MasterMinds: Masters of the Twitterverse: Part 3


**Editor’s Note: MasterMinds is a biweekly feature in which we invite leading master agents to share information, insights and expert opinions about what’s going on in their agencies, the IT/telecom channel or the business community in general.**

To recap: You have your profile ready to present to the public and you know what’s involved in creating engaging tweets. Now it’s time to start building your audience.

Despite their ephemeral nature — an average lifespan of about 18 minutes — tweets can be a powerful tool in promoting your company. Twitter’s “Small Business Customer Insights Study” showed that businesses’ followers not only opted in to see tweets, they took actions that added to the businesses’ value — 78 percent of people who follow an SMB retweet content from that business; 75 percent feel better about an SMB after following and reading its tweets; and 69 percent have purchased from an SMB after following them on Twitter.

The basic choreography involved in accumulating Twitter followers will be nothing new to you — it’s basically networking, which is what you have been doing to build your business since it launched. And obviously, then, the first step to take in the dance of engagement is to invite your clients, vendors and business associates to join you. Initiate things by following them on Twitter, retweeting their posts when appropriate, using their name in a mention and adding your voice to any interesting conversations in which they may be involved.

  • Start by listening. Remember, Twitter was designed for conversation, and the best way to be a good conversationalist is to be a good listener. Find out what people in your target audience are talking about and what’s important to them right now. Responding to questions or offering advice can get people interested in what you have to say.
  • Watch for Twitter suggestions. Twitter will offer recommendations on who to follow, refining them on the basis of the selections you have made from previous suggestions.
  • Harness the power of hashtags. Look for those that relate to your business and audience, and use them to become part of conversations that will increase your circle of contacts.
  • Establish and maintain a regular frequency of tweets. According to experts, tweeting around 25 times per day is ideal. Any more than that could make it seem as though you’re “spamming” your followers’ Twitter feeds.
  • Promote your user name. Add a button to your website, a link to your email signature and your Twitter handle to promotional materials. And conversely, use your Twitter account to direct your audience to your website.
  • Give yourself time to establish a rhythm on Twitter. Fine tune your approach to determine the frequency, the “voice” and the types of tweets that work best for you. Make use of the free Twitter analytics available to you — the account home with monthly statistics, the tweet activity dashboard that shows results for every single one of your tweets and the audience insights dashboard that contains information about your followers.

Remember, you’re not out to challenge Katy Perry’s record for the most followers on Twitter. Your goal is to extend your market reach with information about your products and services — through conversation, not promotion. Develop an engaged community, and you can be your own best reference.

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