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Using Twitter To Make Meaningful Connections in Business with Madalyn Sklar
Episode 413rd December 2018 • Your Dream Business • Teresa Heath-Wareing
00:00:00 00:46:10

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  • Twitter is a great platform for those that don’t consider themselves a writer and it teaches you to be concise and straight to the point.
  • When creating posts for multiple social media platforms, try creating one for LinkedIn first so you cut down any unnecessary characters when it comes to using the 280-character limit on Twitter.
  • To comply with the new rule, a great way to share the same tweet over and over is to continue retweeting it. Doing so won’t break Twitter’s guidelines and will mean your tweet is seen by even more people.
  • Whilst Twitter doesn’t want your tweets to look like spam, large scheduling tool companies have confirmed that having the same tweet going out once or twice a week will not go against Twitter’s new rules.
  • If you’re not on Twitter as a business, you are missing out. If you want to connect with people in your industry, Twitter is one of the easiest platforms to do this. Even people at the top are directly on Twitter for you to connect with.
  • Twitter is platform where people join to build meaningful relationships.
  • You can find the people you want to reach and follow them, engagement with them and even include them in tweets you want them to see.
  • When someone sends you a tweet, try sending a video reply, this way you can reply exactly as you would in person. If you don’t want to reply via video, try using images of GIFs to keep it fun!
  • Twitter is all about making connections and talking to people, so you don’t need to be strict with your content. Instead, have some fun and show your personality through video.
As Twitter is a platform that is designed to encourage conversation, regardless of what your business does, going out there and talking to people is a great way to make valuable business connections.
  • Introducing Madalyn Sklar 04:00
  • What Madalyn Loves About Twitter 09:00
  • Using the 280 Character Limit To Its Full Potential 11:55
  • How To Be Seen On Twitter Without Breaking The New Twitter Rules 15:20
  • Why Should Businesses Use Twitter 23:13
  • Why You Shouldn’t Use Auto DM’s On Twitter (And How You Should Reach Out Instead) 29:00
  • Using Video On Twitter To Be More Personal 31:11
Transcript below


Hello, and a very warm welcome to this week's episode of the Social Media Marketing Made Simple podcast. I hope wherever you are in the world, you are having a lovely day. In this week's episode, we're going to be talking all about Twitter. Okay, if you're not a Twitter fan, please don't turn off, 'cause I promise you you're going to want to listen to this interview. I got to interview the super lovely Madalyn Sklar, and she is a huge Twitter fan, and has been for ages. She often speaks on Twitter, she does Twitter chats on Twitter ... I'm going to say "Twitter" a lot in this episode, I know it. And she also has her own podcast, where obviously she talks about, you guessed it, Twitter.

Anyway, she is a font of knowledge as to why Twitter's good, why businesses should be on there, why you should actually include it within your social media and marketing strategy. Now if you've listened to me for a while, you're going to know that I actually love Twitter. I used it an awful lot. I'm not going to say I'm as active now as I have been, because I do love Instagram; I do find myself spending a lot of time doing Insta-stories, because I just particularly like that platform at the moment. However, I always go back to Twitter; I always make sure I'm still active, even if I'm not as active as I was.

I can honestly tell you, I have built my profile and found clients through Twitter. I've developed relationships, and I've had people who have seen me tweet and be active, that have then got in touch with me purely because of Twitter. When I say I love it, and it really works, I promise you it does. I'm not going to sit there and say it's the most easiest platform in the world, and I know that some of you are really put off by the style of it and the speed of it, but I urge you to listen to today's episode, and just have an open mind about whether it might be something that is worth doing in your industry.

There are definitely different industries that suit it better, or it works better for, and typically, often if you're business to business, then Twitter can be a really good platform for you to use. It's a great engagement tool, it's a great way of reaching out and speaking to people that you want to connect with, either potential customers, prospects, other people in your industry, key people ... So sending people DMs through Twitter, you're able to connect with them. So I really urge you to listen to this podcast episode, even if Twitter isn't your thing.

And of course if Twitter is your thing, then you're in total luck, because Madalyn and I kind of just completely geek out on how cool it is, and how businesses should be using it, and what it's all about. I think you're going to love today's episode. She's such a lovely lady, she's so nice to talk to, and I think you're going to get lots of good advice. And actually, we got to the end of it and decided it had gone way too quick, and that we needed to do another episode, because there is still so much amazing stuff we can tell you. So in the future, hopefully that will come as well.


Introducing Madalyn Sklar


I won't keep you waiting any longer. Please welcome to the podcast, the lovely Madalyn Sklar. I am so excited to introduce the super lovely Madalyn Sklar to today's podcast episode, and also that we get to talk about Twitter. Yay! Welcome, Madalyn.

Hey Teresa, thank you so much for inviting me. I love your podcasts; I am a fan. I listen to it every week, and I'm excited to be on and talk about Twitter.

I am so pleased you're here, because we have followed each other for a little while, and I love that fact that you listen to the podcast. And you have podcasts, so you must know what it's like when someone says, "I've listened." You get proper excited-

I do. Right? That's right.

