Twitter for Business: How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Influence

Do you use Twitter for your business?

Are you wondering how to use Twitter to grow your online influence?

To learn how to best use Twitter for your business, I interview Joel Comm for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael Stelzner

The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.

It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode, I interview Joel Comm, author of numerous books including Twitter Power 2.0 and So, What Do You Do? He’s also the host of The Joel Comm Show, a business podcast.

Joel shares how he uses Twitter to grow his platform.

You’ll learn how to grow a quality Twitter following, and which types of content work best.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

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You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher or Blackberry.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Twitter for Business

So, “What do you do?”

Joel explains how he asks questions and helps people discover what their core is.

This can include passions, talents, skills, abilities and personality, which are used to bring value to the world around them. This is how you find ultimate fulfillment.

Listen to the show to find out the importance of starting a conversation.

Why marketers should pay close attention to Twitter

Joel explains how Twitter is still relevant. They have 200 million active users every day, which is really impressive when up against Facebook’s 1 billion–plus accounts.

The thing that made Twitter cool in the first place is its simplicity. It remains relevant because it’s where people gather. Joel calls it the virtual water cooler.

joel comm on twitter

Twitter is where people gather.

Twitter is a place for short conversations, which can be extremely powerful and relevant.

Joel says that the water cooler strategy is to engage. You’ll find out the two different ways that Joel engages on Twitter and why significance is so important.

The most essential part is to be authentic. You can connect in the moment, which can be greater than you might imagine.

Joel describes how pictures are an excellent use of Twitter. He likes to tweet from Instagram and can post from his Instagram account to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare, all at the same time.

Twitter only allows 140 characters, so when you use pictures, it can be a lot of bonus words. Even mundane pictures can get a lot of interaction.

Listen to the show to hear an example of a picture that Joel used that made him realize there’s a lot of power in mundane tweets.

How Joel uses Twitter today to grow his platform 

Joel has started to check out more of what people on his stream have to say and then reshares their content. He does this more than tweeting his own original content. It’s the giver mentality.

A couple of Twitter’s strengths are the retweet and the favorite. They’re great opportunities to focus on the value that others bring.

There are days when Joel doesn’t tweet at all. Other days, he can get 5 or 6 tweets in. It all depends on what’s happening that particular day. You should never just tweet for the sake of tweeting.

When it comes to a tweeting strategy, you’ll discover why it’s important to be true to yourself and be aware of the types of businesses Twitter works best for.

Listen to the show to find out why Joel generally uses the standard retweet over a customized retweet.

How to grow a quality Twitter following

Joel advises starting with absolutely nothing. If you are new on Twitter and don’t know where to begin, Joel recommends you start with a hashtag that is in an area of interest. The next step is to discover people who are talking about your personal or business interests. As entrepreneurs, there is typically an overlap of the two.

Once you start to follow people, you can then bring value to the conversation either through a retweet or a reply. A great way to engage with people is to ask questions and then wait for the answer. When somebody posts a question that you think you can answer, go for it.

A lot of people don’t stop to think about how they engage. To increase your follower base organically, you need to be able to relate to people and bring value to them.

14 types of tweets

Back in June 2009, Joel wrote an article entitled “Fourteen Types of Tweets,” which explained the different ways to engage with people on Twitter.

Joel describes how the hashtag drives search on Twitter. When you use a hashtag before a word or phrase, it gives a common base from which to look for content. Twitter is a 24-hour news outlet. The hashtag allows you to find content.

Listen to the show to find out why Joel looks at Twitter as the biggest nonstop party.

The strategy of following others

Joel explains why he doesn’t like to prescribe a single approach to using Twitter.

When he first started out on Twitter, the mindset was to follow people back who followed you. It was the respectful thing to do.

However, when Joel reached 70,000 followers, he soon discovered that Twitter became unusable. People you want to follow get lost in the shuffle.

You’ll find out why Joel did something controversial in November 2009, and wrote a blog post about it.

joel comm twitter followers

Joel went from following 70,000 people to 917.

Joel explains that you should never use Twitter as a billboard. You need to engage with people on a human level and bring value.

It’s extremely important to reply to other people, as it shows them that you are a real person and you care what they have to say. Zig Ziglar said years ago, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

Listen to the show to discover how you can use Twitter to drive traffic back to your primary channel and why Joel thinks it’s a huge mistake to use third-party sites to build a platform.

How to use Twitter to get exposure for your blog post, podcast or YouTube video

Joel explains that not only does he have a blog, he also has a number of websites. For example, Joel’s editor at WorldVillage finds infographics that are of interest to Joel, which then allows him to retweet them.

world village

Joel retweets infographics from WorldVillage because it adds value for his followers.

It’s content that he shares from one of his sites. The content doesn’t talk about him; it brings value to the conversation. If people find it of interest, they will ultimately end up on one of his sites.

Listen to the show to find out how you can use Twitter to make the sales process easy.

How to optimize your Twitter profile across all third-party apps and mobile devices

Joel is a big believer that you need to have consistent branding across all of your platforms.

Twitter is unique in that it gives you more real estate to play with. You have your profile picture and the background, which allow you to do some clever things.

Joel believes that as long as your profile works on the main Twitter app, then you’ll be OK for mobile, as Twitter will resize it for you.

You’ll find out why it’s impossible to get your profile to work across all mobile apps.

Listen to the show to find out the importance of having a good photograph and bio description to populate across every different Twitter client.

Why marketers should pay attention to Klout

Joel explains that when Klout first started, the advice was for you to connect your Twitter account with them and they would be the arbiters of how much social influence you had.

