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Qualify your Twitter followers and build an audience of quality followers

by Tim Rimington | March 28, 2013

Social media shouldn’t be about the “hard sell”. Companies that open social media channels and then expect conversions to start rolling in are likely to walk away disappointed. For many small businesses, social media is not the place for in-your-face sales pitches, rather, it’s the place where companies build their brand and connect with a new audience. Drop the notion that Twitter, Facebook et-al are going to open the floodgates to direct sales (or leads), and you’re likely to get a lot more from those channels. In other words, drop the high expectations, remove the hype, and start using social channels to communicate with your customers and introduce your brand to new audiences.

Let’s look at Twitter. I spend a lot of time on Twitter speaking with people who share similar interests to mine. I don’t waste time speaking to people who don’t matter; I only engage with people relevant to my core interests. This way, I keep my conversations centered on specific subjects that my followers find interesting. This holds their attention and is more likely to elicit a response, either direct or via a re-Tweet to their followers. This is how I grow followers relevant to the subjects I discuss rather than amassing an inflated volume of followers with questionable interest in my account. In other words, quality over quantity. A fair chunk of ‘irrelevant’ followers will always be ‘on board’ but that’s kept to a minimum, allowing me to engage with people interested in what I have to say rather than chatting with those with no real interest but who are happy to chat for the sake of it - and Twitter is awash with those types of users; “Gas-baggers”, as they were once referred to in the old CB radio days of the 70s and 80s.

Another way to build a relevant audience is to ask people with whom you engage regularly, to re-Tweet your requests to build your followers (in return I offer to Tweet about the person who re-Tweeted, and drop in something humorous to get people’s attention and keep things light-hearted).

The people you choose to engage with often are the people you’ve already “qualified” as being relevant to what you do as a company or organisation. I find that these people also work Twitter in the same way that I do, so, I’m confident that their re-Tweets are going to followers relevant to their interests and mine. Keep your eye on the prize: you’re building quality followers with a genuine interest in you or your brand, forget building an empire unless it’s one filled with admirers.

The benefit of Twitter followers (or Facebook ‘Likes’, etc.) is about putting your brand in front of people with an interest in what you offer. It should also be viewed as an opportunity to provide a ‘human face’ to your organisation. If your followers are in the market for widgets, you’re going to be considered as a possible source of those widgets. Will you close a sale via social media? Maybe not, but with an active presence you’re hat is certainly in the ring.

There are few ‘absolutes’ on Twitter or social media. Just keep the conversations flowing in order to maintain a strong profile. The knock-on benefits will flow.

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