To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question? With apologies to Shakespeare, that is the question, which many small business owners are still pondering. Is Twitter a waste of time or a serious business marketing tool? In my opinion, and the managing director’s opinion, whom I was lunching with yesterday, the answer is well and truly yes. As my companion put it, her fellow directors tended to be less scathing and far more interested in using twitter after she won a £100k piece of business using it. That’s a sizeable piece of business for any firm…
So, what are the secrets to winning referrals via twitter:
1. Use it as a keeping in touch tool
Twitter is a great networking tool, and makes it easy to keep in regular contact with your network – without seeming too forward or pushy. Use the list functionality within twitter to group together your prospects, members of the networks your firm participates in, introducers and current clients. Then discipline yourself to check the tweets on this list, and have a chat with people on the list every day.
2. Integrate twitter into your every day business routine
Cast your mind back 25 years, when email was starting to become a business tool. If you can remember that far back, I bet you were wondering how you would fit checking and writing emails into your daily working routine. Now, you just do it… right? Well, it’s the same with Twitter, make checking and tweeting part of your every day routine. So, when you check your emails, check your tweets.
3. Know why you (and others in your firm) are on twitter
Using Twitter in a vacuum is just the same as going to a face-to-face networking event and wondering why you bothered to turn up in the first place. Before you embrace the full delights of twitter, take some time to consider the answers to the following questions:
- Who do you want to meet and communicate with on twitter?
- How will this help you generate and convert more of your leads?
- What type of content will you regularly share to help attract the right kind of followers to you?
4. Treat twitter as an extension of your face-to-face networking activities
The same etiquette, which you would use for face-to-face networking, exists on line. Spend the time to get to know people before you suggest a phone call to get to know them better. Don’t be tempted to ‘sell’ your services via twitter.
5. Engage with other people on Twitter
You can delegate tweeting your content, e.g. links to articles or your blog, tips – but for maximum impact you can’t delegate or schedule the engagement with your followers. I.e. the conversations you have with them. So, take a deep breathe and take the initiative and find people to follow and talk too.
What success has your firm had with using Twitter to generate referrals?