First-time users of Twitter often don’t know where to start on the platform. Many first tweets are one-directional requests attempting to connect with a celebrity or solicitations to the Twitter community at large to “check out my services at xyz.com!” As you might imagine, this type of approach on Twitter gets about as much response as sending a letter to George Clooney and asking him to give you a call. Simply put, your first moves on Twitter shouldn’t be with your hand out, unless you’ve got something in it to offer somebody else.
An Army Marches on Its Stomach
Napoleon once said that “an army marches on its stomach.” He knew that winning a war isn’t all about the glory of battle and the flash of the musket; sometimes it’s just about making sure your troops are well fed. Similarly, marketing your business and selling your widgets on Twitter is not always (read: seldom) about soliciting people to
buy your stuff. Yet, that’s the approach that many companies take with social media.
They wonder how many tweets they need to post about their latest doodad in order to make a sale. Or worse still, they think a carpet bomb approach of “all sales, all the time” will somehow lead to success. Politicians are also notorious for showing up on social media two weeks before an election and then, whatever the outcome, disappearing
for the next four years!
No, in order to win the battle of promoting your brand or selling your stuff on social media, you need to take a step-by-step approach. The most successful companies know that before you can get people to buy from you (and continue to buy from you), you first have to build an environment of familiarity and trust.
What most businesses don’t understand is that you won’t build that trust by continuously talking about your brand. Instead, tweet about you — the actual, live person behind the brand. At the end of the day, we’re all human,
and that’s the story that people want to hear!
Of course, you need to tweet about other people too. Get to know your target audience. Ask them questions and spend time sharing and helping them out before you ever ask for anything in return. Help fortify their positions and help them achieve their objectives, whether that’s introducing them to new markets, or finding them strategic
partners and sales opportunities.
Above all, continue to engage with your target audience. In the process, you’ll discover what’s important to them. Then, when the time is right, present your offer. Direct your audience to the places where your sales message can be most effective. In other words, you have to spend some time marching your army up the field before you
can maneuver your big guns and take aim.
The Time to Build Your Network is Now!
Just like the call for the cavalry in the old Western movies, if you do the grunt work and build your
network before you need it, then it will be there for you when you actually do!
“Success depends on previous preparation.”
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