[356] How to build your audience through Twitter (and create FOMO)

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By Janet Murray. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Does Twitter confuse the heck out of you?

If so, you’re not alone.

It's a busy, fast-paced platform that can feel overwhelming at times. But with the right strategies, it can be a powerful - and quick - way to attract and connect with your ideal clients. Plus it’s a great way to reach journalists and influencers in your space.

In this episode Twitter expert and ‘FOMO creator’ May King Tsang explains how you can build your online audience through Twitter. She explains everything from hashtags and DMs through to Twitter Chats and using Twitter lists to cut out the "noise".

Plus she shares tons of ideas on what kind of content you should be posting on the platform.

Even if you're already using Twitter, there's tons of practical advice and tips you can start using today.

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode.}

How does Twitter work

For the uninitiated, Twitter is like a big online party, says May King. There are groups of people having topics about different topics. You can join conversations that interest you or you can start your own. Anyone you want to talk to is just one tweet or direct message away. And the best thing is you can ‘stalk’ people (e.g. prospective clients, journalists and influencers) and gather information that will help you make a better first impression. And - unlike on platforms like LinkedIn, where people can see you’ve been checking out their profile - they will never know you’ve been listening into their conversations.

Connecting with journalists on Twitter

Twitter started as a breaking news platform - and still is. So if you want to connect with journalists, Twitter is definitely the place to hang out. Journalists are actively looking for people to talk to for the stories they are working on. Following hashtags like #journorequest and #prrequest can be a great way to connect with journalists who are looking for stories - without having to send a single pitch or press release.

Find out how to connect with journalists on Twitter.

Twitter chats

A Twitter chat is a public conversation that revolves around a unique hashtag e.g. #contenthour (N.B. hashtags group together tweets on a similar topic). A Twitter chat can be ongoing, but more commonly are hosted at a regular time and/or day (e.g. once a week or month) - which is why May King compares Twitter chats to TV programmes.

Twitter chats are a great way to network with your ideal clients - without even leaving your house.

While she is not aware of any online lists or directories of Twitter chats, May King suggests carrying out a Google search for Twitter chats that are relevant to you/your industry.

Find out how to take part in a Twitter chat.

Twitter lists

If you’re following a lot of people, Twitter can feel really noisy, May King suggests creating Twitter lists of people you want to follow e.g. journalists in your industry, prospective clients, so you can follow along with what they’re up to. Twitter lists can be both public and private, so no one needs to know you are ‘stalking’ them.

How to reach out to prospects on Twitter

One of the best things about Twitter is that anyone you want to talk to is just a click away - including your ideal clients. But blundering in and pitching people over Twitter is probably not the best way to go about it. If there is someone you want to connect with, you can start by liking and retweeting their posts (i.e. sharing their posts with your followers), then move onto replying to their posts and/or starting conversations with them on Twitter. Then, when the time feels right, you can ask them to follow you (if they’re not already) and take the conversation over to the direct messages. In the direct messages you have up to 10,000 characters to play with (as opposed to 160 characters in a standard tweet).

Spending a bit of time ‘listening’ to what they are tweeting about first can be a good idea. That way you can establish common ground e.g. they like cats, went on holiday to Croatia and/or watch the TV show Casualty too. This can make it much easier to strike up a conversation later.

Creating a great Twitter bio

Most people will decide whether they want to follow you within seconds of looking at your Twitter profile, which is why May King suggests spending some time getting this right.

A good quality headshot is a must. You can also use the cover picture (which sits just behind your profile pic) to promote your products/services. As May King puts it, this is basically your “billboard.” So for example, if you are running a live event, you can list the name of the event, date and venue and a call-to-action to buy a ticket.

You can use a free design tool like Canva to create an attractive cover picture or hire a designer to create one for you.

Make sure your bio (just 160 characters on Twitter) explains clearly what you do. If you have a branded hashtag (i.e. one you have created just for your business), you can add it into your bio.

Twitter allows you to pin a tweet to the top of your feed (known as a ‘pinned tweet’). This is the first tweet, someone who follows you will see, so use this space wisely. You could share an amazing testimonial from a client and/or promote one of your products/services, changing it up as and when your priorities change.

What kind of content should you be sharing on Twitter

While there are no hard and fast rules about what to post on Twitter, as with all of your social media content, remember it’s not about you. It’s about adding value for your followers. Which is why the following types of content generally get good engagement:

  • Content that educates your followers about your area of expertise e.g. helpful blog posts, tips, useful articles (and not just your own)
  • ‘Live’ coverage of events you’re attending/speaking at (including photos and videos)
  • Conversation starters/polls

Just because you’re using Twitter for business, doesn’t mean your content has to be serious. For example, May King recalls being at a conference and asking her followers whether they preferred pastries or fruit for breakfast (as that was what was on offer) and getting really good engagement.

It’s important to give your followers a sense of the person behind the brand, which is why May King Tsang regularly tweets about her love of Karaoke singing and tea. While this might seem frivolous, it’s actually really important.

“I think a lot of people, too many people are trying to jump five steps forward and try and close that deal but we can't close that deal before getting to know somebody getting to you know build a relationship with someone and build a rapport with someone and how do you get to know someone and build a rapport with someone? It is the small talk. The "What did you watch on TV? What did you get up to "at the weekend? Do you like bananas or apples?" That really helps build the relationship.

Podcast shownotes
  • How May King became a FOMO creator (04:25)
  • How Twitter works and how it can help your business (11:49)
  • How to get publicity for your business by connecting with journalists on Twitter (17:00)
  • How Twitter chats can build your audience and business network (18:01)
  • How Twitter lists can reduce the noise and help you connect with prospects (22:37)
  • Key points about your Twitter bio and profile and why it needs to reflect what you do (28:07)
  • Types of content you can post on Twitter and why it’s really important to engage (32:32)
  • How showing your personal side on Twitter can help people connect with you (36:56)
  • How to find clients and raise your profile on Twitter (41:21)
  • Why you need to ‘walk the talk’ and demonstrate you are an authority in your field on Twitter (45:40)
Resources

May King Twitter

[233] How to monetise your personal brand with Chris Ducker (podcast)

[247] How to find customers on Twitter with Samantha Kelly (podcast)

[259] How to build a loyal following on Twitter with Madalyn Skylar (podcast)

[267] How to get more engagement on Twitter (podcast)

[300] How to Build an audience and why you need to (podcast)

[334] How to build a large audience without paid advertising with Callie Willows (podcast)

[343] The three audiences you must build to create a successful online business (podcast)

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