Joining in the conversation on twitter

There were so many lessons I learnt from the Problogger training event last weekend, and my mind has been spinning with ideas all week.

During one of the panels, which featured Nikki from Styling You, Eden from Edenland, Mrs Woog of Woogsworld and Lorraine Murphy of The Remarkables there was a discussion about working with brands. This is of great interest to me, because I am not ashamed to say the dirty M word in relation either of my two blogs: Monetization.

To be honest, I’m not sure why the concept of making money from blogs is frowned upon.  I understand there are people who blog for different reasons and have no interest in the commercial aspect of this industry (yes, it is an industry) but there are also many people who have built a successful business out of blogging.  I spend a lot of time on both of my blogs, and see it as a logical place to make some money.  I wouldn’t spend time on any of my other businesses and expect no return.  It makes no sense for me to take so much time away from my family unless there is going to be some return.

I’ve been doing this for 12 months now, and over that time, I’ve had a few wonderful opportunities to work with different brands.  My ambassadorship with Garnier would be the biggest connection I’ve made, and it has been so much fun!  Now it’s time to expand that reach and look toward other opportunities.

So the question was raised: how can bloggers get on the radar of brands?

There are many ways to do this, but a common response from many of the speakers over the 2 day Problogger event was via twitter.  Brands, PR companies and bloggers alike can start a conversation and create a connection via tweets.

I’ll put my hand up and say that I’m a big fan of twitter.  I was late to the game, as I feared it as a fast-paced medium.  There were so many conversations going on and it all felt overwhelming.

Then I jumped in feet first and joined the conversation.

That is the key: you have to JOIN the conversations, start new ones and respond to others who tweet you.

I saw a tweet the other day where one tweeter was asking another why they hadn’t followed them back?  I could relate to this, as there are some people who I can’t seem to engage with.  I watch their tweets every day, see the conversations going on…but that’s simply not enough!

I wasn’t engaging with these people.  How on earth could they know I’m there if I wasn’t joining in the conversation?

It’s all very well and good to follow people, but you have to chat with them to let them know you’re there.  Engage them and let them know you have something to bring to the table.  Sitting on the sidelines on twitter will not bring brands knocking at your door.

So today, I’m bringing you my 7 tips for engaging on twitter:

  1. Speak up: let others know you’re there. Unless someone is following you, or they see your twitter handle in a conversation on their tweet stream they have no way of knowing you’re there.
  2. Look at who others are following: a great way to find the PR’s and brands is ask other blogs who are in your niche.  Have a look at who they’re following and follow them yourself.
  3. Search for hashtags to help people answer questions: for example, my other blog is about a tourist town.  I find people on twitter who are asking questions about the area and answer them, thus generating an engaged conversation.
  4. Don’t be afraid: it’s really easy on twitter to feel like you’ve walked into a party and everyone already knows one another.  It may seem that way, but the only way they’ll get to know you is if you join in.
  5. If you already have an engaged community on Facebook, let them know your twitter handle and ask theirs in return.  Once again, telling people where you are lets them know.
  6. Be aware of your brand: your blog is a brand of its own and you may want to consider having a personal twitter account as well as a blog/brand one.  If you tweet something to a friend that could be controversial, brands will see that too.
  7. Separate your voice depending on your audience: tweets are limited to 140 characters and need to be short and sweet. Sometimes that means using abbreviations and acronyms which is simply not necessary over on Facebook.  They are two different mediums with two different audiences.  You may have some people who follow you on both, but it’s important to remember the difference between the two.

 

Twitter is such a cost-effective way to market your business and it can also be a lot of fun.  I’ve made some wonderful connections with businesses and individuals which have been fruitful both professionally and personally.  Jump in feet first and join the conversation.  You’ll be glad you did!

