With Twitter now publishing around 6000 tweets per second, how do you make sure you stand out from the crowd?

Stop preaching to the choir!

It’s easy to think you’ve got the hang of Twitter after creating your profile, not to mention the time and effort you spent following relevant accounts. But a common mistake is to use it simply as another method for distributing marketin materials.

Scrolling down your Twitter page will reveal a lot. Are you interacting with other social media users or simply dispersing a barrage of propaganda in the hope that somebody will listen?

Consumers no longer gauge a company by its marketing; they see right through it. That’s why traditional methods are seen as spam when used in an online context. There’s no point trying to win over those that are already listening. They need varied and engaging content to keep them coming back, so it’s time to up your game.

Don’t lose your personal touch – five key points

Those who make good use of social media will find their reputation rewarded. The word ‘social’ is in there for a reason. Twitter is a great tool for thought leadership and information sharing, and that’s what will keep people coming back. But to be retweeted (forwarded) by your followers, you must also come across as likeable and interesting. Try these tips:

  1. Think two-directional. Followers want to interact, not to listen to you all day. Your aim with each tweet should be to inspire conversation, so try using hashtags and links to broaden your reach in topical debates. Once they’re hooked, talk to individual users rather than thousands to create quality relationships.
  2. Respond to breaking industry news. This allows you to step outside your product set and build brand awareness, amongst numerous other benefits. See our breaking news article if you need some pointers.
  3. Reply as soon as possible! Keeping tabs on client interaction is a business basic, and it’s no different on Twitter. Be sure to reply publicly to show you’ve nothing to hide.
  4. Try crowdsourcing. Everybody has opinions, so carry out some free research by asking for them. Got a new idea? Ask for feedback or link to an online poll.
  5. Don’t be scared of questions or criticism. Twitter is all about discussion, so ask for more information and do your best to resolve any sticky situations.

Those who make good use of social media will find their reputation rewarded. Huge numbers of followers look great, but for Twitter to be useful, it’s the quality of interaction that matters. It may take patience, but by talking with users rather than at them, you’ll stand out in no time. And that’s when the followers will come rolling in.

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