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I have to admit, I’ve been on Twitter for some time, have several accounts, one with over 8,000 followers, and for most of that time, I would randomly tweet with not too many results. I couldn’t figure out how to actually converse with people. I found I was mainly blasting my blog posts, auto tweeting from Facebook, sending random tweets here and there. Not too long ago I was listening to a webinar held by Mari Smith, who is one of the premiere social networking gurus. She suggested following the conversation of our webinar using a tool called www.tweetchat.com I tried it and it was fun. As she talked, we all either tweeted what she said or answered each other’s questions.
I recently created a niche food and lifestyle blog, so I set up a persona for it on Twitter. It took me a while, but by following others in my niche, I managed to gain a small following.
Note: On my main account, I started off trying to follow everyone and anyone. I grew a large list, but it was not necessarily a very targeted list. I was following the advice of some marketing hoo haw who believed more is better. It ain’t necessarily so, and I wouldn’t spend a lot of money in an attempt to grow your list to be as big as Justin Beiber.
On my food and lifestyle account, I noticed that a few people had put together some Tweet Chats. That’s when you get together online on a certain time and day of the week to discuss a specific subject. Each person uses the same hashtag (#) with an ID, such as #foodie, so they can find each other’s tweets. Put #foodie in the Google search box and see who is using it.
I like to use Hootsuite to monitor my accounts. It’s a web based site that let’s you see the big picture of your Twitter and other social media accounts. It’s much easier to see what’s going on than the Twitter site itself. There are other similar platforms to Hootsuite such as Twitterfeed, Buffer, or Twyla, but I’ve gotten used to Hootsuite and like it. I have all my accounts set up there, and I can see streams for my home feed, people who have replied to me @myname, direct messages (DM’s), and also search words or #hashtags I’ve put in. The stream updates every few minutes. The only problem is; when I participate in a Tweet Chat, I want it to be in real time, and that’s what Tweet Chat is for.
Note: There are so many Twitter related service sites out there it can make your eyes roll back. I suggest just using a couple so you don’t go completely insane.
I found that some people in my food niche had already organized a few chats so I decided to jump in on one and opened up my Tweet Chat account. It was so much fun. We were all firing off tweets, retweets, and a few links here and there. I had a ball talking to people I had never met, who had some very interesting personalities. Not to mention some terrific recipes. Some of the participants started to follow me and I followed them back. Several checked out my site, friended me on Facebook, and some very cool relationships have started to evolve. If you’re a #foodie, check out #foodies #recipes#FoodieFollows #entertaining #mauifoodies #foodists #hgeats #yegfood #shopyyc #cooking #fennelfriday and those are just a few.
Finally, interacting on Twitter started to make sense to me.
The cool thing is; if you want to chat about something, and find people who are interested in it too, you can announce it and create a #hashtag for it. Tell everyone what time you’re meeting, what your topic for the day is, and see what happens. You never know who you’ll meet and what types of relationships you’ll create.
Your interactions on Twitter will drive traffic to your website, and raise your rankings with Google, (because social media interaction is important) and you will start getting better results in your online business.
I still personally prefer Facebook, because most of my “real life” friends are on it, but Facebook is having some growing pains lately and is not in the best relationship with Google right now. Facebook page views are definitely dwindling, because your page posts don’t show up as well on the news feed as they used to. Twitter is still one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site.
So try either finding or creating your own Tweet Chat and see what happens. Oh, and please, make sure to Tweet This!