When you market offline you get to physically interact with your prospects and customers. They get to see and read your facial expressions as well as your body language. When you market online people can base their opinions only on the image or persona that you present to them. They can individually create their own perception of who you are.
It is not always easy to translate who you really are online and it takes time to refine as well as a measure of skill.
Perhaps like me you may have found Twitter a challenge at the outset. I’m more reserved, like to observe people before jumping in. I laugh a lot with close friends, but smile more often than laugh. I’m detail oriented and like real discussions and conversations but was never good at ‘one-liners.’ So, initially I found it difficult to condense what I wanted to say in 140 characters. Did you have that challenge?
Another thing that presents a challenge when marketing online is that you can say something with smile in your heart and on your face, but when it’s on paper it can be interpreted many different ways. What I’d notice on Twitter is that people would add lol, :), haha, or tee-hee to indicate that this should be considered a funny tweet or it’s meant to make you laugh.
Although we are working from the comfort of our home office we have to interact with others and just as we cultivate personal and business relationships offline, we need these kinds of relationships online. For example you made need help with a document that should be uploaded easily through your FTP software but for reasons unknown it’s not. Have you built relationship with an online business associate to whom you could send an e-mail and ask for help? Many of these relationships can develop through Twitter.
I sometimes look at the Twitter Profile pages of people I’d like to follow or follow back and see that they made numerous tweets, but have not interacted with anyone. They do not reply to anyone’s comments; they do not RT someone’s tweet; they don’t send a tweet to any specific person; there’s just no interaction.
It’s important to participate in conversations and reach out to others on Twitter. Don’t expect that everyone is going to reciprocrate. They may not even respond to your attempts, but do not allow that to discourage you. It happens in the offline world too.
Be willing to share vauluable tips and articles even if these are other people’s articles. Just give them credit. When you show that you are willing to provide valuable content, people will eagerly look out for your tweets.
On Twitter you do want to update your tweets fairly regularly, but you would want to avoid doing so so frequently that your followers become overwhelmed with your tweets.
On the other hand, we are all independent business owners and have the right to use tools to filter out some of the online noise, but it’s also important to keep in mind that Relationship Marketing means communicating directly with your network and interacting with them directly so that they can get to know that you regard them as being of value and important.
What are some of the tips you’ve learned from Twitter? Please keep the conversation going with your comments.