When people ask me what the best tip is for their new business, or any business for that matter, the answer often surprises them: Twitter. It is still the only open cocktail party on the internet. Twitter has always been unique in that is it truly a social network and not solely a content pushing platform.
Someone asked me once in 2013 how the internet had given me a voice, and I responded with this:
@craignewmark allowed a jersey wine retailer like me the chance to speak to the wine world by never leaving my office and not rely on media
— Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) January 17, 2013
Twitter is still a marketer’s dream come true because it allows you to initiate a relationship with your customer. When it comes to cold sales and throwing right hooks, Twitter offers a special opportunity to directly connect with the people you want to reach. At any time, you can use Twitter’s search engine to find people who are talking about topics related to your business, even if only tangentially. Unlike other platforms, it’s the only place where you can jump into a conversation unannounced without seeming like a stalker. For example, cold emailing on LinkedIn does not work as well unless you are asking them to take a job. If you are selling something, it sounds like spam. LinkedIn is still job centric as opposed to connecting with consumers.
A guy like me was able to succeed on Twitter because I was willing to put in the work and take advantage of the fact that I had permission from the product to jump into every pertinent conversation I saw in order to further my name and brand. This engagement becomes real time feedback from the marketplace.
Here are a few examples of how I was able to build my wine business, Wine Library, through Twitter engagement:
Show me a picture of your last bottle of wine … #wineSelfie
— Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) December 29, 2014
@shondarhimes which wine?
— Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) October 3, 2014
@GeniusHouse solid wine 🙂 i think we can find others u like too – let me think
— Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) August 27, 2014
Who wants a wine deal? Coming Monday ? Tweet me with a "me"
— Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) July 13, 2013
@Kisthart epic wine
— Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) January 8, 2013
How to Build Your Brand on Twitter
When building a brand on Twitter, it is important to remember to speak, listen, and react. Any business can use the following steps grow their Twitter audience:
- Make sure your page is set up appropriately with your current logos, pictures, and contact information. Clarity and relevant content is key. This is your business card.
- How do you find conversations to jump into? Use Twitter’s search and advanced search functions to find tweets that make sense for your business.
- Use the context of your search and tweet them. But, make sure you are adding value to their conversation. Provide information or join in by asking relevant questions. Don’t just start talking at them. Find out what value you could provide. Ask what they want from your business. Pay attention to the answers the market is providing.
- People will then be able to search for your company based on the conversations you are having. If you are providing value, people will find you and there is the ability to brand yourself as an authority in that specific space.
“Twitter is still a marketer’s dream come true because it allows you to initiate a relationship with your customer.”
Lastly, remember that patience matters. You may only get 1 reply out of the 100s of tweets that you sent out. One is greater than zero and that one conversation may lead to the valuable insights you are looking for.