Trainers: How to become a Twitter expertby
The chances are that you’re already part of the internet phenomenon that is Twitter. But just how do you become an expert and maximise the benefits for your training business? Dan Martin, who was recently revealed by The Independent as one of the UK’s most influential tweeting bloggers, shares the secrets to Twitter success.
1. Smart registration
Key to the registration process is using the right keywords in your biography. You have to be clever as like every other area of Twitter you’re restricted in the number of characters you can use. Many tweeters use search engines to track down relevant people so use keywords you think will be popular. For example, make sure you get ‘coach’ and ‘coaching’ in if you’re a coach and if you’re targeting SMEs use words like ‘small business’ and ‘small companies’. Equally, if you’re after clients in a particular locality include it in your profile.
2. The art of conversation
Key to making a real success of Twitter is conversation. Engaging with others and sharing your knowledge will show people you are a real expert in your field. It is very tempting to continually post links to blogs, articles and other content on your own website but many tweeters will soon get bored and click the ‘block’ button. To avoid losing followers and gain more, track down conversations you can get involved with. Use the search function to track relevant topics or use services like Twitlert or TweetBeep to let you know when particular keywords or phrases are mentioned. You could also take part in the many regular chats. Here’s a useful list.
Target peeps and enjoy the conversation - don't expect any leads for 3+ months." @efficiencycoach
"It's only part of the marketing mix not the be all and end all - and learn from those trainers that have used it successfully." @GaryGorman
"Be yourself!" @robshepherd
"Twitter is a relationship tool not a sales tool."@RapidBi
3. Arrange a tweet-up
Despite the benefits of building relationships online, it's still very useful to meet someone face-to-face. If people are following you on Twitter, they have already expressed an interest in your expertise so put a call out for a meet-up (or tweet-up) and see whether anyone responds. The event can be as formal or as informal as you like but will allow you to gather useful feedback not only about your business but also about your tweets! TrainingZone.co.uk will soon be organising its own tweet-ups so make sure you follow the website on Twitter and be one of the first to find out.
4. Your own website
One of the golden rules of making a success of your company website is keeping it as up to date as possible with fresh content. One way to do this is to display your Twitter feed. To do so, go to www.twitter.com/widgets where you can grab some HTML code to embed into your website. Your feed will then be displayed and automatically update as you post tweets.
5. Follow me
Use every opportunity you can to promote your Twitter feed. Free to use 'follow me on Twitter' badges are all over the internet which you can put on your website, in your email signature and on your business cards. Some examples are here and here.
6. A local place for local tweeple
Twitter may be global but don’t forget about the potentially useful contacts on your doorstep. Finding clients, customers and partners locally could bring big benefits to your training company. To track down nearby Twitters use the advanced search function in the Twitter search which allows you to find tweeters within certain distances of particular places or use services like TwitterLocal and Twellow. The latter website also allows users to find specialists in particular business and professional sectors.
7. Measure your success
Like any form of marketing, it’s always useful to measure the impact of your efforts. Several services have been released over recent months which allow you to do just that. One of my favourites is the latest version of HootSuite. If you use the site to post a link to Twitter, you can track how many people click on it and where they are based. So, for instance, if you’re based in the UK and you discover that most of your followers are in the US, it would be worth doing most of your tweeting later in the day.
If you still need more advice on how to get started with Twitter, read our last article on Twitter Tips for trainers or follow Mike Morrison's 'Diagnostic, Needs Analysis and Organisational Development' blog.
Dan Martin is editor of www.BusinessZone.co.uk. He was recently named the 10th most influential political blogger on Twitter by The Independent. You can follow him at www.twitter.com/BusinessZone and www.twitter.com/Dan_Martin