So nice to know that you're producing this stuff, and then that someone out there is listening. But also, I love the fact that you are such a big Twitter fan. And in the social media media world at the moment, we go through trends, don't we? And there's different things that we like and don't like, and obviously Instagram is getting a lot of action at the moment which is lovely and I love it, but I've always been a big fan of Twitter. So I'm actually so excited today to talk about Twitter for a change, and hopefully turn on some of the listeners to why they want to be listening and focusing on Twitter as well.

But it would be great if we could start with just a bit of a brief history as to how you got into doing what you do, and some of the things you do, because I know you are super busy, and you have your fingers in lots of pies. So it would be great if we could let our audience know that.

I do have my finger in a lot of pies; that's really a great way of looking at it. I'm a doer; I do so many things, and it's just how I operate. I've been doing digital marketing on the internet for 22 years, since 1996, which just blows me away that I've been doing this so long. But I saw what was going to become the power of the internet. I just saw it early on, and I actually was one of the very first web designers in Houston, Texas, where I live. And just followed my dream of being an entrepreneur, and I just love it.

Fast forward to today, and I help businesses, I help solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, people of all types and sizes with their social media, but really focused on Twitter. Twitter's just one of those things that gets laughed out, and so I made it my mission to really help people understand how to use Twitter, because people say, "I know how to use Twitter." But there's so much of the ... You don't know what you don't know. There's so many things that Twitter can do that makes it way more fun, and way more helpful in your business. So I'm hoping that some of the things that I share today will help your listeners get fired up about using Twitter and making it work better for their business.

That's awesome, and like you said it's interesting, because I think sometimes people just think they know these platforms. Because they might have had a bit of personal use on them, and they've sent a tweet, and therefore they think they know what it is. But actually often hidden within all these platforms, are so many good things, and also ways in which you can use it to make such a difference. But I can't believe you've been doing online marketing for that long. It almost sounds like the internet wasn't around. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes I think because this is such a new industry, you get used to it being five, 10 years ... But to be doing it that long, and to jump on it and to recognise that this was going to be big, you must have so much experience.

Yeah, I could probably write five books about just ways of using digital marketing, and this is not just social media marketing, but there's so many other facets of how you can market your business using the internet. And for social media marketing, I've been doing that as a business for 13 years, so I've been doing-

Oh my gosh.

... social media for a very long time. I've seen so many changes in the years, from how it was in the beginning to where we are today. And I'm so excited with all the things we can do today, especially with video and live video, it's just one of my favourite things to do, and I'm always urging people to follow along. Watch what I'm doing, and do the same things, because you'll see that it can really help your business.

No, that's so awesome. And again, to think that social media marketing has been around for that long as well, that's crazy. But actually, how innovative of you to look at that back then, because I'm still having trouble convincing some people today that they need to do social media marketing, let along 10 years ago when actually people might not have thought to use this for business. So what was it at the beginning that really made you think, "Actually, Twitter's really good, and I think this could be a really good tool for businesses"?


What Madalyn Loves About Twitter


What I loved about Twitter when I first got on it ... I've been on it for a little over 10 years now, is that it was short, to the point. 140 characters teaches you to be very concise. Now, that was my way of doing things as it was. I had actually ... You'll love this too. I started blogging before it was cool, and before people even knew what that term meant. I started blogging in 2000, and I had a Blogger. Blogger were the big ... I think it was And I was doing short format blog post posts. I didn't like ... I'm not a writer; I didn't want to do long, wordy posts, so I tend to do more of a shorter format style. Not 140 characters, but more just no fluff, short, to the point. When I discovered Twitter, I thought, "You know, this is just right up my alley. This is the kind of writing I like. Just take that fluff out, and just tell us exactly what's going on, what's on your mind, or what do you want to share with us."

So I immediately fell in love, and I also loved the real time aspect of it. I just loved everything about it; I thought it was a cool tool to use for business.

Do you think then ... There's been a lot of changes on every social media platform. Well, some of them change on it feels like an hourly basis, let alone on a daily basis. Where you concerned when Twitter changed their character count? Because the fact that it gave you that bit more freedom, and I agree with you, one of the things that I liked about it was that it made me get to the point. Which I can fluff easily, so getting to the point is good. How did you feel about the big character change?

Well, I'm not going to lie, I was pretty against it in the beginning. I even was on Social Media Examiner, so they have their Friday talk show, and they bring me on when it's Twitter news, Twitter-related things. And when right before they switched from the 140 to the 280, they had me come on and talk about, okay Twitter's talking about this possibly being the new change, and what are your thoughts? And you had me and Mike Stelzner, and Mike Stelzner was like, "I'm all for it," and I was like, "I'm all against it." And I'm not one of those that likes to get online and duke it out with people. That's not my style. But I just felt like 140 characters is what makes Twitter Twitter.

Yes, yes.


