Some of the best tweets are the ones you don’t send. Think about it. Think about how you currently use Twitter. To this day, I mainly use the Blue Birdie to listen to reactions to trends happening in entertainment. For instance, Twitter shines like no other social network during an awards show. As soon as Nicki Minaj had her dress malfunction at the VMAs, I was checking out the hashtags. For Twitter haters, this has been a consistent reason to attack it; to point out bad spelling or trivial idiocy and those criticisms certainly have their place. But when used properly, especially in this grand age of social selling, Twitter can rock your listening strategy and help you identify intelligent (yes intelligent on Twitter) leads.
Back in the blogging day, I wrote about needing to think before you tweeted. That’s truer now than ever before. Social media is saturated with information. People are constantly trying to position themselves as subject matter authorities. It’s crowded out there so knowing what you’re talking about is essential. That takes learning. That takes listening.
There are tactical methods to properly listen on Twitter. Still, it’s OK to impart some high level strategy – really. You can do this on Twitter. From a business perspective it begins with understanding your business, your clients, and your mutual objectives.
Begin by following industry organizations and publications. Then, set up public lists to streamline your listening efforts. This may seem daunting but once your lists are set, maintaining them and listening to the conversations that matter most to your brand will become second nature. After all, these are little 140 character bursts of brain power, not War and Peace. Next, follow your clients and set up private lists to organize those relationships. Notice I have said nothing about tweeting. Twitter isn’t about tweeting. Don’t believe me? Follow five clients today. Follow five, any five. I am willing to bet the farm I don’t own that you’ll get more valuable information from their tweets than you could ever hope to offer them with yours.
Let’s say you’re a financial professional. Wouldn’t you want to know if your client tweeted about her promotion to VP? Wouldn’t you want to find out if your client’s daughter just got engaged? Wouldn’t you find value in a tweet that revealed a new strategic partnership with a firm? This is information, personal and professional, that could seriously impact your business. By the way, now would be the time to tweet but not to the masses. A simple reply to your client would suffice. The rest is all about what you do best – building the relationship and driving new business.
And if your client happens to be Nicki Minaj, I’d suggest recommending a new clothing designer – offline!