Are You Using Twitter Like An Entrepreneur?
Recently, I had a conversation with a woman in love with Twitter. She’s an Employer Branding expert by profession and tweets like the rest of us breathe. She couldn’t believe that I wasn’t on twitter and insisted that as soon as I got back to my laptop, I create a profile and start tweeting. And so I did. I loaded up a killer professional profile (I googled the best way to do it!) and spent hours clicking through Twitter’s users, adding a carefully curated selection of them to my following list.
For the last two months, I’ve created content to post multiple times a day, I’ve retweeted, liked, commented, replied, participated in “tweetchats,” and I celebrated my first hundred followers with a rush of “I’m doing it!” optimism. Hitting 100 likes, and then 100 tweets gave me an unexpected high.
Then, about two weeks ago, something magical happened. I got a message saying: “I’ve been seeing you post and watched your video. I’d like to meet to discuss a collab.”
I had that meeting last week and sent through my very first ‘found-you-on-twitter’ proposal to that potential new client yesterday. I don’t know what I expected when I started using twitter, but I don’t think I thought I’d be able to generate leads from the platform. That’s got me thinking: how do you use social media like an entrepreneur?
To answer this question, I started with a bit of research. The Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute released their 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Index recently, and their definition of an entrepreneur is someone with “the vision to see an innovation and the ability to bring it to market.” This person is able to innovate in both their product offering and their approach, they’re competitive, they take risks, they can network and they are able to enter a market with a toolbox full of potential. So how does this person use social media?
1. Be Different
You don’t want your product offering to look just like everyone else’s, so why should your social media profile? There is always the opportunity to tweak your presence to show something of your brand’s unique value proposition. I observed a lot of activity on Twitter and LinkedIn, and tried to differentiate myself from all of the other messaging that I was seeing. For me this meant coming up with original content, and not only quoting the inspirational words of others. It can be a challenge to be creative, and there are many mornings that I’ve stared at my laptop screen waiting impatiently for inspiration to strike. But all that effort means that when someone views my posts, they’re seeing something that they’ve never seen before, and that’s pretty cool!
2. Try, Try and Try Again
Some of my Tweets get retweeted, some of them get likes. A lot of them get nothing. As an entrepreneur I understand that not every attempt I make is going to be successful, but to reach success, I’m going to have to keep trying. Through a process of trial and error (and a fair amount of research), I figure out what posts work best, what times of day to post, which hashtags to use, how to tag others, and – importantly – I implement my learnings in future posts. Never stop experimenting and never stop trying.
3. Every Tweet Is An Opportunity To Brand Yourself
Remember, you’re posting content not just to share an idea, but also to brand your business. I put my logo on all of the content that I generate. If I’m posting an image – whether it be a motivational quote or performance tip – you’ll see my logo in the bottom right of the image. Most users don’t brand their content and this limits your brand exposure when it’s retweeted and seen by a broader audience.
4. Set Goals
When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s important to have goals. We all know this and we should be implementing goals in our social media activities too. Whether it’s aiming to add 50 followers by the end of the week, or posting five times a day, set yourself social media goals that you work towards to attain. It makes the whole experience a lot less daunting and can give you that familiar rush of accomplishment when you meet your milestones.
5. Be Consistent
As a business owner, you want to make sure that your products and services are high quality – every time, all the time. The same is true for your social media posts. Once you’ve set a standard for your activity on the platform, you need to keep it up. This applies to frequency of posts as well as quality. Don’t let a bad week destroy the momentum that you’ve picked up. Use a scheduling tool to stay on top of things if you’re worried about slacking off.
6. Close The Sale
As an entrepreneur, once you’ve started engagement with a client, you’ve got the tenacity and drive to see that engagement through to its endpoint – the sale. Similarly, on Twitter, or any social media platform for that matter, if someone starts a conversation, replies to a post, or asks you a question, you need to engage and follow the thread to its conclusion – a meeting, an extension to your network, an invitation to participate in an event.
Twitter offers entrepreneurs a powerful avenue to build their brand, expand their network and make sales. However, to achieve all this, you’ve got to be making your way around the platform like an entrepreneur. Step out of your comfort zone, step up to the challenge, and start leveraging that entrepreneurial spirit to create and post attractive, innovative and inspiring content.
Jen is an entrepreneur, an expert in the young talent space, and an all-round enthusiast! Her career has been spent working alongside young people – upskilling them and supporting them to make meaningful career decisions. She’s a writer, a speaker, a disruptor, and a fresh mom.