Engaging in conversation on Twitter is an excellent way for your business or brand to get name recognition and establish yourself as an expert. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool and using Twitter to reply, retweet, or “favorite” posts will get customers and potential customers talking with and about you.
Develop a strategy
Strategy first folks. If you want to be successful creating awesome conversations on Twitter, you need to know what these awesome conversations will be about and why you’re having them. The answers to these questions should align with your business objectives.
Twitter is a lot of fun and can be very distracting. If you don’t have a clear strategy, it can be easy to get sucked in and spend time and energy having awesome conversations about things that are not actually beneficial to you or your business. Twitter isn’t about pushing your agenda, but you should have a content strategy going in on how you will spread your message while also engaging others and improving your bottom line.
Establish a following
If no one knows you’re on Twitter, or no one cares, it’s not going to be easy to get conversation going. Here’s what you want to do to get noticed:
- create a compelling and informative profile with a useful handle (do not forget your bio and an avatar!)
- start following people of interest to you (or whom you think may have an interest in what you have to say
- listen to conversations that are already happening; get a feel of the land
- start tweeting.
Even if you don’t have many followers to start, tweeting will let others know that you are an active account and what you’re interested in having a conversation about.
Be strategic about who you follow. Find the influencers, customers and potential customers. These are the people you want to engage. Having thousands of followers who only care about their Twitter stats isn’t going to get you conversation.
Create and use hashtags
You can use hashtags already created or being used, but don’t be afraid to create your own hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to organize a conversation around a specific topic and create buzz.
Anyone using the same hashtag will see your tweets, not just those you follow, so using them will help you gain exposure in the Twitterverse. (Pro tip: Don’t be a hashtag crasher. Using a popular hashtag just to get a bunch of people listening/seeing to your tweets is a Twitter don’t.)
Perform keyword searches
There might not be a hashtag for the topic you want to discuss, but that doesn’t mean others aren’t already talking about it. Use language your customers would use if asking questions about your products or services, similar to what you would do for your website. Get creative.
Regular keyword searches on terms meaningful to your industry will reveal opportunities for conversation, and it’s a great way to find new tweeters not already in your network.
Start the conversation
Don’t be afraid to talk to others on Twitter first; that’s why you’re both there: conversation. Reach out to those who are already talking about topics of interest. Answer questions they may be asking about your industry, products or services.
Share information from others with your thoughts, blog posts and tweets. Showing an interest in what others are doing on Twitter and supporting them will make them more interested in supporting you and engaging in conversation.
Join and host Twitter chats
Twitter chats can be very lively online conversations, and a great way to get people talking. Joining a chat shows others that you’re interested in engaging and that you have something to say.
Hosting your own Twitter chat is a great way to get people talking and have a little more control over the conversation. Create a hashtag, advertise, work up some discussion questions and jump in!
Twitter feeds can be overwhelming with all the incoming information. Keep an eye on your customers, influencers, and those tweeting about topics you want to talk about by creating lists and organizing accounts into them. Finding a conversation you want to jump in on can be a lot easier and less time consuming if the accounts you follow are organized.
There are already a lot of people out there on Twitter having awesome conversations. Join them and start your own! Your customers are probably looking for you on Twitter, it’s a great way to get information and interact. Don’t let them down, and do yourself a favor by getting in on the awesome Twitter conversations!