Psst… This post was originally published on Road Warrior Creative.
Business owners are constantly trying to keep a handle on where to place their efforts. They post… and post… and post. They give all they have and wonder why it isn’t reciprocated by their followers. After months (or years) of this, they start looking at what other great brands are doing to find success on social media.
And then they find the answer: Community.
Twitter is one of the best social media platforms to build a community on, and we’re about to peel back the layers on exactly how this can look for your brand.
Note: This is part 1 of 2 because all of this goodness couldn’t fit into one blog post.
1. Reply to Everyone
The Twitter feed goes fast, so if you want it to be your #1 community builder, it’s important to acknowledge those who take the time to comment, share and/or favorite your posts. This acknowledgment will slowly create a bond and an atmosphere of shared gratitude between you and your followers.
Note: Thanking each and every person who favorites your post might seem overwhelming if you have a lot of traffic. If that’s the case, use this technique sparingly, and focus on those who have shown continuous support.
Did this one give you a chuckle? It did for me! What a fun banter back-and-forth between Squatty Potty and Kyle Cristian Hatch. A customer comfortable enough to have this vulnerable exchange + generous enough to take the time to tweet a company shows that some great community building is in action.
Duane Baker took the time to reply to Galvanize‘s retweet, and Galvanize added more to the convo. Seems so simple, right? Why don’t more of us extend a simple “thank you” to our followers and supporters?
2. Strike Up a Conversation
One of the best aspects of Twitter is that you can talk to anyone at any time without feeling awkward. It doesn’t matter if you know them or if they know you. What matters is that you take an interest in them and/or in their interests. Twitter users expect to chat with complete strangers. It’s part of the fun!
One way to strike up a conversation with someone you hope to bring into your community is to add a positive and thoughtful comment or inquiry to one of their tweets that encourages a reply from them. You can also simply strike up a conversation with them about a photo on their profile, a hobby mentioned in their bio or something to do with your industry. This is not the time for a sales pitch! Sales-y comments will cause Tweeters to run for the hills. If you’re really interested in creating a relationship with a specific person, show them you care about them. Oh, and remember: a one-time interaction won’t do it. Just as is true in “real life” interactions, consistent and authentic exchanges between two Tweeters will build a trusting Twitter friendship.
Laura Clark (a.k.a. Whole Food Nanny) tweeted a thank you to a leader in her industry, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (a.k.a. Joyful Vegan). What a great way to reach out to someone you admire. Looks like Joyful Vegan already popped into one of Laura’s Periscope broadcasts. Perhaps this gracious follow-up tweet will encourage her to watch more often.
Ahna Hendrix made herself known to social media guru, Peg Fitzpatrick, by showing her personality when retweeting. Peg took hold and focused on nurturing her community member by sending her love and asking her a follow-on question. This is community-building at it’s finest!
3. Extend a Hand
Reach out to those in a complimentary business within your industry. The relationships and bonds formed on Twitter might not only lead to partnerships and other opportunities for yourself and your business, but can also enhance your community. Camaraderie with other great business will not only show their followers that you exist, but will also show your followers that you aren’t afraid to make connections with other companies similar to yours. Oh, and no one is too lofty to reach out to. Who is your mentor from afar? If they’re on Twitter, they’ve already opened the door to communication with you.
A baby clothing company might reach out to companies who sell baby clothing accessories, baby shoes, baby hats, or really… anything baby!
A virtual assistant company might create community with social media scheduling companies; social media experts; and virtual organizational tools like Pocket, Evernote, Trello and Slack.
Kinky Curls LA is all about hair and style. They reached out to Paul Mitchell– a leader in hair– and made a great connection. Look at that! Paul Mitchell replied.
Look at these two great companies together! Evernote did the legwork of not only sharing The Minimalists’ post, but also adding in a really thoughtful comment to go along with it. Creating a connection? I think so!