I Was a Twitter Virgin, Now I Have a Hashtag!
This blog is written because Steph Hill suggested that I write it. Her suggestion came in a response to my comments on her blog “Laws of Social Media Marketing that You Need to Learn”
I’m no expert on social media - in fact I think it’s fair to say that my history on social networks has been dismal. In the past I've joined Facebook and Twitter because other people were doing so. I never really felt comfortable with connecting to total strangers. I never really liked all those clever “meaningful” memes posted by people that I didn't know.
I used Facebook and Twitter with friends and family. But still preferred phone calls, letters and emails to keep in contact with them. I still do. So my Facebook and Twitter remained in social media limbo.
It is since joining WA, finding my niche and getting a website up and running that my thoughts turned again to using social media as a useful tool. Also, people here were “friending” and “following” each other all over the place.
My Facebook account I have decided to keep solely for family and friends and it is "Private". The fact is, I still don’t like Facebook, but I do like to see the photos and news that those near and dear and a part of my “real-life off-line” world” are sharing.
But, I have set up a Facebook Page which relates directly to my niche and website. I find it "clunky", slow to use, and don't like it. But it exists. It may prove useful at some point.
My Twitter account had a mish-mash of followers and I had no recollection of how I came into contact with 95% of them. Or why. But my gut feeling was that Twitter could be useful. I searched it using my niche keywords and learned that there are loads of "twitterers" directly relevant to my niche. They have either off-line motorbiking businesses, and/or motorbiking websites or are motor bikers.
I decided to overhaul my Twitter account. I changed my Twitter handle to reflect my niche, I added my website URL and changed my profile photo and header. But the best thing I did was to remove all followers who had nothing in common with my niche. I was ruthless. But, I told myself, if I owned a shoe shop would I welcome in crowds of strangers who wanted to buy rocking chairs and had no interest in looking at shoes? NO I WOULDN’T.
The effect has been amazing. I have had people, within or related to, my niche making direct contact with me via Personal Messages. I tweeted a request for feedback on my the new Presentation Page of my site - and got loads. One person is sending me free copies of her niche-related books to review - so I get free books and great content and quality outward and inbound links. Some potential sellers have said I could be an affiliate for them eventually.
To find niche-relevant followers I trawl through the follower lists of people within my niche. I did this 4 times during those 10 days and picked only the first 20 out of potentially 100’s of people each time. I followed them and sent each a PM about me and my site, (same message, copy-pasted). I haven’t counted but I’d say I got nearly 100% follow-back. This took me about 10 minutes each time. So, for 40 minutes work, I got 80 niche-interested followers.
AND - they have re-tweeted loads of my tweets. I've been tweeting my website posts and all of them have been re-tweeted, many times. I haven’t yet worked out how to see the effect of this on my site. Maybe there isn't any as yet - but there will be.
Of course, I pay back. I re-tweet their (niche related) tweets. If they have a website, I visit it and then tweet about it. I also bookmark the more relevant websites and blogs as places I will revisit and where I will leave comments (this is a medium-term plan. My short term plan is to finish the training here).
I believe that I can maintain the interest of my Twitter followers and build their numbers by spending about 60 - 90 minutes on the Twitter platform every 3/4 days. And I will spread those minutes over the day to cover different time zones;
I also created a hashtag, which is my site url : #oldermotorcycleriders I put this into every tweet, reply and re-tweet. When people reply to me or re-tweet me (as a surprising number have) my hashtag gets pushed "out there". Apparently, this could be good in the long term ..... How to Harness the Power Hashtag as an Entrepreneur
Oh, and some people who have visited my site via Twitter have signed up to my (as yet) non-existent newsletter. I tweeted them to thank them and explained that it may be a few weeks/months before the first newsletter is produced. They ALL then replied and said that was cool.
It is really important to be niche focussed so that your Twitter timeline is full of niche-related tweets or being seen my niche-interested people. Now when I open my Twitter in front of me is a page full of inspiration and opportunity which is related to what I’m trying to achieve here.
With this in mind I will only follow people within my niche. If you use twitter for personal news and updates, open a new account for your niche, or one for each niche if you have more than one site.
I will not randomly follow people any more - not even other people from WA. Which is why I've removed my social media links from WA. I'm not promoting WA as an affiliate, it may be different for those of you who are. Tweets about WA courses and affiliate marketing all over my motorcycling-focussed twitter timeline is not in keeping with my desire to remain niche oriented and will affect what some niche-related followers see in front of them.
Use images in your Tweets - this improves engagement. Nearly every Tweet I've posted with an image has been re-tweeted.
Most of the above applies to G+. I have a personal and business G+. It is not so responsive as Twitter in terms of conversations BUT, if you keep it niche focussed, it too provides inspiration and opportunities.
I’m not an expert - I've just written about my experience over the last 10 - 12 days and how it has had a positive effect for me.