The Following is a wonderful guest blog by The Email Doctor, Jane Dominguez, CPA and owner of The Write Business Advantage. This is information we all need!
Twitter? Me? I resisted the recommendations of friends and business associates to try Twitter for as long as I could. Finally, decided that maybe they couldn’t all be wrong, so last spring I cautiously dipped my toe into the unknown. Less than a year later more than 8,000 people are following me.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started, no clue what I would find. Would anyone follow me? Why would anyone follow me? I understand that people that like to follow celebrities, well-known experts, but why would they follow me? The first time someone retweeted (repeated and shared with the people who follow them), and someone else complimented one of my business writing tips, I was thrilled, and hooked.
Why are more than 8,000 people following me? Thanks to people sharing information on Twitter, I found many good articles in my early days of tweeting to help me get started. I followed the advice to create my own persona, establish my area of expertise, and to share useful information. I began to develop ways to deliver my writing tips in 140 characters or less. One of my most popular recurring posts are: fat-free business writing tips: Fat-free business writing. Replace this: despite the fact that, with this: although. These tips are so popular that if I don’t post one for a few days I will get messages from followers asking where they are.
The second good bit of advice was to find people to follow that you were interested in, that have something in common with you, or perhaps tweet about a topic that intrigues you. Usually, when you follow them, they will follow you back. Now you have access to another expert, someone sharing useful information, or someone who makes you laugh. The lists that people can create on Twitter have made this even easier. Look at the lists that some of your favorite Twitter folks are included on, and you will find many other experts or people interested in the same subjects.
Develop relationships with the people you are connected with on Twitter. Engage them with a comment on their post, ask a question, compliment their website or Twitter profile. I am quick to retweet other people’s information, and usually stick to posts related to business writing, speaking, and training. Although a few people haven’t gotten the message, most people aren’t interested in what you had for breakfast, or what line you are standing in, but they do enjoy learning more about you, they want to know the person too. I’m always happy to join a conversation about chocolate. I remember one tweet that drew a lot of reaction, mainly people asking for my address: Puppy napping, quail strutting, lizards sunning, hummingbirds feeding, butterflies visiting, birds singing, pool sparkling—work, what work?
Courtesy is one of the first things I noticed and continue to appreciate on Twitter. People are quick to say thank you for repeating one of their tips, a link to useful article, or their latest blog post. When one person recommends another person to their group, a thank you usually follows.
My real success on Twitter is not the number of people following me, but the amazing people I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet any other way. I have made terrific business connections, and am currently collaborating with a software trainer to deliver better business writing webinars for her clients. A company that creates business-writing manuals asked me to provide consulting services as they update and revise their material. I have booked numerous speaking engagements simply because people found my information useful. The resources I have found from what other people share is material I wouldn’t have found on my own, or had time to find. If I need information or help with something, people are quick to provide assistance. Feedback on tweets provide instant market research. The number of comments or retweets of a particular post let me know what topics people are interested in, and was a great help when creating my business email tip booklet. The number of people reading my blog articles has sky-rocketed thanks to Twitter. Twitter associates tell me they print the articles to save, share them with their office teams, and even use them as the basis of staff training meetings.
Create your own persona. Tweet about something useful, of interest. Share your passions, share good information, share your frustrations and successes, or make us laugh. Nurture your Twitter relationships, you will be rewarded with more than you gave.
Jane Dominguez, CPA