By Nicole Fletcher
I joined Twitter a while back expecting miracles. This of course was well before I jumped head first into my social media marketing career, but regardless, that’s where most people start. I found my friends through the search feature and followed them. They followed me back. I tweeted…then I stopped. Period, paragraph. My twitter account was left dusty and alone for many moons.
Fast forward to about a year ago when it became evident to me how important personal branding is to someone like me and someone like anyone, if you want my personal opinion. I brushed the metaphorical cyber dust off my twitter account and began my journey to figure out this strange social network they call the ‘micro blogger’. I had started a regular sized blog a while back but was unhappy with myself and with it for a number of reasons. I switched it over to Tumblr to start anew and set it up to auto post to both my facebook wall and twitter account. I’ll tell you, the facebook integration was a big step for me as I hate to inundate my non social media savvy friends with news about the latest trending twitter topics, Google acquisitions and all the other ‘nerdy’ things I post about – but I did it anyway and so should you – everyone needs to learn.
Then I hit the big blogs out there to learn some more about my mission. I scoured the web for tips and tricks of the trade. Everything seemed obvious. Follow people who are in yours or a related industry. Retweet posts you find interesting or insightful. Communicate with people who are already talking about what you’re thinking about. Like I said, obvious. Then I realized that despite my lackluster reaction, I hadn’t really done any of these things before. I felt strange tweeting at people I didn’t know out of the blue and I think that’s a big problem people encounter. It’s like walking up to a stranger in a bar…but much less intimidating – so do it. Tweeters LOVE to be tweeted at – it’ll be the easiest friend you ever made.
Moving on, I started following people in social media, SEO, graphic design, marketing, etc and following people they follow and so on and so forth. Gradually people started to follow me back, sending me direct messages thanking me for the follow. I thought I should do the same and so I did and so should you. Social Media is all about forming relationships so take the time to form them. You won’t be sorry. In addition to growing my, as they say, personal brand, with followers in the triple digits (big deal, I know), I found I was learning more than I ever expected. News articles were more readily accessible than ever before and in real time. Before I knew it, I was the one telling my friends about events that had literally just taken place because someone I follow was there tweeting about it. I now know about the latest developments in tech, social media and weather, not to mention coupons, deals and social events in San Diego and beyond as soon as they happen… and I like that.
I won’t lie to you and say that if you go onto twitter once a week or even once a day you’ll blow up your followers in no time. It doesn’t work like that. It can honestly be a full time job – ask any solid blogger who posts original content on a daily basis. I’m not there yet but I’m working on it. In the mean time, start out slow. Follow people and things you like whether they’re related to your work, hobbies or life. Thank tweeters for following you but be sincere – people hate spammers. Take the time to engage your audience or your prospective audience – they’ll write back I promise. That’s not to say that Lady Gaga is going to tweet at you tomorrow…but one day a big fish will and I can speak from personal experience, it’s like winning the lottery. In the mean time, learn from this tool – read articles you never would have come across, comment, retweet, post original content and immerse yourself and your business into the twitverse….it’s how I got my job after all..but that’s another blog post.