I want my Sales/Service Team to Use Twitter…Now What? Part 2: 8 steps to engagement

If you have already put your toe in the water per my first post, let’s go a little deeper…

In a previous post I listed 8 simple steps to get your sales/service team to dip their toe in the water per twitter participation.  It was really geared around who to follow and why, and becoming comfortable with twitter as a custom news feed.  To see that post click HERE.

Now that your team has accounts, and hopefully they are using twitter to at least read information, it is time to start engaging with people.  Here you will find eight well vetted steps (I’ve sited others where I have stolen their tips) to drive engagement via twitter.

1. #: People new to twitter are often confused by the symbol #. # is a way to tag a word or phrase so it can be searchable.  Using a # is called using a “hashtag.”

example: #Olympics, this was a popular tag during the Olympics.  So anyone searching for #Olympics in the search bar will find all tweets where the word Olympics was preceded by #.  The phrase “hashtag-Olympics” is how you say “#Olympics.”

If you put a hashtag in front of someone’s twitter name (twitter handle), you are essentially mentioning them.  So if you want me to see your tweet you can insert #NickStepanovich in your tweet.

2. @: This symbol is similar to the #.  # are typically reserved for tagging a word or phrase, or merely mentioning someone.  However, if you want someone to receive your tweet directly, then you would use @.

example: Thanks for the kind words @NickStepanovich

Here, someone wanted to speak to me (rather than mention me) and they used @.  It is good form to use @ when referencing someone’s twitter handle (their user name); and use a # when tagging a word.

3. Favorite: As you begin to follow more and more people, you will notice that your twitter feed starts to get a little long.  A very simple best practice is to “favorite” tweets and read them later.  You will notice that under someone’s tweet you have the option to “reply,” “retweet,” or “favorite.”  The favorite icon is a star.  If a tweet looks interesting, simply click on the star, you have now “favorited” the tweet.  Scroll through your whole twitter feed and “favorite” the ones you like.  Then, later in the day you can go back and access all of your “favorited” tweets and read them when you have time.

4. Say Something: twitter is not used for just pushing out content.  If all you do is push out content, you are missing the social part of social media.  If you are doing something interesting, share it with people via twitter.

example: I’m going to the #SHRM conference this week. Let me know if you will be there.

I told my followers I was doing something, and I asked them to respond.  Great engagement.  Also, I used a hashtag to “tag” SHRM, so anyone searching for #SHRM can find my tweet.  If they find it, they may respond, and they may start following you because you have a shared interest.

5. ReTweet (RT): If you like someone’s post and think it should be shared with your followers, then click ReTweet.  Even if you have zero followers, the person you are ReTweeting doesn’t know.  They may start following you because you ReTweet them.  If you are using a twitter management tool or your phone, you may be able to insert a comment in front of the RT.

example (My Comments are in Purple): C-Level Belief in Link between Engagement & Revenue Helps RT @DanKorten Closing Credibility Chasm between Sales & HR http://buff.ly/OTOvTs

RT denotes that this tweet is being RePosted and that it originated from @DanKorten

If you change someone’s tweet, it is proper etiquette to use MRT for “Modified ReTweet”

example using tweet from above: C-Level Belief in Link between Engagement & Revenue Helps MRT @DanKorten Closing Credibility Chasm http://buff.ly/OTOvTs

6. Share Content Your Have Found: If you read an article that you like, then share the article via Twitter.  Be sure to cite the source of the article and the author.  Not citing the source is bad-form; and if you give credit to the author then they may follow you.

example: This just sounds cool –> “Convergence Analytics:” One Ring to Rule them All http://buff.ly/OVBwR8 via @clickz by @AEdwards_TL

I cited my source in Purple and I gave credit to the author in Blue

7. Reply: When you read someone’s tweet and would like to respond, click on the arrow which denotes reply.  When you reply, all of your followers will see the reply; moreover, the person you reply to may RT your response if they find it of particular value.  This is a great way to have one-on-one engagement, it also shows others that you understand the social aspects of social media.  If you respond to people and have a conversation they will probably follow you too.

example: (here, I ReTweeted a post, see reply below) Try different, hip, authentic…just BE something RT @socialsellingu – Selling In A Commoditized World http://buff.ly/OTJWbB via @paulcastain

then he appreciated my RT and replied with: @NickStepanovich Thank you Nick and thank you @socialsellingu I really appreciate the RT!

In the comment in purple you will see that @paulcastain wrote me back and thanked me because I ReTweeted a post from @socialselling and gave credit to paul.  So he essentially thanked both of us in one post.

But, I could also reply to some with “Great Point!” if I like their blog, etc.  Whatever makes sense for you.

8. Etiquette: You have had enough of my opinions in this blog, here is some simple twitter etiquette from Chris Brogan.  If you like his tips, check out his list of 50 Power Twitter Tips.

  • Don’t read EVERY tweet. It’s perfectly okay. You have permission.
  • Promote other people 12x to every 1 self-promotional tweet.
  • Spamming us repeatedly is okay. We just unfollow you.
  • Spend more time in search than in chatting us up about your stuff.
  • Invite your customers to Twitter, then make it worth it for them.


At this point you have helped your employees create an account, and you have helped them learn to engage with others via twitter.  You should be following all of your direct reports.  Challenge them to ReTweet at least once, Reply once, etc.  Check in on them by checking out their tweets.  Let them get comfortable with this step, then roll out Phase 3.

My next post in the series is I want my Sales/Service Team to Use Twitter…Now What? Part 3: 8 steps to managing twitter, and includes eight more steps to maximize twitter as a sales tool including instructions on how to leverage chat groups, twitter management tools and most importantly more twitter etiquette.


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