Whether you seek to bolster your company’s reputation or simply socialize with like-minded people, Twitter is a great venue for it. These two goals are typically handled somewhat differently, but will often have some overlap.
Particularly now that Bing and Google have acknowledged that they’re now paying attention to social signals from Twitter and Facebook indicating the influence level of a user, social media is important to our sites’ traffic.
However, it’s not just a matter of tweeting that you’re at Starbucks or stuck in traffic on the freeway.
There’s a very old programmers’ saying: GIGO… which means garbage in, garbage out. If you want to gain any real benefit from your Twitter activities, you’ll need to build a rock-solid reputation and nurture it.
Assuming that you’ve already locked in the ideal username, completed your profile and established a few relationships, there are some basic guidelines you should follow, in order to continue building your Twitter persona.
Don’t follow everybody that tweets something funny or interesting once, or only now and then… follow those that do so often. And if they don’t have something in common with you on a professional level, do it with your personal account, not your business account.
We all have friends, neighbors and acquaintances with other professions and backgrounds. But a Chicago dentist isn’t likely to work with a carpenter in California or a beautician in Budapest. If you want to connect with them, super! But do it with your personal account and keep the business account for business relationships.
Twitter is networking, plain and simple. And the rules of networking aren’t really any different from the “real” world, in terms of participation.
- Everything shouldn’t be “me…me…me…” – it’s not all about you. Get over yourself;
- Do favors for others, BEFORE you need a favor from them, even if you may never need it;
- Interact with others, don’t just use them.
For instance, here are some posts on retweeting:
- Art of Retweets: Top 10 Ways To Improve Your ReTweetability
- Big Tips to Get People Retweeting
Become recognized as a resource or an expert in your niche. Staying abreast of the most recent developments in your niche and being the first to share them with your followers can rapidly establish you as an authority on a subject.
Opinions can be enough upon which to build a reputation, provided they’re based upon sound theory. Back them up with verifiable and authoritative data, and the effect is much greater, however. If you’re going to state just opinion, take care not to make any misstatements though, as just one can undo months of effort and cast doubts on your reliability as a source.
Mix it up
Don’t be constantly promoting just your own information. Mix it up a bit and be generous in promoting others, too. They’ll appreciate it, and will probably return the favor. Remember that productive relationships are two-way.
Feel free to join in some light banter now and then, as well. Let your personality show and you may find that you’ll collect more followers, willing to engage.
Here’s a great post on that:
You can track the clicks and retweets on your tweets, using HooteSuite or another similar platform. This can help you determine what sort of tweets aren’t getting the attention you want, and which supporters are supporting your activities.
This can be extremely helpful, if carefully analyzed, as it will show which activities garnered the most support… very important in establishing an effective pattern.
Engagement has two sides, and you need to monitor not only your active engagement with others, but also that of others with you. Generally, if you notice that one is falling off, you’ll see that the other is, as well. The faster you fix that, the better off you’ll be.
In other words, don’t become distant or snobbish, thinking that it will help you establish the reputation you seek. It won’t! All it’ll do is keep new friends at arm’s length, and chase old friends off. Pick your style, stick with what works, and be sure that any changes are positive.
If you stick with the above, and let your personality shine through, there’s every reason to believe that you’ll not only establish a viable social persona, but one that grows in popularity with time.
If one day you find that you’ve become the authority you wanted to be, don’t forget that your followers helped you get there. They may have the same goal, and now you have it in your power to help them.
Doc Sheldon is a retired business management consultant, turned perpetual student of SEO. He has been studying SEO for a little under five years, and writing professionally for over thirty. You can see more of his writing on SEO on his website, Doc Sheldon’s SXO Clinic, and his blog, Ramblings of a Madman.