You can find me on twitter at @workingwomenaus . Leave your handle below so I can connect with you :)

 

 

 

  1. Mandy
    October 19, 2012 | 10:16 am

    love this post. I’m a bit so so with twitter. I like it, i like the concept, I just don’t have the time to be there all the time. but a little more would be handy.
    Mandy recently posted..What’s in my Jo Totes Camera Bag!My Profile

    • workingwomenaustralia
      October 19, 2012 | 11:14 am

      It can be a time waster that’s for sure. I will need to start limiting myself ;)

  2. Sonia @ Shop Me Chic
    October 19, 2012 | 10:24 am

    Such great advice here, Kim. That’s exacty how we have built relationships with brands, online stores and PR companies for Shop Me Chic. It really works and is really worthwhile.
    Sonia @ Shop Me Chic recently posted..That One Thing: FascinatorsMy Profile

    • workingwomenaustralia
      October 19, 2012 | 11:15 am

      I love hearing about real life success stories with things like this!

  3. Nikki @ Styling You
    October 19, 2012 | 10:35 am

    Really good advice Kim – I always tell people that I could not have built my blog from a regional Australia base without the connections and networking I’ve done on Twitter.
    Nikki @ Styling You recently posted..Weekend recipe: Healthy Organic Chocolate with Coconut and Super BerriesMy Profile

    • workingwomenaustralia
      October 19, 2012 | 11:16 am

      It is fantastic the way you can connect regardless of geography

  4. Salz
    October 19, 2012 | 10:39 am

    You are so right about being over whelmed and thinking that everyone knows everyone. I have my days when I’m up to date with my twitter and reply and then I have days where I just can’t be bothered reading them all. I think I still need to find my niche on my blog I don’t know yet what kind of brands I want to be chasing.
    Salz recently posted..10 years youngMy Profile

    • workingwomenaustralia
      October 19, 2012 | 11:17 am

      I started with brands I liked and already used. A very wise woman ;) told me to stick with ones you already know about. My very first brand connection was with WOW toys who had never worked with bloggers before. I contacted them and pitched my idea…the rest is history

  5. Cheryl from BusinessChic
    October 19, 2012 | 10:41 am

    Great tips, Kim!

    I remember when I first got onto Twitter, I used to say hi to everybody but then along the way I started to get shy. A timely reminder to watch/eavesdrop less and interact more.

    Also I haven’t thought of doing it with brands as much since in the past they weren’t resourced to be as responsive but maybe the times have changed? Also I wonder who does the tweets – is it an area in the brand that will report back to the powers-that-be that blogger A interacts a lot and would be good person to work with further? I’m sure it’d vary from brand to brand but interesting to think about!
    Cheryl from BusinessChic recently posted..Comment on How to ride to work and look chic by MicaMy Profile

    • workingwomenaustralia
      October 19, 2012 | 11:18 am

      There are some brands who sign off with who is tweeting, and others that don’t. I figure if they’re investing time in engaging on social media then they are looking to make connections.

  6. Kris Emery
    October 19, 2012 | 10:42 am

    This is so true. It’s really frustrating when people don’t engage. Kind of makes Twitter pointless!

    People can actually damage their brands by not engaging. I won a $450 wine hamper from NZ Fashion Week and Kim Crawford Wine and they asked me to get in touch and then never sent the prize. Think I’ll be tweeting about that!

    Some great tips for engaging with people and making it work for you. This is how it should be done.
    Kris Emery recently posted..Review of ProBlogger Training Event Day 1My Profile

    • workingwomenaustralia
      October 19, 2012 | 11:19 am

      That’s terrible Kris! Are they on twitter? I would ask them about it. I recently had a prize giveaway and it was held up due to the product being sold out.

  7. Loren Bartley
    October 19, 2012 | 11:03 am

    Twitter is a great way to engage with others and create networks. Too many people get that wrong and just use it as a broadcasting platform. I have connected with some amazing people and gained many opportunities via Twitter, but that only started to come when I did what you advised and started joining in the conversations. :)

    • workingwomenaustralia
      October 19, 2012 | 11:21 am

      I agree Loren. There are some people who tweet and run, but I don’t tend to click through. It’s those I’ve engaged with that I’ll take the time to go further and read their content

