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Personality, Engagement and Authenticity are Keys to Winning on Twitter

Personality, Engagement and Authenticity are Keys to Winning on Twitter

By Tannette Johnson-Elie

Twitter has become the place for digital, word-of-mouth marketing and a growing number of marketers and small businesses are leveraging the micro-blogging site to build their brands and market their products and services.

But with 500 million tweets sent out a day, it’s hard to get noticed.

If you’re on Twitter, there’s no doubt you have probably struggled to come up with something fresh and interesting to talk about. Getting attention on Twitter against the incessant chatter can be a challenge. After all, the conversation is non-stop much like tuning into multiple radio stations simultaneously and catching only bits and pieces of each conversation.

It can be hard to stand out on Twitter and set yourself apart from your competitors. A common mistake many marketers and smaller businesses make is they treat Twitter like a broadcasting tool for self-promotion, says Aaron Lee, a social media manager and entrepreneur whose social media expertise and insights have been featured on such prominent websites as The Huffington Post, Social Media Examiner, Mashable and others.

“It’s just another tool for them to advertise themselves,” says Lee, who also is the Grand Master of Customer Delight at Post Planner, a platform that helps businesses gain an extra edge on Facebook. “When they do pure advertising, people ignore them because no one wants to go into social media platforms like Twitter just for them to be bombarded with ads.”

Many people don’t fully understand how Twitter works and to no fault of their own. That’s mainly because Twitter executives haven’t come up with a clear explanation of what exactly the micro-blogging site is meant to be, Lee said.

“Unlike Facebook, where the goal is to network with your friends, Twitter can’t seem to explain what they are,” says Lee. “For me, Twitter is a networking tool. It’s so open that anyone can network with one another. That’s the power of Twitter.”

With a little ingenuity and creativity, you can improve your tweets and get noticed. Lee shares his best tips on how you can win on Twitter:

Listen first

Pretend you’re at a large conference; the way to effective networking at a conference is to listen to others first, Lee says.

“This is how Twitter works,” he said. “Everyone is speaking, but they are not listening and if that happens at a conference that you are attending, you’ll lose people’s attention. Listen to what people are saying. It’s all about building a foundation first.”

Don’t automate your tweets

While it’s OK to automate on Twitter, you shouldn’t automate the entire process like auto responding, Lee says.

“Even if you automate your tweets, you should jump into conversations,” he said.

Use visuals

Research shows that visual content tends to receive the highest number of shares on social media because it doesn’t require a lot of reading. Not only is visual content a good way to share your story and express your thoughts and opinions, visual tweets instantly pop out from the rest of the stream, says Lee.

“Visuals are the best way to stand out. If you’re not using them, you’ve not been standing out,” he said.

Personalize your tweets

It’s easy to tweet interesting blog posts and articles that you’ve read or to retweet others, but this won’t help you to get noticed on Twitter. You can set yourself apart by adding your own opinion, question or commentary to your tweets.

“Don’t just use headlines and tweet them; instead, personalize the tweets,” said Lee. “That keeps it different and makes it unique.”

Be yourself

Don’t be afraid to show your personality. This is by far the most important tip when it comes to standing out, Lee says. “Instead of trying to be someone else, you simply have to be you,” he said.  “If you’re fun, show your fun side. Don’t hold back.”

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