The value of Twitter is implicit to sales and marketing professionals. Everyone knows that it is important in some respect and that they should probably be using it more than they do but are not really sure how or why.
By contrast, the value of LinkedIn is much more explicit. If you asked someone in B2B sales what they thought was valuable about LinkedIn, they would probably tell you that “it is an amazing tool for prospecting, nurturing leads, researching, etc.” The same goes for marketers, recruiters, business owners and so on. All of them would give you different but similar answers about why LinkedIn is a valuable tool for them.
Twitter, on the other hand, seems scary or daunting to some sales and marketing professionals because they don’t understand how it works or what value can be derived from using it regularly. Well, for the benefit of anyone out there that has thought about getting on the Twitter train but has not yet hopped onboard, here is a short list of Frequently Asked Questions about Twitter:
Why should I be using Twitter?
Twitter is an important social media tool for a number of reasons. For sales and marketing professionals, using Twitter regularly can be an excellent way to share content, build a personal brand, engage prospects & customers, find industry news and/or differentiate from competitors. It is also an awesome way to bash your favorite celebrity and potentially get featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live in doing so ;)
What should my Twitter profile and cover pic look like?
For your profile pic you should choose a clear picture of yourself, ideally one that focuses on just your shoulders and head. If your pic is too zoomed out, it may be difficult to tell what you look like in smaller thumbnails or while using Twitter on a mobile phone. It is also important to remember that similar to LinkedIn, Twitter is another extension of your professional brand. We often recommend that individuals use the same profile pic on both LinkedIn and Twitter so prospects and customers can easily identify that both accounts are associated with the same person.
There are less best practices established when it comes to a background cover pic. In general, I’d say pick something that relates to you and your industry but is not too busy or eye catching. You want the cover pic to provide relevance and backdrop to your professional brand without taking away from your profile pic or posted content. A quick search on Google Images or iStockPhoto should give you lots of options to choose from. Here is what mine looks like…
Does it matter how many followers I have?
Yes. The number of followers you have on Twitter is a direct reflection of how prominent you are in the Twittersphere. That said, everyone (even Ashton Kutcher) has to start somewhere so don’t be timid if you have less than 100 followers for a while. “If you build it… (and are REGULARLY active on it) they will come.”
How do I get more followers?
Engage. Engage. Engage. Go on Twitter at least once a day and actively participate. Share out content, start up conversations, reply to people who have conversed with you, “Favorite” tweets, Retweet, add people to Lists, etc. The more you engage, the more visibility you will gain and with it, followers. For more in depth info on this question, check out this wikiHow post: How to Get More Followers on Twitter.
There are, however, less genuine ways to gain Twitter followers if you’re looking to go from zero to hero quickly. A number of different services exist that allow you to purchase your Twitter followers in bulk. I would not personally recommend doing it but if you’re interested in going down this road, here is a review of 5 Twitter Follower Services.
Are there any tools that can help me manage Twitter?
Yes… Probably a million of them. There are tools like Hootsuite and Buffer that help with posting, scheduling and monitoring your tweets. Then there are tools like Tweepi and Unfollowers.com that help with managing your follower database. And finally there are tools like Topsy that help you analyze the Twittersphere.
How often should I be posting on Twitter?
As often as you’d like. Twitter has an incredibly high tolerance for posts per day. The current limit is set at 2,400 tweets per day from any given account so I’d say it is VERY unlikely that you’ll max out. That said, there are obviously some best practices to keep in mind while tweeting. If you are only going to post 1 – 3 times a day or less, try to time them for high traffic periods. For business related tweets, these tend to be from 8:30am – 9:30am, 11:30am – 1pm and 4pm – 5:30pm when people are checking their Twitter feeds the most. Posting around these times will help maximize the engagement of your content.
What should I be posting on Twitter?
For business purposes, we recommend that you pick a topic focus related to your industry and target market. The idea is to position yourself as a valuable information resource to your prospects and clients that they will naturally gravitate towards while doing research. If you are in the mobile technology space, you may want to post content focused on mobile apps or mobile commerce. Likewise if you are in the cloud computing industry, you may want to focus on cloud computing trends.
What are Twitter Lists?
Twitter Lists can be used to cut through the noise and focus on a particular segment content. Lists can target tweets related to your prospects, clients, industry news sources, competitors, influencers, peers, etc.
What are Hashtags?
Hastags allow Twitter users to index content by topics. Doing so makes it easy to find information or conversations about a specific subject. At Sales for Life, we often post tweets which include #SocialSelling making it easier for anyone on Twitter looking for info about Social Selling to find our content.
If you have more questions about Twitter I’d love to hear them. Feel free to post them in the comment box provided or you can also book a call with me by clicking the big green “Let’s Talk Social Selling” button.