As a consumer, I love Twitter because it gives me access to people and organizations that wouldn’t necessarily be easy to access. One time, my pre-teen crush, Dean Cain, retweeted my confession of love. Another time, a famous astrologer, Susan Miller, gave me personalized financial advice (she told me to watch out last October because I had Saturn in blah-de-blah and Jupiter in zip-a-dee-do-dah and it scared the bejeezus out of me).
From an entrepreneurial standpoint, Twitter is highly useful because of its incredible power of connection. But we’ve all seen the snooze-worthy Twitter feeds of bigger corporations who are careful to promote their product without making anyone upset. Is that really the best way to do business via Twitter?
Nope. Not by a long shot.
Twitter is supposed to be fun and quick and punchy. Here are 3 tips from unlikely sources that will help bring the pizzazz back into your Twitter feed while building loyalty and love among your followers.
1. Be Willing To Go There
In late fall 2012, Paramount Pictures launched a marketing campaign for their new film, Jack Reacher. Jack (Tom Cruise) is an ex-military bad boy who really isn’t very nice, and Paramount wanted everyone to know that.
I encountered the campaign first-hand when I read a tweet from @JackReacher to my friend Chris, and it read something like, “You better sleep with one eye open, Chris.”
It wasn’t long before I was embroiled in a conversation with Jack that included quotes from him like, “I have nothing to lose, Allison. If you’re smart, that scares you.” It did scare me a little – and then I went to see the movie.
Now, I’m not saying that you should threaten people via Twitter. But Paramount was smart: they were literally giving their followers first-hand experience with Jack Reacher to pique their interest, and the studio wasn’t timid about expressing the real Jack. Anyone who wasn’t into it was probably not going to be very interested in the movie anyway.
The takeaway: you ARE your brand, so let it show! Read over your Twitter feed and ask yourself where you’re holding back. How could you share yourself more with your followers? After all, they’re following you because they want the inside scoop on your life and business, and they want to hear it from the real you. Don’t be afraid to pull out the stops and express yourself the way you want to.
2. Be Responsive
Now, I’ve tweeted my fair share of celebrities (including Patrick Stewart and Jessica Simpson), and they just don’t respond. I’m sure they receive many, many tweets in a day and just don’t have time to write back or even “favorite” a tweet.
So when I tweeted Mindy Kaling in response to a red carpet pic she posted, I was surprised when she wrote back. It made me feel special. Since then, I’ve read her book and I keep up with her new show, “The Mindy Project,” because I feel a personal connection with her, even though it was just a brief exchange.
The takeaway: be sure to respond personally. Running a business is overwhelming and tweets occasionally get lost in the pile. But having experienced the thrill of receiving a personal response from someone I admire, I know something small can have a big impact. Even if you can only send out one or two personal responses a day, that’s one or two people whose day you’ll have just made and who’ll remember you as a real human being rather than just another voice in the cloud.
3. Be Generous to Your Flock
Last year I tweeted @VitalFarms because every time I went to the grocery store, their eggs were cracked in the carton. I admit, I was a little bit peeved when I sent the tweet. I just wanted un-cracked eggs from pasture-raised chickens for my morning omelet.
Turns out, Vital Farms is awesome at social media and tweeted back to me with photos of their free-range chicken flock in Austin. They also sent me a dozen coupons for their eggs. Now, I’m a hardcore fan who doesn’t buy any other brand, even though I’m all out of coupons.
The takeaway: give back to your “flock.” In what ways can you be more generous to the people who support your business? Maybe it looks like coupons, or maybe it looks like behind-the-scenes images. It doesn’t have to take a long time; customers know when you’ve put in even a small amount of extra effort to pay attention to them, and they’ll love you for it.
Have you had an excellent experience on Twitter that you won’t forget? What was it about that interaction that felt so darn good? Share your story in the comments below to join the conversation.