Twitter a Waste of Time? Try Changing Your Tactics!!
Today, I hosted an Indie Beauty Network member call with experts on using new media to promote cosmetics brands. It was fun hearing them share how they use social media to help create buzz around mega-brands like Covet, Sarah Jessica Parker's perfume. With each passing day, I am more persuaded that there's nothing a mega-brand can do that an Indie cannot do effectively on a smaller scale. Of course Twitter, a favorite social media tool, came up in the conversation. A lot of reasonable, intelligent Indies disagreed about the benefits of Twitter, backing up my experience that no combination of social media tools is right for everyone. We all have to try different things, and stick with those that further our goals and ditch things that don't.
This caused me to recall about a conversation I had a few weeks ago with Indie Beauty Network member Katie Corkill of Sterling Minerals Cosmetics. Katie developed her line of cosmetics in response to the severe irritation that resulted when she used other brands of makeup. I asked Katie whether she uses Twitter and what she thinks of it. I thought I'd share her answers. How do they stack up with your experiences?
dM: How did you start Twittering?
Katie: I began Twittering about four months ago due to encouragement from dM. Initially I didn't get it and thought: "Wow, what a waste of time". It seemed like a huge chat room where everyone chatted about themselves without ever really responding to each other.
dM: So how is it that you still Twitter?
Katie: Well I didn't use Twitter much in the beginning. Trying to find fellow Tweets was a waste of time since many did not return my follows. Instead of getting totally discouraged and stopping altogether, I remained with a small number of followers within my own Indie community. I have since discovered that staying in my own group meant I was not using Twitter to its full potential. So I had to change my tactics.
With a little push from dM, I decided to take an in-depth look at what others were doing on Twitter. I studied who they were and who they were following. I began to connect with people who blog about women, our lives and issues that affect us. As I invested time communicating with these types of people, my number of followers began to steadily increase.
dM: So what did you do as a result?
Katie: I started Tweeting more! I began to receive new subscriptions to my blog and newsletter. I enjoyed this not only because it meant more possible sales, but also because the inquiries I received were
courteous and genuine. So many women are either not familiar with mineral makeup or have yet to try it. This was a revelation for me because I figured: "Who didn't know about mineral makeup?"
Then, I started seeing orders come in that were a direct result of people I had developed relationships with on Twitter. Eureka!! A light bulb went off in my head and I knew I had to take this remarkable tool to the next level of sharing information.
dM: Based on your experiences, how do you recommend other Indies use Twitter?
Katie: It depends on your reasons for being on twitter.
If it's to let others know about your business as you also develop new friendships, then rresearch your fellow Twitterers and connect with specific ones as did. I connected to people with similar interests to mine, people who were as supercharged about their businesses as I am and people who also responded to my Tweets.
Here's what I am personally not interested in. I'm not concerned with accumulating large numbers of followers. I don't follow people who have privacy safeguards on their pages and I don't follow people who are simply collecting followers. Instead, I follow quality Twitterers who, like me, enjoy meeting people globally and who also return the follow.
For me, getting the new business was the icing on the case — the happy reward that resulted when I reached out to others to develop and nurture a new friendship.
dM: What other forms of social networking tools do you use?
Katie: I am getting my feet wet with MySpace. Wasn't sure how to use
this either, but I am beginning to meet some great women there as well using my Twitter "recipe" as outlined above.
Facebook has also been great for meeting other people. I have met some wonderful people in my own back yard there. I have a lot of fun on Facebook.
Stumble has been useful where my blog is concerned. I don't spend much time there, but I do track connections to my business from Stumble.
I have a LinkedIn profile, but haven't done much with it yet but I have tracked hits from local salons in my area from this profile.
I've made great connections at http://beautynetwork.ning.com/. The beauty bloggers there are interested in what I have to offer to that's a good tool.
Last, but not least, I have met some great people at dM's Indie Beauty Network social site, where I have made some wonderful Indie Business connections, including my new friend Jeanne Kissman from Plum Hill Pure Body Essentials. A friendship is blooming.
All of this socializing takes time and commitment, but it is definitely worth it, especially now that I see the fruits of my labor. When all is said and done, however, I have to say that due to the sheer simplicity of it, Twitter gets my full attention!!
Katie has done several things to make Twitter work for her. First, she left her comfort zone and gave it a chance. Second, she did not expect immediate results. Instead of treating every fellow Twitterer as a possible sale, she invested the time to actually develop relationships. She didn't push her products on people, but invited them into her world based on mutual interests.
Keeping these things in mind as you follow some of Katie's example helps take the pressure off of you and Twitter to "perform" in a particular way. After all, the things Katie did are the keys to growing a successful business — whether or not you use Twitter!
Question: Does Katie's experience resonate with you? Are yours similar? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section.