Using the 280 Character Limit To Its Full Potential


And how could they even think about wanting to change this and add, and make it 280 characters? So initially I was against it. I said, "I don't see this as being a good thing," and then a week or two later, they did it, so okay, let me immerse myself in it, and let me see what I think, now that I can actually do it. And also my big thing was, I was worried that people were going to go crazy, and all we were going to see on Twitter were these long tweets, just tweet after tweet after tweet that was long and wordy, rather than these short, concise tweets.

Now, I read through Twitter Chats every week, and I was also concerned how this was going to affect Twitter Chats. I was thinking, "Did Twitter not think about the implications of Twitter Chats? Because my Twitter Chats are both filled with lots of people ... it's very busy. I can't even see all the tweets, it moves that fast. It's just zooming by. So I thought, "Okay, if it's going to be 280 characters, how can we possibly have a great conversation when it moves very fast in the course of a one hour chat? And what I noticed, Teresa, is that for about one day, people went crazy with the 280 characters. It's like they needed to get it out of their system. It's like, "Oh my gosh, I can do this! Let's see how much fun I could have with this."

And it's like yeah, for 24 hours, Twitter was a little crazy. And then it went right back to normal. It went right back to the way it was. People just ... Sure, you would see some longer tweets, but it was primarily the shorter tweets. But what was nice about it, and I did change my mind, and said, "Okay everyone, I like it, it's good, let's have an open mind about it." It's nice when you're typing that most perfect tweet, and you just need one more character space ... And it's like, "No! Twitter, please let me do one more." And then you have go figure out what word can you abbreviate, or where can I put an ampersand in instead of the word "and"? And that would always be frustrating, when it was one character space. So I have to say, it has been nice when you have that space for that one extra thing that you want to put in. I'm okay with it now, enough time has passed; we all see that it did not destroy Twitter.

No. That's so funny. But you're so right, because I often say to people, when they say to me about putting content on multiple platforms ... Because sometimes, we have the same message ... because it's a really important one, that you want to put on everything. And I say to them often that would start with LinkedIn, because that would be my longest and most wordiest post. So obviously I wouldn't abbreviate anything; it would all be very well written because it's LinkedIn, and a bit more serious.

Then I would be moving over to ... I'll copy it into Facebook, and I'll lighten it up a little bit, and I'll slim it down a bit. And then I'll copy it again over to Twitter, and I literally cut everything out of it. And sometimes it's hard; when you're trying to craft something, like you said, it's not that you need another six paragraphs, you literally just need another few characters. And then you're having to remove any punctuation, or remove any long-form letters and think, "How can I make that smaller?" So I quite like the way it challenged you, actually; I think it makes me laugh a bit.


How To Be Seen On Twitter Without Breaking The New Twitter Rules


Obviously, that was a huge change in Twitter's world. And then while we're talking about changes as it's just come into my mind, the first problem I have when I talk to people about Twitter, or the first thing they tell me is it's too fast. And when I tell them how much you need to be present in order to be seen in Twitter, they kind of go, "I can't keep up with that, because how can do four, five, six tweets a day or whatever it might be?" And then of course, Twitter changed its rules, and they stopped the ... or they changed the API didn't they, so that people couldn't repeat content. Which, I'm really interested to get your take on this. I was meant to give you my take, but let me take your take first [crosstalk 00:15:35].

Okay, so earlier this year in 2018, Twitter made this really big deal about how you cannot have duplicate tweets, and they had something where they were very specific, and some things that were a little grey. So the specific was if you have multiple Twitter accounts, and a lot of people are doing this ... Let's say you use ... We'll use Buffer as an example. So you host, or you run, multiple Twitter accounts. And this can be common, say, for a radio station or some big company that has little companies underneath them. There's so many different ways this was being done. So let's say you're in charge of their social media, and part of your strategy is that you do one tweet, but you put 'em on all the accounts. And they get scheduled to all go out together. Twitter says, "No, you cannot do that any more." It can only be one account for a tweet. But what you can do is retweet it ... take that tweet, and retweet it from the other accounts. So that was their work-around, is just do that.

Now of course, if you're doing this live, in real time, then you can do whatever you want. But this was to combat scheduling and basically spamming Twitter with just ... 'Cause you could go crazy with the scheduling and there are tools out there that you can just put on autopilot that can just go insanely crazy. And so they wanted to do away with that. I was great with that. I thought, "Okay, some people, some social media marketers that are running these big accounts, multiple big accounts, their work is going to change, because they're going to have to do this individually. They can't just go schedule these the way they were.

Then the other thing, and this was interesting, they said when you do a tweet, they don't want you basically duplicating that same tweet, because they don't want stuff to ... Because that was another problem; people put it on autopilot, and the same stuff goes out over and over and over and over. But I'm talking like, every hour or every day. Where it gets a little grey in there is that they did not say ... I mean, they kind of said, "You can't do this," but they didn't say it. It got a little strange. Like okay, what is the exact ... I want to know for sure, what can we do, what can we not do? Because the way it was worded, it wasn't super clear...




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