Their algorithm will assign you a number between 0 and 100. It tells you how much influence you have for keywords and in niches and markets.

joel comm klout

Joel’s Klout score is 83.

You’ll find out why most people thought it didn’t mean anything when it first came out and why Klout has now gone from saying “We are important” to actually being important.

In today’s age of influence marketing, big brands want to find influential individuals who can share the brand’s message. Joel believes you will start to see more of this.

You’ll hear how companies use Klout Perks to get influential people to talk about them in a positive way.

Listen to the show to find out about what happens once you have connected your account.

Discovery of the Week

I’ve recently started to use my personal profile on YouTube and have discovered the YouTube Subscribe button.

You can embed a YouTube Follow button directly onto your website and then with a click of the button, a blog reader can become a subscriber to your YouTube channel without leaving your blog/website.

The button is very similar to the one you see that allows someone to become a one-click fan of a Facebook page or to become a follower of a LinkedIn page.

youtube subscriber button

The YouTube Subscriber button.

It’s really cool. I suggest you go ahead and give it a try.

Call in and leave your social media–related questions for us and we may include them in a future show.

Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how this works for you.

Other Show Mentions

SMMW logoSocial Media Marketing World 2014 is our physical mega-conference, which is set to return to San Diego, California on March 26, 27 and 28.

The conference features more than 60 sessions in 4 major tracks, which include social tactics, social strategy, community management and content marketing.

People are coming from all over the world. At this year’s conference, people came from more than 31 countries and dozens of people came from Australia.

Here are some of the countries that will be represented: Norway, United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Australia, Denmark, Spain, Mexico, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, India, Peru, Panama, Venezuela, Brazil and the UK.

As you can see, this is truly a global conference. We are expecting to see 2000 marketers in San Diego, doing nothing but living and breathing social media and having a lot of fun and connecting with fellow marketers. So be sure to check it out.

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

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What do you think? What are your thoughts on using Twitter to grow your influence? Please leave your comments below.

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About the Author, Michael Stelzner

Michael Stelzner is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, and host of the Social Media Marketing podcast. He also authored of the books Launch and Writing White Papers. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.proyectaprint.com/ Jose Melgar

    Great show. I’d like to share some thoughts: I
    would suggest trying “Classic Retweet” available for Firefox &
    Crhorme. What this does is it allows you to add your two cents worth to
    your retweets instead of just posting just as the “retweetee” wrote. http://bit.ly/1f2Uxzs.
    About the Direct Messages, unfortunately, this feature is not yet available outside
    the US (or at least not yet in Central America); I’m looking forward for
    this to be available worldwide. Thanks for sharing this very
    interesting podcast!

  • samir nabil

    Great Michel it is the greatest podcast :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Samir!

  • Amanda Shaw

    Thanks for the great post! I admit, Twitter makes me a little nervous. I’ve been pushing back from trying it on a marketing level, but you’ve given me some good ideas.

  • Lenzie O. Winstead

    Thank you for a wonderful lesson we will start hashtaging now keep up the good work.!!

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Thanks for sharing your expertise with us Joel! I personally like retweeting great
    content; aside from the tweets themselves providing valuable
    information, they also expand your exposure. Another awesome episode
    Mike – thanks!

  • http://www.anabytes.com/ Anabytes

    Very well said. The recent update that allows image previews on the timeline is one of the best things that happened to Twitter in a very long time. Leveraging on that can yield great output.

  • SEO Services Florida

    Agree, In todays world social media marketing is very important way to grow the business. using social media as we can generate good organic prospective leads, direct connection with client, and it also help to develope benificial business strategy. very helpful post:) Thank you for sharing

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks for your feedback and suggestions Jose. And I have also heard buzz that the Twitter DM without follow has disappeared so I am not sure what is going on

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Give it a try Amanda :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Lenzie :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks John

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Yeah a lot of folks (including us) are not doing this

  • Owen Hemsath

    I’ve heard the “twitter for business” pitch a few times but this dialogue brought a lot more to the table (I thought). I never really thought anyone else debated the process for retweeting as I do.

  • Owen Hemsath

    Absolutely! Twitter is great for validation if nothing else. When other brands or people retweet your blog or message, that is something you can share with your prospects and customers. That was my first twitter strategy but now that I’m maturing a little, I’m working on a follow strategy as I build my tribe. Join me- @owenhemsath :)

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Thanks Owen

  • AmandahBlackwell

    Great podcast!

    I’ve been struggling with building my author Twitter account, but now I have a game plan. I searched for hashtags for children’s authors and found a great list. I’ll have to do the same for personal development.

    Regarding following those who follow you… I used to follow everyone, but I’ve cut back on this because I’ve heard you should keep your follower/following ratio in perspective. I follow people I find interesting and may or may not have a common ground.

  • http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/ Michael A. Stelzner

    Sounds like you are off to a great start Amandah!

  • http://www.canadawebservices.com/ Steve

    Very Impressive post on Twitter for business.
    I just discovered that with instagram we can post to Facebook, twitter and tumblr , which is great. I was thinking the same and planning to have the same type of growing my popularity in social media for my business…

  • Baby Herman

    How does one get a picture to show in the feed instead of just a twitter link? Am so frustrated with this. Do I have to be big and important or is there a tool or plug in I need. I am a Mac-boy.

  • Baby Herman

    I didn’t mean to moan. Somehow my twitter feed miraculously correct itself and pictures started showing up. So sorry to bother you with my tsurris after another wonderful post.









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