked into spending all day on Twitter!
 Twitter is about connections

If you've not yet caught the Twitter bug, let me tell you:
  • I've bought from people on Twitter after following a link or being part of a conversation.  I even had something designed especially for me after chatting on Twitter.
  • People have bought from me as a direct result of seeing me on Twitter
  • Customers have tweeted photos of their purchases from me, with recommendations
  • Customers sometimes ask me questions on Twitter
  • I've had work published in magazines after seeing a tweet from a magazine editor or journalist asking for ideas (this is possibly the only time that sprawling on the settee tweeting all day pays off)
If you have any Twitter tips, please share!
I'm listening!

P.S. The photos are of my chickens.  I know they're not quite Twitter birds but they seemed vaguely appropriate - they tweet a bit, follow each other all the time and well, they're quite cute.  Especially the last one, showing off her black beard.


Unknown said...

Great to see your Twitter Bird Staff!

I don't use Twitter much to be honest. I have it set up so links go direct but prefer FB. Still getting my head round it though! Still got lots to do with the website too.

Look forward to reading more posts.


Wendy said...

Ah! Now Facebook is a bit of a mystery to me! It seems so complicated, I must be missing something.

Free Spirit Designs said...

Thanks Wendy, that's interesting, i guess i'm just starting to really get my head around using Twitter properly... i will follow you and see how you do it!! :)

Can i ask what you mean by 'don't automate'? Is this when your facebook posts automatically get tweeted because i've done that.. oops!

Kim said...

Hi Wendy, I feel exactly the same as you about repeat tweets and constant links - they drive me mad and I've only been on Twitter for a month or so!

Thanks for this very helpful post.... Love the chickens....

Ali said...

Great post Wendy - I'm still quite new to Twitter & have already made some great contacts & sales from it.

I was doing really well running through your list until I got to the last point - I am spending waaay too much time on there but my excuse is that it is bringing in sales & now is one of the few times of the year when I can afford to take a day out of creating.

Totally agree with the 'all I want to do is promote my business... click on this link' posts - especially as they have so little to say they even repeat the same few spam messages over and over again. I'm a little kinder & give them a little while to become more 'conversational' but there are a few I am following who are very much in 'last chance saloon'!!

Can you imagine how difficult it is for me to limit myself to 140 characters!!!

Oh, and I can't get my head around Facebook either so I'm not even going to try!

Ali x

Wendy said...

Free Spirit Designs: No, I think linking FB and Twitter makes sense - I'm talking speicifically about the repeated automated tweets, which post automatic sales tweets and usually repeatedly throughout the day - irritating and boring!

Wendy said...

Oh Ali, I feel your pain. It took me a long while to learn how to get a message down to 140 characters!!

ZukieStyle said...

Great stuff thanks for sharing Wendy x

Free Spirit Designs said...


thank you!

Cocoa & Heart said...

Hi Wendy - well written and I love the chickens ! You are so right about the interactions on Twitter (e.g. anoying re-tweets and automatic responses). I have been on Twitter only about 2 months, so I am yet to see some tangible results, but so far I am just having fun being there.

Annie Cholewa said...

Hello, just found you, and am very happy to have done so.

Twitter ... I just can't get into it! I'm building a reasonably successful blog (ebuzzing top 10 knitting blogs) that is centered around a 'business in potentia', knitsofacto, that I'm hoping to start making money from in the next year or two. Do you think it's possible in the current market to do well without twitter?

Love the chooks :D

Anonymous said...

Hi Wendy - this is a great new blog and very timely advice about twitter as I have been thinking I ought to take the plunge
Love the chicks - mine are quite similar looking
Good luck with the blog
Linda x

Wendy said...

I'm sure it's possible to do well without Twitter - we all can only do so much as far as promoting goes. I think it's harder to do well if you ignore both Twitter and Facebook.

I've read that Google is increasingly expecting to see a Twitter and Facebook account linked to website/blog, which suggests to me we should all link up to T & FB sooner or later!

Wendy said...

Would be great to see you on Twitter! x

CarolC1 said...

I have never Twittered as I could not get my head around it or see the point but after reading your blog I am tempted. I will think about it. Love your chickens, they look so healthy, no feathers missing. lol. I bet they all have names too.

Wendy said...

I am glad you're tempted. If you decide to do it, let me know and we can have a twitter chat to get you started!! Yes, they have names: Matilda and Millicent are shortened to Milly and Tilly, then there's Darley, Sally and Mary Jane! They spend a lot of time scratching for insects, slugs and worms (yuk!) which I think helps them keep healthy!

Anonymous said...

I have just read this and found it useful. I started my Twitter account the same time as everything else and it took me a while to get going. I feel that it is beginning to come together now although I spend most of my time replying to others but at least I am getting followers that way. I don't like the idea of tweeting for tweetings sake but don't really know what to say yet! A really informative post - thanks.