  8. Cassandra
    October 19, 2012 | 11:06 am

    Great post Kim. I’ve probably only started using twitter frequently in the last 6 months. It scared the hell out of me in the beginning, but it doesn’t take long to get the hang of it. I’ve recently started trying to involve myself in hashtag chats… they are a great way to meet others within your niche too :)
    Cassandra recently posted..Tutorial – Easy Reversible Baby BonnetMy Profile

    • workingwomenaustralia
      October 19, 2012 | 11:22 am

      I love the twitter chats! There’s a great one run by Brand Meets Blog that covers a heap of different topics. It’s #BMBchat in case you hadn’t heard of it

  9. Ros
    October 19, 2012 | 11:35 am

    I must admit, I am a very shy tweeter. I definitely need more confidence in the twitter-sphere!

    • workingwomenaustralia
      October 19, 2012 | 11:42 am

      You engage on twitter Ros, that’s how I met you ;)

  10. CaAtherine
    October 19, 2012 | 2:04 pm

    Great posting Kim. Even though I’m a confident woman, I felt shy and awkward when I first joined the world of Twitter. As a new blogger, for me Twitter is about building relationships. Like Loren and others I’ve made some great contacts. Now, after the wonderful #PBEvent I’m brave enough to start reviewing the types of brands I wish to engage my followers with.

    Thanks again!

    • workingwomenaustralia
      October 19, 2012 | 2:09 pm

      I agree that twitter is about building relationships: networking. I use Facebook to build my community, and Twitter to network. It is wonderful how many lovely new people you can *meet* :)

  11. Annie @ Go Camping Australia
    October 19, 2012 | 2:13 pm

    Being relatively new to blogging (with camping and outdoors niche, not a common one in Australia), Twitter has allowed me to “meet” up with others whom I would never have connected with otherwise; and not feel so isolated from a blogging perspective.

    As for following brands, I have only seen a couple (in my niche) actually be responsive to tweets. It seems that for many, this social media is being ignored.
    Annie @ Go Camping Australia recently posted..Running from my tent, half naked.My Profile

    • workingwomenaustralia
      October 19, 2012 | 3:14 pm

      I completely understand Annie. My other blog (http://www.365thingstodoinbright.com.au) is also on twitter, and it is a lot harder to connect as it’s such a niche market. However, the engagement has been much better as it’s so targeted. Keep plugging away :)

  12. Donna @ NappyDaze
    October 19, 2012 | 3:02 pm

    I’ll admit I have had a love/hate relationship with Twitter in the past, and found it too “busy” at times. Sometimes I feel like tehre isnt enough time for real life people in my life, let alone lovely twitter folk so it can be ignored for a while. Plus I feel awkward butting into conversations and uneasy when it appears you are being ignored. I know its my own fault if I am, as it means I am not engaging enough. Just need to find that happy medium :)
    Donna @ NappyDaze recently posted..The old enemy returns: insomniaMy Profile

    • workingwomenaustralia
      October 19, 2012 | 3:16 pm

      The happy medium is something we’re all seeking Donna ;) When you work out the magic formula, let me know! x

  13. Bronnie
    October 20, 2012 | 9:06 pm

    My twitter IS me. My blog is my brand, but twitter is me AND my brand. I swear my followers know me better than my close friends and family, which is weird, but true. I totally engage. Maybe too much?

  14. Carly
    October 21, 2012 | 9:39 pm

    Thank you for this post and some really good tips. I noticed you mention #chats in a comment above. I always see these but am too scared to join. Do you have to be invited or is it a matter of grabbing your balls and jumping onboard?
    Carly recently posted..In a world of stress and anxiety today was an oasisMy Profile

  15. Me
    October 22, 2012 | 9:09 am

    I’m with you – sometimes you just have to jump in !!! I didn’t join twitter until quite late in the piece but now I really do enjoy catching up with on-line friends on there.
    Sometimes I do feel a little overwhelmed if I have been away for a while and I don’t go back to see what everyone has been up to – I just pick it up from now and carry on. (A bit like marking “All posts as read” on google reader because I don’t have time to go back and read all the posts I have missed !!!)
    Have a great week !
    Me
    @kal20m
    Me recently posted..Team FridayMy Profile

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