Twitter Lessons

It’s a few days after I hit 6000 followers on the @altrinchamhq Twitter account

When you sit down and think about it, the whole scenario is crazy – literally “6000 people care about what I say”

When you work for yourself you don’t have 5-6 people sat next to you in an office, so anything over 10 people following myself was a bonus TBH – I literally cared about every single follower from the moment I joined the platform

Here are the lessons I learnt from building my 1st 6000 Twitter Followers

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE
Social media takes time to grow and these 6000 followers took a long time build, but I feel better for that

I signed up to Twitter in September 2009 long before many local businesses or community groups joined in

People who sign up now have a ready built community of followers tweeting and joining in the conversations, but in those early days whilst it wasn’t quite a ghost-town, it was a lot quieter than it is now

When I see businesses join twitter nowadays they often feel that following 1000 local accounts in a few days is the right approach to take, but by doing that you’re missing out on so much

I took the patience of building organically and getting to know the followers one by one

By being patient you see and hear so much more and are able to form relationships with people

LISTEN TO OTHERS
From day one I made the decision I wouldn’t follow back for follow backs sake

Despite that I still spend a huge amount of my time on Social Media listening to what others say about their own businesses, about Social Media Marketing and about my local town

Literally the 1st thing I do each day is look through my 5 core twitter lists and then look at what people are tweeting about my local town and responding / retweeting where necessary

That is before I have tweeted anything about my own business

The key is to Listen 1st and Speak Later with Twitter

GIVE A LOT EVEN THOUGH PEOPLE WILL KEEP TAKING WITHOUT GIVING ANYTHING BACK
Since I launched the Altrincham HQ website I have blogged between 80-100,000 words of free advice on Social Media for small businesses

I tweet tips and advice daily

I speak at networking groups

I help community organisations and businesses by retweeting their news / events to 6000+ people

I do all this without expecting anything back and know full well that many of those I help regularly will never buy or recommend or simply share one of our blog posts

I do all of the above because I believe it’s better to give without expecting anything back knowing that you’re making a change for good

I AM NOT A RETWEET BOT
I used to Retweet a lot more than I do now – but I made the decision at the back end of 2013 to Retweet less. On average my retweets have dropped from around 20 a day to around 8 a day

The decisions was 3 fold

A) It takes more effort to have a conversation with somebody than to retweet and I wanted to build deeper more meaningful relationships with people

B) I became sick of twitter hours / ladders and the noise of serial retweeters that added no value – retweeting was just adding to the noise rather than adding value

C) I feel genuinely that writing one blog adds value to the many rather than retweeting 20 different businesses that day just for that sake of it

Social Media has matured massively over the past few years and if the only value you add to people is you’re a serial Retweet Bot then sorry I don’t think you’re adding that much value!

Since I stopped retweeting as much and engaging one to one I do feel my whole twitter experience is much better and that when I do retweet others it makes so much more impact!

OCCASIONALLY YOU WILL MAKE A MISTAKE
And often they will be spelling

Often when businesses contact us they’re very aware of the pitfalls of social media as newspapers love to broadcast any Social Media negatives to the masses (Social Media is taking a significant amount of their advertisers away so why would they fully back Social Media)

But in all seriousness – major social media mistakes rarely happen and often it’s the way you handle them that matters

More often than not though it’s a minor spelling mistake with an iPhone auto-correct that happens and people forgive you as they’ve done the same thing themselves

True Story – I nearly deliberately misspelt a tweet about the Six Nations Rugby as Sex Nation Rugby for a client as I knew it would get a bigger response than the original tweet …. sadly I whimped out against it!

THAT IS OUR TRUTH – TELL US YOURS – WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT FROM YOUR TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

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