When you look at social media, do you feel like the awkward person at the party? The one who stands in the corner of the room while this other person draws all the attention? Well, you don’t have to be ashamed. A lot of people feel that way. But that doesn’t mean you have to stay that way.
When you as a brand are trying to develop a relationship on Twitter, I’m not talking about the creepy stalker kind or the faux-familial kind. I’m just talking about developing a close connection with other people online—customers or otherwise. But even this needs a lot of trust between you and them, and this needs to be built up over time.
But every great journey begins with a single step, and I’m going to show you a few ways you can start off on the right foot.
1. Offer great customer service
If customers have any issues, they’ll try to reach out to you in any way they can—and that includes Twitter. And since Twitter is such a public venue, it’s in your best interest to provide them with the best possible customer experience online. Customers will remember brands that treat them well, and will want to re-engage with them. So you’re setting the right tone for your long-term relationship by making customers happy from the get-go.
2. Curator of great information
“Curate” in this context involves sharing information that your customers will find valuable. This includes both your own content and other people’s. Articles, reports, pictures, insightful quotes, etc. Whatever your customer might find interesting. Your goal here is to have them follow you because you always share interesting and relevant things.
People on Twitter don’t need to share or promote your content. So when they do retweet you, you absolutely must thank them. It shows them you appreciate their attention (and you should), and encourages them to do it again.
4. Participate in conversations that aren’t about you
Remember my engagement tip from last post? Don’t be afraid to go beyond your own feed and participate in other people’s conversations. If you’re a lawyer and someone on Twitter is asking for legal advice, for example, jump in with a quick tip or suggestion. Just make sure you really do have expertise in whatever they’re asking (and that it’s related to what your business actually does).
5. Ask questions and share results
Turn the tables and ask your own questions! It’s a great way to know your followers and gives plenty of opportunities to start one-on-one conversations, which is a huge step towards building relationships. If you use the right hashtag, you may be able to attract even more answers!
Although it might seem intimidating or confusing at first, Twitter is a lot like that party I was describing earlier. You want to make connections. The standard social norms apply, of course: don’t be creepy or salesy, don’t lie, be nice and polite, etc. But really, if you want to develop relationships on Twitter, you just need to do one thing: talk to people like they’re people.
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