Information and Resources for Solopreneurs

How To Use Twitter For Your Online Business Success, Part 1

Written By: SiteSell in Social Media | December 20, 2010

Social Media

Whether you like it or not, social media plays an ever increasing role in achieving online business success. Depending on how you use Twitter, it can be a huge time waster, or make a valuable addition for your niche business.

What Is Twitter?

The best way to picture the “twitter-sphere” is a bunch of people conversing around a water cooler, except in this case, you can only communicate in text and you have a limit of 140 characters!

You can find those “conversations” through Twitter’s search tool and other tools (more about those later). Search on your Site Concept Keyword and related keywords (ex., if your Site Concept is RVing, you’d also search for “motorhomes” and “RVs”) and then scroll through the results until you find a comment that grabs your attention.

Next step? Follow the most niche-relevant “twitterers.” Introduce yourself and share your own thoughts. Follow what’s happening in your niche through RSS feeds. Anytime there’s something new about your niche, you’ll know.

The Two Major Uses of Twitter

Like other social media sites, there are two major uses of Twitter…

1) Personal   You want to use Twitter to keep in touch with friends, to socialize. This does not include “business-socializing.” The offline equivalent would be keeping in touch with friends, families, etc. It would not include socializing at trade association evenings.

Since this has nothing to do with growing your business, we won’t cover this further. But if you want to do socialize, create a separate Twitter account and keep it separate from your niche-business twittering…

2) Business   Niche-twitter! Yes, there’s going to be some “social chat.” In business, we call that “relationship-building.” 🙂 But the point is this… Everything you do is related to your niche and has the potential of growing your online business success.

In the business world, you are not interested in Twitter as “the world’s large water cooler.” You do want to be a central player in your niche’s water cooler! And that involves using the proper strategies and etiquette…

Remember, don’t mix the two. If ever you’re not sure about how to handle something regarding Twitter, ask yourself this…

“What would I do offline?” or “How does this compare to offline?”

If you’re “chewing the fat,” that’s not business. This article focuses on using Twitter to build your e-business. Let’s start with some basics…

Building Your Water Cooler Strategies

You will read 1,000 “cool gurus” with all kinds of wild strategies for building an immense following… fast. It’s the “Get Rich Quick” (in followers) of Twitter. And, if you use common sense, you’ll be able to reject them and stick to what makes sense. For example…

  • “Keep it real” is the Golden Rule. Remember this. It will make more and more sense as you progress.

  • “You follow me and I’ll follow you.” This is the #1 nonsense on Twitter. Do not be impressed by those who are followed by 100,000 if they also follow 100,000. It’s much more valuable to be followed by 500 and follow only 10.

  • Be careful what you automate. Automation should be consistent with niche-twittering and should “keep it real.”

  • Follow others because they have something interesting to say about your niche, are interested in your niche, are an authority in your niche, are a potential great partner for you, etc. It’s irrelevant if they follow you. Never un-follow someone just because they do not follow you!

Water Cooler Etiquette

Just like around the water cooler, there is a certain “etiquette” that keeps Twitter conversations flowing…

  • Contribute relevant or interesting observations. Remember your newest followers read your most recent posts. Make them great (yes, that means most of your tweets should be excellent).

  • Skip the self-promotion — “it’s just not about you.” It’s about sharing common interests with like-minded individuals.

  • Ask yourself if what you are writing adds value to the other people on your feed.

  • Stay disciplined about what sites, blogs, etc. you recommend — less is more.

  • Be sociable, but in moderation… not overly bubbly or cynical.

  • Build upon your individual posts about a certain topic so that, bit by bit, the reader gets a better understanding of your perspective/ideas… YOU!

In the next article, we’ll cover the benefits of niche-twittering, and how you can apply this strategy to your e-business. In the meantime, find out what SBI! can do for your online business success.

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SiteSell is a privately held Canadian-based company that helps everyday people start profitable online businesses.
  • Gina

    I’m sure Twitter is as useful as Facebook, I just don’t have time for either.
    Is it possible to outsource this sort of thing?

  • Hey Gina. Yes you can outsource Twitter, but it’s better if you do it yourself. You can use programs like HootSuite to schedule your tweets. Write them all out and then devote some time to schedule them. After that just check to see if someone has written you back about any of them maybe once a week. Twitter is not that hard. Just another discipline to learn. If you’re serious about building your online business, it’s a necessary discipline to learn.
    I’ve noticed with my account, the less I tweeted, the less I was followed, and even had people un-following me. Now that I have a regular stream going, it’s a bit better, but I have to get better at interacting with Twitter too. They send me a good load of traffic so it’s well worth the effort!
    I’ll take these tips and use them to totally restructure my Twitter approach.

  • I have been using Twitter for my SBI site for over a year now and am very happy with the additional traffic it generates. You have to be careful because you can lose a lot of time there, but like any other tool if used properly can have amazing results.
    Thanks,
    PAUL

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