I was earwigging a conversation on train recently – in fact, it was when we were returning from the Jubilee celebrations in London (amazing!). Sadly, I couldn’t concentrate completely on what was being said as my teenage daughter, who’s mad keen on life on the stage, kept texting me to tell me excitedly that one of the participants worked in a West End theatre and how exciting that was!!
Anyway, one lady who obviously used both Twitter and Facebook was explaining how Twitter worked to another lady who was saying she didn’t understand it. In essence the explanation went along the lines of “ Facebook is about people you know, Twitter is about people you don’t know … yet!” and she went on to quote an example of how she’d got to meet some people so well on Twitter that she’d invited them round to her flat.
I completely concur with this view of Twitter – it has the potential to allow you to develop deep and real relationships – as a person first and a business owner second. This is exactly how it should be as people buy people. You can use Twitter to update your 1000s of followers about your new product or service, but it’s real power is in the ability to build that level of confidence and trust that allows real business or referrals to take place.
And yet the lady who said she didn’t understand how Twitter works I believe is quite representative of a huge number of business owners, those who ‘get’ Facebook (probably from using a personal account on there for a while) but just don’t know where to start with twitter. I hear similar comments from business owners all the time.
Well, let me recommend a way. This is the best way to learn about any social media network. Get yourself an account set up – then tune in and listen. Listen to what others say and what response they get. You’ll soon get the hang of it and you can learn what works and what doesn’t. Ultimately you’ll want to plan a strategy, but until you’ve seen Twitter in action – how can you?
Once you’ve listened for a bit you can start to talk. Again, some business owners seem utterly bemused as to what to say, but listening well does pay huge dividends. Then people say they don’t like talking about themselves. That’s all well and good but how else do they market their business? If you’re not proud enough to talk about your business beliefs and core values on a personal level, this raises some questions, doesn’t it?
Maybe we all suffer from English reserve when it comes to talking about what we do and what we offer and how we add value as businesses on Twitter but, for goodness’ sake, the queen of English reserve has to be The Queen herself, surely? And if she can get over herself and jump onto Twitter (or rather her very lovely PR team, I’ll wager) then anyone can! So – get yourself a bravery pill, swallow with a large swig of personality, add in a dash of core values … and just do it!
If your reason for being on there is always to add value and to help, you will soon find that communicating on Twitter comes as naturally as picking woodchip wallpaper does to schoolchildren.
Go on – dip your toe in – you might just find it’s fun!! (Share your experiences below, please!)