Wondering how to engage your customers and clients on Twitter? Social media and social networking is all about engagement: there is always two-way communication going on between you and people who befriend you or follow you. There is no sense in being on social media and social networking if you don’t engage people.
But what does engagement on Twitter mean?
So what is engagement (I’m not talking about the marriage type of engagement)? Engagement means having conversations with people. It means participating in the ongoing discussions, expressing yourself, giving your own point of view, and responding to the other’s point of view. You have to be constructive when you engage people on social media. You have to offer them something valuable, in terms of information and your wisdom.
You can do the following in order to engage your customers and clients on Twitter:
Pay attention to what people are talking about
You can participate in conversations and engage your customers and clients only when you pay attention to what they are talking about. Of course this also means you need to find people who talk about your interests. If you are interested in web design and you are looking for people who may require web design services, you won’t try to listen to conversations of people interested in the World Wrestling Federation.
Once you have found people of your interest, pay attention to their conversations. What are they talking about? At what particular times are they most active and are prone to respond? What moves them? What are their concerns? What are they looking for? What questions do they have and what sort of answers do they seek?
You can do this by using various tools that allow you to search the Twitter database and the first tool you would use is its own search feature. For that you have to go to http://search.twitter.com. Enter your search term and see what comes up.
In case you are using third-party Twitter tools like TweetDeck and HootSuite they allow you to create dedicated columns for your search terms that get updated in real-time so you can view live what people are saying about your topic of interest.
Start participating in conversations
In order to engage your customers and clients on Twitter you have to be visible and by visible it doesn’t just mean posting links to your website all the time. Once you begin to pay attention to what people are talking about, start posting answers to particular questions. Just make sure that those answers are really useful and they can add value to the ongoing conversation. Let us go back to the web designing example. Suppose somebody asks what all he or she must consider before hiring a web designer? You can offer your answers frankly without pitching or specifically mentioning that you provide web design services. The same can be applied to any other business. It’s not a bad idea to talk about your business, but do it after you have created a presence for yourself and many people know you.
You can also express your opinions on various other issues concerning people in general. The basic idea is engaging your customers and clients and talking to them whatever interests them. For instance, if they are talking about the recent unrest in the Middle East, you can also express your own point of view.
Become a resource
People on Twitter are constantly looking for useful information and you can engage your customers and clients by providing highly relevant and topical information to your followers. While working on the Internet you often come across useful bits of information. Post those links from your profile accompanied with short remarks from you. You can also retweet interesting and useful tweets from other people. This is also called content curation and many people use this method to gain traction on various social networking websites. There are many Twitter users who simply post links to news and resources and in between they also post links to their own blog posts and articles.
Be a person without getting personal
On Twitter people are not comfortable talking to brands and businesses. Social networking, especially on Facebook and Twitter, is all about personal interaction. Interact with your customers and clients as a person. Have your name as your Twitter handle instead of your company or business name. You can specify your business on your Twitter profile page.
Although you are on Twitter as a person never forget that you are actually representing your business, and this means whatever you say and however you react it may leave a permanent mark on your presence on Twitter. So whenever people say something that you don’t agree with or find offensive, don’t take it personally. Provide objective feedback and accurate information and simply ignore people who act nasty.
Ask for feedback
Ask for feedback from your followers on Twitter and post the steps you have taken to address the suggestions made by them. This will show that you are proactive and pay attention to what your customers and clients over Twitter have to say. This will immensely benefit your business because you will be getting feedback straight from your customers and clients and companies and businesses spend millions of dollars in order to get such a feedback.
Promote your followers’ updates
People love it when you retweet their posts because it shows two things: you’re paying attention to what they are posting and you are helping them get more exposure and endorsement. You will get lots of fans by re-tweeting deserving Twitter updates.
When you engage your customers and clients they are more eager to do business with you because they know you as a person and they are more familiar with you and everybody prefers to do business with familiar people.