Are You Using Twitter the Right Way? – By Matt Enders

by Shawn Collins on April 28, 2010

No, this is not another article asking “Do you have a Twitter account for your business?” or “How much time do you spend on Twitter?” Rather, this article is going to challenge you to ask yourself about your current Twitter strategies. The key question is, when you Tweet, are you talking at people, or are you conversing with people?

We all know that social media, Twitter included, is meant to be a communication tool . What it truly boils down to is an opportunity to converse in a much more real-time, collaborative, and interactive setting.

If you want to achieve success through Twitter, stop trying to lob your messages out there, hoping someone will catch them; and instead initiate and facilitate conversations. Here are some of my best tips:

1) ReTweet often. But, do not stop there. Always add your own thoughts or opinion to the original item that you found ReTweet-worthy. It is perfectly acceptable to post two or three Tweets in a row for this purpose.

2) Tweet plenty of @ replies. Remember, you are having a conversation and you want the other person to know you are talking to them.

3) Use a lot of hashtags in your tweets. This adds your thoughts into much larger conversations.

4) Similarly, search for new hashtags that you find interesting or useful. Join in those conversations.

5) Reply to everyone who sends you an @ message. No one will want to converse with you if you are not willing to throw the conversation ball back to them.

6) Use auto-responders for your followers with caution. If you must use one, keep it simple by just saying hi or thanks for the follow.

7) Do not automatically follow everyone who follows you. This is a quick way to make Twitter overwhelmingly useless.

Picture this… You are in a crowded room talking to a large group of people at the same time. There are no speeches or stages; it is just a gathering with friendly conversation. Do you think people would pay attention to what you have to say if you constantly push your own agenda, regardless of what the group is discussing? Of course, the answer is no. Why would you treat Twitter any differently?

Social media as a whole is about becoming likable, while portraying a true image of yourself, and having as many people as possible show an interest in what you have to say. People, by nature, like to feel important and connected to the things they care about. If you want people to care about your message, make them feel important and connected to it by engaging them in conversation.

By conversation, I mean both your conversation and theirs. Social media is a two-way street. You get what you give. Make sure you are contributing in a way which will give you the return you seek.

Matt Enders is the CEO of MGECOM, Inc., a leading outsourced affiliate program management firm.

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