twitter conversation starter tipsYou have read the blog posts, listened to the webinars and even bought the books. You've been watching the tweets go by for at least three to six months.   One consistent message you keep hearing is that social media is one big conversation. Twitter is all about the conversation, connecting with real people.  You wish you could have a conversation.  You wish even one person would talk to you on a regular basis.

Don't worry, you're not the only one. Many find it hard to accept that Twitter is not a broadcast medium.  It's not about how clean your tweet stream looks. It doesn't need to look like a piece of collateral or data sheet from the pre-Facebook era.

Your friends aren't going to think less of you if every tweet doesn't include a link. In reality you'll probably have more new friends if they don't!

Yes, what they say is true.  Twitter is truly about a conversation. An opportunity to connect with people from around the globe that you'd never be able to connect with otherwise.

Check out these 10 tips to get in the game of social conversation! Isn't it time you engage in more than a link broadcast session?

10 Tips to Get the Twitter Conversation Started:

1. Have a purpose.
Know what you're doing and why. Set goals and objectives. Develop and execute an integrated plan that supports your business goals and objectives. Although social media is often referred to as “one big conversation”, you can't lose sight that you're looking to get a return out of your investment.  The only difference is that the game has changed. It's no longer a broadcast. Instead of investing in broadcast media alone, you now are investing in people.

social conversations2. Know who you're talking to. Who are your followers? Are they the right followers who are going to help you meet your business goals and objectives? Are they people who bring you joy and that you can genuinely connect with?  What makes them tick? What tone are they using to communicate online vs offline? What type of content are they consuming, sharing, commenting on? How frequently are they engaging? Get in the head of your followers and target markets. The more you can understand how you can help them the better results you will have. Leverage polls, surveys, Q&A on LinkedIn or on a blog post to learn more about your followers. You'll be surprised how many answers you'll get back by sending a tweet that asks a simple question. People love to answer simple questions in social media.

3. Know what they want to talk about. Getting followers is the easy part. Getting them to talk to you is a bit more of a challenge. The easiest way to get them to talk to you is if you talk about something they care about. What information are they seeking? What information are they sharing that you could leverage and start a conversation with?

4. Know what you want to talk about. Many people get carried away with the conversation and lose sight of why they are on Twitter in the first place.  It's important that you stick to your plan and keep focused on your goals and objectives. The last thing you want to do is spend months on a fly by night tweet chat conversation with no purpose, plan or return on investment. Those of you who follow me know I despise Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs). Same goes for Random Acts of  Tweeting (RATs). Don't do it. Be real in your conversations and building relationships. However, don't go over board and lose your mind talking about Saturday night parties more than you talk about something of value that inspires people to talk to you about more than the best pub in town.

social conversation5. Give them a reason to have a conversation. Although this may be the first month you start to have a real conversation on Twitter, millions have been doing it for years. You're going to need to do something to grab attention, to connect. Give them a reason to talk to you. What can you offer them that is different than the billions of other tweets streaming by? What can you do to spark a conversation and help them realize you are human, that you are more than a robot sending off automated tweet links to your blog?

6. Inspire them to connect further by helping them achieve their goals. Remember it's not about you. It's not about your links. Not about your logos or even your fancy photo on your Twitter profile. It's about them. It's about connecting with your followers in a way that inspires them to further engage with you.  Inspire them to do more than follow you and never visit again. Inspire them to add you to a Twitter list, to do the double click onto your blog link that is in your Twitter profile. Be positive, be engaging. Be somebody that you would want to hang out with!

7. Share yourself. Don't hide behind the logo or the avatar. Show the real you. Share a photo. Tell stories. Share a life experience that spans a few days, weeks or months. Share the journey into the social media ecosystem. You'd be surprised how many people can learn from you even if you're only 30 days into it.

8. Earn the right to tweet the link. Engage on their turf. Double click their blog links. Actually read the blogs, comment on them. Prove that you are in the social game for the right reasons. The more that you give and help others the more people will be interested in seeing what you got too!

9. Organize your social house. Take the time for organization. Leverage the lists within Twitter. Keep your integrated marketing, business and social media plan in printed form in a binder at your tweet space. Create an editorial calendar that will help you organize content for various social networks you engage such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and your blog.

10. Don't beat the tweets with over think. Remember, it's just a Tweet. Yes, it's important you don't tweet like a moron. However, the worst thing you can do is over think the tweets. As long as you are engaging in social media within a plan that supports your business goals and objectives, go with it. Trust the work you did on the plan and don't over analyze every tweet. It doesn't matter if you lose a few followers. Tweets happen and followers leave. It won't ruin your business, your reputation or your life. Head up and have fun.

Your Turn

What are your thoughts? Are you a tweeter who has been sitting on the sidelines watching the fun go by? Is it time you engage and talk to people? If this is you, start today. Tweet me, tweet somebody. Say hi. If you don't we might not ever know you're there and maybe we could have been good friends. You might have even had somebody to talk to! ;)