Twitter: 7 Ways to Deepen Your Engagement

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Twitterati

Looking to leverage your Twitter engagement? Then apply the seven principals of Dr. Stephen R. Covey‘s bestselling The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to your use of Twitter

In his book, Covey outlined seven practical habits to help readers become more successful. Apply these guidelines to improve your Twitter usage to help achieve your business and/or personal goals.

  1. Habit 1: Be Proactive. You’re capable of changing in Covey’s view, because you’re in charge of your life and responsible for your actions. Therefore, Covey recommended focusing on being positive to make a difference. This is true on social media, especially Twitter, where your tweets have an impact beyond the people to whom you’re communicating directly. Actionable Marketing Tip: Make every tweet count! Use Twitter to communicate with your colleagues and community regularly, not just when you have a sale to promote or an issue to discuss. Twitter requires being an active member of the community, not just focusing on your marketing objectives.  Example: Scott Monty  averted a PR crisis for Ford using Twitter.
  2. Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind. Covey taught the importance of envisioning where you’re headed. Without knowing what you want to achieve, by setting specific goals, it’s difficult to achieve your desired Twitter outcomes. Actionable Twitter Marketing Tactic:  Set specific, measureable goals aligned with your business objectives for Twitter participation. (Here’s how to attract more Twitter followers.) These goals help define your Twitter success metrics. The most common Twitter business goals are to listen to consumer conversation, engage with prospects, customers and the public, answer product related questions, offer customer service, establish area expertise, and/or distribute promotions (Note: promotions should be used sparingly on social media platforms. Chris Brogan recommends one company mention to every twelve mentions about other people.) Establishing goals for Twitter participation determines your 5 W’s of Twitter: who tweets for your organization, what you tweet about, where is the content to tweet, when should you tweet, and why followers should be interested in your tweets.
  3. Habit 3: Put first things first. Set priorities for your Twitter usage to get on track to achieve your objectives. Covey taught the need to manage your time based on what’s important for you. Actionable Twitter Marketing Tactic: Integrate the related content and communication you need for Twitter into your organization’s overall editorial and social media calendars. Otherwise, you may find yourself (and/or other key company people) constantly chattering on Twitter without making progress towards your business goals.
  4. Habit 4: Think win-win. Covey believed in a collaborative approach to any situation. Be true to your values and consider other participants’ feelings. On Twitter, collaborative engagement often happens in Twitter chats. Actionable Twitter Marketing Tactic: No place is this truer than Twitter where it’s important to help others by answering their questions, promoting their tweets or just saying hi. Twitter works best when members reach out to their followers and engage. It’s about building a community that’s bigger than your organization.
  5. Habit 5: Seek first to understand, then to be understoodStart by taking the time to truly listen to others on Twitter and learn the lingo before jumping in. At first Twitter can be confusing since it’s a social media platform that allows for one-to-many, one-to-one and many-to-many conversations. To understand the Twitter conversation on a topic in which you’re interested, follow the appropriate hashtagActionable Twitter Marketing Tactic: Actively participate on Twitter to help your prospects, customers, followers and the pubic by offering useful information and advice without expecting a sale. To this end, establish at least one Twitter account to specifically answer prospect and customer questions.
  6. Habit 6: Synergize. Leverage the power of your social media colleagues for the good of the community because together you can accomplish more than you can individually.  Actionable Twitter Marketing Tactic:  Within your organization, assess how you can better integrate your Twitter activities into relevant functions to be more effective. (HINT: Social media isn’t just about the marketing department!) Also, consider how you can better engage with your prospects, customers and fans on Twitter to help them use your products more effectively.
  7. Habit 7: Sharpen the saw. Have a balance between the time spent on social media networks like Twitter and meeting people in real life. Think in terms of sustainable, long-term, effectiveness. Actionable Twitter Marketing Tactic: To build real life relationships, reach out to the people with whom you engage on Twitter, whether it’s meeting people you know from Twitter at a conference (like I did last week when I met Ang England at Affiliate Summit East) or speaking to your customers on the phone or in your store.

Covey’s seven habits align with the effective use of Twitter. If you integrate these habits into your Twitter communications, you have the potential to extend your reach to achieve things that are bigger than any one user individually.

What other habits do you think Twitter users must cultivate to increase their Twitter effectiveness? What is the rationale for your recommendation?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Here are some related articles to help improve your Twitter usage.

Photo credit: http://www.freeiconsweb.com/Free-Twitter-Icon-Set.html

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  • sambredl

    Great and really helpful post!! Just curious, what kinda Twitter client are you using?

    • http://riversidemarketingstrategies.com/ Heidi Cohen

      Sam- I use Hootsuite for most of my Twitter activity and I use Tweetgrid for Twitter chats and conferences where I need to see different hashtags in real time. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  • http://www.facebook.com/amy.fey.5209 Amy Fey

    Very well said, Heidi! I already formed some of those habits
    and I surely will try to apply the rest of them. Also, I would like to add one
    more. I think that another useful habit in order to increase Twitter engagement
    would be ONLINE LISTENING – we often forget to “listen” to those we follow to
    learn what people are tweeting about. I
    believe we should just listen online from time to time! What do you think? Keep
    up the good work!