Your business goal on Twitter is to provide customers with what they want and need. To do so, you need to develop relationships with your core 20% clientele base/joint venture folks and to develop trust and earn a reputation for being the go-to business for the other 80% in your niche.
Developing trust and relationships takes time and is based on a bit more than spamming sales pitches. Therefore, if relationship building is the goal, self-serving tweets should be in the minority. Alternate kinds of tweets fall into a limited number of categories.
The Other Kinds of Tweets
Questions: Asking questions is a great possibility, though there is an art to asking questions that can reasonably be addressed in 140 characters.
Humor: One can of course inject a bit of tasteful humor or respond to humor.
Retweets: Retweeting others’ tweets compliments and benefits both the tweeter and the retweeter as long as the frequency of retweets is not overdone. In moderation, a retweet forms an independent witness to the value of the original tweet.
Thanks: Expressing genuine gratitude or praise is always a good thing too.
Useful Stuff: Then there is the plethora of news, quotes, and tips which may be interesting or useful to the reader. Some of it should be self-serving (or you are in the wrong business).
Links: Include tweets with links to continue the conversation on blogs and announcements of webinars and conferences. Links can also be to further helpful information related to words that comprise the rest of the tweet. Various services exist to shorten URL’s so as to take up fewer of the 140 character limit Twitter has established.
Engage in their conversations: Address their concerns.
Be a listener. Don’t just talk. Answer questions if you have a ready answer or can readily research an answer.
Frequency of Tweets
Another issue important to developing relationships is the number of times each tweet is given. I’m not talking about the stuff you do for individuals once, but there are tweets that can be given multiple times. The question is how many without turning into annoying spam.
I am thinking of four factors to consider.
One, your followers are not always on Twitter at the time you are tweeting. Repeating a tweet at different times of day increases the chances your followers will see your tweet.
Second, consider which time zones your want to reach. Tweeting when your target audience is most likely to be asleep or busy elsewhere is not wise. Lunch time, evenings, and weekends often are better times.
Third, tweets will pass by the eyes of your followers at different rates depending on how many people your followers are following. One of your followers with a hundred followers will not see as many tweets flying by as a person following five thousand. For a given tweet, you can look like a spammer to the one following a hundred at the same time that you barely register on the radar of someone following five thousand. Striking a moderate balance between extremes is important.
Four, be persistent over a long period. Sooner or later most of your followers will become familiar with you. If your persistence consists in spam, your followers will drop out, but a with bit of creativity in providing real value, persistence pays off.
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