If you want to use Twitter to engage customers and, in turn, drive sales, you need to start at the beginning. Pretend the visitors have just walked into your brick-and-mortar store. How do you greet them? And, how do you make them trust you?
Whether you’re a “twoobie” (okay, that’s a lame conjunction of twitter and newbie) or a veteran at tweeting, there are certain rules that apply. Most of them are unspoken, so you’ll need to feel your way around a bit.
Here’s ten “I’d love you and even keep following you…” tips for engaging potential customers, to get you started:
- Be real, but use discretion. Since you’re not always talking one-on-one (unless you’re direct messaging) everything you say is public. Be a real person, but refrain from vulgarity, politics and anything else that may turn-off visitors.
- Tweet with Re-Tweeting in mind. If people love you and/or what you say, they’ll retweet your message. Unfortunately, they also only get 140 characters and yes, your @name is included in the count. Don’t leave it up to followers to truncate your message – which could result in the url actually being chopped off. Leave room for retweeting and people will love you more.
- Spell well. Celebrities get chastized for horrible spelling, but they’re famous, so people still follow them. Businesses, however, need to pay particular attention to both spelling and grammar. Shortcuts are fine, so long as they convey the message properly.
- Promote special offers, but don’t be forceful. If you want to remind followers about a sale, spread such tweets out over time. Seeing the same tweet hour after hour is just annoying.
- Test your links. Broken links are irritating. Need I say more?
- Treat the tweet as a headline. Make sure it’s accurate. There’s nothing like taking the time to click a link and waiting for a page to load, only to find that it’s inaccessible or has nothing to do with the referring tweet.
- Address complainers. First, see if they’re following you. If so, send a single tweet telling them you’re sending a direct message. This tells others that you’re addressing the problem. If they’re not following you, ask them to send an email or to call you.
- Don’t take offense. If someone corrects you, unless its a noted harasser, thank him/her for pointing out the issue.
- Don’t auto direct message people with a sales pitch. People who follow you do so – usually – for a reason. Instant bombardment with “buy here” messages are a turn off.
- Tweet about other things. Unless you’re using twitter solely to announce things sporadically, every tweet should not be a sales pitch. Re-tweet interesting posts that deal with your business, or share a funny story. Just make it light and don’t get too personal.
Of course, there are many other pet peeves, and some are just a matter of taste. You will never know exactly why every person follows and unfollows your account. You can’t make everyone happy, but you can do simple things to keep the majority content. Tweet with style and honesty, and growing your base will be all the easier.
Got some tips of your own? Share on!