A Guest Post From Ben London
When Rick asked me to write a guest post about Twitter for PT Business In A Box I was extremely flattered, but a little tentative because most people don’t love twitter as much as I do.
Thanks largely to twitter, my blog has grown from absolute obscurity to not so obscure and I’ve made some great friends. In fact, I met Rick through Twitter; I can’t remember how or when exactly, but I do recall I was wearing pyjamas at the time!
So what exactly is Twitter?
Twitter is a website that enables it’s users to send and receive messages of up to 140 characters which are called tweets.
It was created in 2006 by Jack Dorsey and currently has around 175 million users worldwide and if anyone tries to tell you that Twitter is old news; in February 2010 users were sending 50 million tweets per day and in June, 65 million, which is about 750 tweets per second.
To Tweet Or Not To Tweet?
Initially I didn’t get it, but I decided to get myself a twitter account with a shortened version of my blogs name. There are arguments for and against using your own name or your businesses as your screen name, but since I’m all about branding, I went with @mybizisfitness.
I had no idea how to tweet, let alone what to tweet about. I had three followers who I didn’t know (I think only half of them spoke English) and a stock standard profile page.
My twitter account pretty much sat there for about two months; every now and then I’d get an email that someone else was following me and I had absolutely no idea why, I mean, I wasn’t tweeting anything.
I think the main reason I didn’t dive head first into twitter at the beginning was because I thought it was just like the status update on facebook. Frankly, ‘over updaters’ annoy the hell out of me and I didn’t want to be that guy; but as it turns out twitter is completely different.
I decided to do some research and ask some questions. I’m a member of a few social media forums so I asked around and people were talking about having goals to hit 200 followers. I saw at least half a dozen members say that they wanted 200 so I figured that I too needed 200 followers.
How To Get Twitter Followers.
Practically every person who has a twitter account knows a secret to get more followers; but unfortunately there really isn’t one.
Twitter etiquette 101 says that when someone follows you, if you see some possibility of a connection no matter how remote, you follow them back and this is how you get followers.
Think of it like your fitness business. You don’t just wake up in the morning and sit at the desk waiting for clients or members to walk through the door; yes some will filter through but more often than not, they won’t be your avatar market that you want and I can assure you that your doors won’t stay open long.
Twitter gives you free reign to go out and find your niche market. The people you want to sell to, people that you have designed your service and products to suit and it’s as simple as doing a keyword search.
Since my twitter account is essentially about my blog which is about the fitness business, I wanted to connect with people who might find value in what I write.
So I began following personal trainers and other fitness professionals like gym owners. The only problem with this strategy is that most personal trainers etc. don’t know twitter etiquette 101 or they’re still at that ‘what now’ stage I mentioned and don’t understand why they’re being followed.
Let me clear this up once and for all, if someone follows you on twitter, it’s extremely likely that they want you to follow them back.
Twitter allows you to follow up to 500 users a day so I sat there and followed 500 users in one day. I know it was 500 because I got a warning at the top of my screen that told me I couldn’t follow anyone else; that and I started going cross eyed.
I found my 500 by finding other users like mine that already had a following. I’d follow everyone that may find value in my content and move on to the next twitter account. I probably came across Rick’s @ptbusiness account during this tirade and that was how we initially connected.
From that first 500 I think about 80 people followed me back, which wasn’t awesome considering how long that 500 took to follow, but I was on my way to my 200!
Using this strategy among others I’ve come across and developed, my twitter account to date has over 4,600 followers which I’ve achieved in about four months. Sure there are ways to get more than that (I recently dropped a few hundred), but I choose to concentrate on quality followers rather than quantity for the sake of quantity.
We could go on and on about how to get hundreds of followers, (or you can read my article How To Get Hundreds Of Targeted Twitter Followers) but lets leave that for another day.
What Can Twitter Do For Your Fitness Business?
Here’s 11 benefits of using Twitter:
- Direct Traffic: Increase your audience and generate traffic to your site or blog by tweeting links and a brief commentary.
- Branding: You’re twitter account gives you a platform to give off a casual persona that makes you more approachable.
- Feedback: Got an idea or heard about something new. Tweet your questions and you will get answers.
- Company Intranet: Use twitter to communicate with your colleagues in one hit. You could tweet that a location or time has been changed or whatever might normally take you 10 phone calls.
- Communicate With Clients And Members: Similar to the above.
- Recommend Products Or Services: Your own or someone else’s.
- Network: Make friends in the industry that you more than likely would never have been able to meet.
- Note Taking: Send yourself tweets like reminders or whatever if there’s no pen and paper around.
- Find Clients: As mentioned; using keyword searches by location or interests or anything, find leads and connect.
- Live Coverage: If you’re at an event or show or whatever, tweet it to your followers. “Dave is killing it on the hill climb today!” Not only does this make Dave feel important but prospective clients and clients that bailed on the stair climb might think again next time you offer.
- Recruitment: Posting ads on twitter via your own or a friends account will get in front of thousands of targeted eyes…free
In my experiences using social media over the past 3 years, it is the absolute best way to brand yourself and your business by communicating with a lot of people in minimal time with minimal expense.
I tell my clients from the beginning that the direction they’re going with their business will determine who you should follow (in order for them to follow you back) and what type of content you should tweet.
Once you’ve figured out who it is that you want to target and your content strategy i.e. what you’re going to tweet your business will grow and you will build your profile and your personal brand.
As always, please feel free to comment or ask a question and I will come back and attempt to answer them for you.
Ben London is the author of the personal training and fitness marketing blog My Business Is Fitness. Ben specializes in innovative marketing and promotion ideas as well as offering effective solutions for utilizing social media to develop fitness businesses based on 15 years experience within the industry.