This is a conversation, not a commercial

How would you talk to somebody you like in real life? That’s how I write my Twitter updates. The tweets written like that by the people I follow are the ones I enjoy most. Here is why Twitter works best like a conversation:

it makes engaging with you and your brands easy.

Engagement is key

In the almost 4 years I have been Twittering for different employers, the people I continue to follow are the Twitterers that behave as if they’re in a real, nice conversation.

That says something important about how engagement in Twitter works: if you like how somebody talks and behaves near you, you’re much more likely to keep listening. Chances are the level of engagement will be much higher and will only continue to rise.

This is what will you get you – among other factors - satisfying results out of your social media efforts: as a quality conversation maker you will attract relevant contacts, and they will find you.

So how do you like your conversation?

I’ve noticed that the people I’ve been following for several years, talk like they would talk in an aggreeable everyday conversation.

Here are 8 basic rules of how you take part in a good professional Twitter conversation:

  1. Leave room for others
    Would you like to listen to somebody who just keeps going on and on? No one likes one-way communication. So even if you’ve got plenty to share, take your time and leave time between your tweets. 10 tweets in 30 seconds are just plain annoying because it looks like you only want attention. And I don’t listen to people who shout.
  2. Listen & react
    Don’t just publish, interact. You can do this in many ways: retweet, reply, send a direct message… Show you are actively taking part and sharing. If someone retweets your post, reply and say thanks. Just like my grandmother said: start by giving. You’ll attract more quality followers.
  3. Talk when you have something to say
    I surely enjoy some fun tweets, but a stream of tweets only saying where you are and what colour of shoes you’re wearing, well, that’s not the kind of conversation I’m looking for. And I’m impatient (see below). A joke is nice once in a while so I aim to post fun and personal stuff for about one fourth of my tweets.
  4. Don’t wait too long to react
    When I’m on Twitter, I’m impatient. It’s the immediacy of the info I enjoy, the continuous stream, its speed. It’s a fast conversation. So if I ask you a question or react to what you said, I expect an answer almost immediately. Within 20 minutes. Really. How would you like somebody blankly staring at you when you’ve just asked something?
  5. Create, don’t just copy
    Find the right balance between content you create and retweets. Retweeting is like saying: I want my contacts to hear about the cool things you say. But imagine someone in a conversation only repeating what others state. I’m sure you’d turn away after a while.
  6. Be yourself
    No matter as who you are tweeting: an employee, an SEO strategist, a copywriter, you at home… Just be yourself. Engagement works best between real people. So show who you are in your posts. We all have our bad days once in while. Don’t be afraid to let me know. This is a conversation, not a commercial (see below).
  7. It’s ok to be silent once in a while
    I don’t always have the time to be on Twitter. There are days when I don’t tweet at all. I’m ok with that, so I certainly don’t mind when I don’t hear from you for a while. There is only so much we can do in a day. See also 6.
  8. Share
    I’m really happy to see you’re doing great, really, I enjoy hearing about your success. But if it’s the only thing you can talk about, I get the feeling we’re in a commercial. The days of protecting what you know are over. So share your ideas, knowledge, experience and insight. That is what really makes me listen and come back to you.

Have I forgotten something?
How do you prefer people you follow talking in Twitter?
Let me know in the comment section below.

Photo source
Twitter screenshot by Cambodia4kidsorg
Republished under a CC License.


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