As someone who actively uses Twitter -- as in, someone else is not in control of my account, and I check my feed just as often as my notifications -- I pull up my Twitter on a daily basis. I follow a mix of people, mostly marketers, salespeople, creatives, and professionals in high tech, so I see hundreds of tweets in my feed every minute. Not only as a Twitter user but even more so as a marketer, it is exhausting to wade through the crap to find real opinions, fierce conversations, debates, or even a genuinely funny joke.
I don’t want to visit your profile and scroll down only to be rewarded with a bunch of tweets with bit.ly links, random jargon, and nothing else. Check out these two profile feeds side-by-side, and be honest, tell me which one you think is more engaging? (Full disclosure: the one on the right is mine!)
The left one might as well be a spam account. It’s just a bunch of articles, vaguely related to your profession, with no commentary. There are a lot of offenders out there, doing this right now; you might be one of them? The right profile has color, different articles, hashtags, RT’s, and it gives credit to other users and authors.
I’m not judging. But I am saying that if you want to be a successful marketer or salesperson, with real social selling expertise (or even just an interesting and engaging profile), you’re not there yet if your profile looks like the one on the left.
Just be aware, decision-makers, especially those in marketing roles like myself, will be looking at your profile, so optimize it for engagement instead of keeping it updated for the sake of keeping it "updated." Here are a few things that may be hurting your engagement and credibility on your Twitter profile.
You don’t RT, mention others or even use hashtags.
Twitter's mission is “to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” Usually, the word “share” implies “with others.” So where are the people you’re sharing with? Are you reaching anyone if you don’t put at least one hashtag on your tweet? Are you giving any credit to the company or person who wrote the blog post or information that you’re sharing? Take a few extra seconds to find the writer of your post on Twitter and tag them. Research a hashtag beforehand to see how many people are posting into it, and then include a relevant one at the end of your post. Next question: are you even engaging with others? Do you read people’s updates, and if so, are you RT’ing the posts you enjoyed reading? RT others so that your profile isn’t consistently your picture and more importantly, to share other people’s ideas and not only your own.
You don’t share your opinions, as gritty as they may be.
Sharing your personal opinion, you mean actually stating whether you agree or even worse disagree with someone’s strategy or point of view? Really, what is wrong with offering your views on a subject matter? You may spark a conversation or debate with someone, and, if handled wisely, this could boost your reach and your follower count. And worst case scenario, someone unfollows you - yep, they turned the blue “following” button to grey - but if it’s due to someone not agreeing on a strategy, concept, or just having a different opinion, that’s OK. It’s time to stop being afraid of your followers and start asking yourself how can you get more of your followers engaged in conversation? When I see a Twitter feed of a sales or marketing professional that has no commentary whatsoever, I tend to find myself unfollowing them at some point. I get bored and their usual format always gets lost in the mix. Once a day, find an article that you want to say something about, and tweet the author including your comments or share the post and ask what your followers think, do they agree or disagree with the article? Twitter users will be happy to see some personality, engagement among your community, and overall -- that you’re simply human.
You don’t share personal news or pictures.
I’m sure you’ve seen the profiles: “mountain climber adventurist,” “avid runner,” “loves lakes,” “obsessed with photography.” But then when you scroll down, you see nothing. Your profile information needs to match up with what you share. If you’re obsessed with photography, you might want to share your Instagram photos every once in a while. If you’re an avid runner, give your readers an update on how you did on your most recent marathon, what new running shoe you purchased, and whether you love them or they’re giving you the worst blisters (no need for a blister picture here though). Even if the purpose of your account is primarily social selling and business, you shouldn’t be afraid to use it to show your personality, too. It’ll help you become “real” in your prospects’ eyes, instead of a canned seller they’ve seen and heard before. You could even pin these posts to the top of your page so it’s the first thing visitors see.
Don’t be lazy with your Twitter account. Make your profile approachable, and work on your Twitter messaging to reach prospects when social selling.