To quote Matthew Kobach (@mkobach), "Twitter is a key that unlocks thousands of doors, some of which you never even knew existed." As a member of the Twitterverse for 13 years, I always enjoy meeting new people and learning from them. I've been connected with Madalyn Sklar for awhile and am honored for her to appear here on my Blog in a Q&A format. Highlights of our conversation follow a brief introduction.
Madalyn Sklar, based in Houston, Texas, is known for being a Twitter expert and tattoo-wearing social media evangelist. She is one of the early pioneers in the digital marketing space dating back to the mid-1990s. With her vast experience, she focuses primarily on Twitter, so by following her account, you'll know how Twitter marketing is done. In addition to speaking at events and providing online training, Madalyn hosts the popular #TwitterSmarter chat every Thursday at 1pm EST and podcast.
QUESTION: You've been an amazing Twitter expert for many years. In what ways have you seen Twitter evolve, specifically over the last couple of years?
MADALYN SKLAR: It definitely seems like a lot of people have rediscovered Twitter in recent years. And it’s perfect timing, because Twitter has been implementing some new and exciting features that make the platform more enticing. We have Twitter Spaces for live, audio conversations where we can educate, learn, and make new connections. Brands looking to monetize their efforts can use Ticketed Spaces to make money on Twitter, as well as the Tip Jar. Features like this give people a reason to come back to Twitter and use the platform seriously.
QUESTION: You host a weekly TweetChat and now also conversations on TwitterSpaces. How can these types of IRL conversations help individuals and brands with their messaging?
MADALYN SKLAR: One of the great things about Twitter chats and Twitter Spaces is that you can use them as tools to get to know your audience on a deeper level. Have conversations to find out what they’re interested in and what their pain points are. Then, you can find ways to address those things with your messaging and offers. The better you understand your audience, the stronger your content will be.
TWEET THIS: The better you understand your audience, the stronger your content will be. ~@madalynsklar #TwitterTip #DebbieLaskeysBlog
QUESTION: From the perspective of a newbie on Twitter, what three pieces of advice would you offer? And from the perspective of someone who's grown a large following and engages daily on the platform, what advice would you offer?
MADALYN SKLAR: For newbies on Twitter, here are my three pieces of advice:
1) Post consistently. An active account is going to be more likely to gain followers and receive engagement.
2) Diversify your content. Don’t just post text tweets to your feed. Share videos, use Twitter Spaces, etc. Find the content formats that resonate with both you and your audience by experimenting with different ideas. You’ll likely reach tons of new people in the process.
3) Be persistent. You aren’t going to see growth overnight, so you have to stay committed.
As a bonus tip, make sure you’re engaging with other users. Social media is meant to be social and it’s important to have genuine conversations as a way to generate awareness for your brand and build relationships.
For non-newbies on Twitter:
1) Make sure you are taking advantage of all the amazing, little-known Twitter features like the tip jar, media studio, topics, moments, and advanced search.
2) Post a Twitter poll regularly. It's a great way to get instant feedback from your large audience.
3) When you have a large following, it can be challenging to reply to every tweet, but it's very important to connect with as many as you can. People do not like talking into the void.
QUESTION: Should brands offer a newsletter from their Twitter accounts?
MADALYN SKLAR: Absolutely! We need to remember that we don’t own the followings we build on social media. If these platforms were to disappear one day, we’d lose everything we’ve built. That’s why, it’s important to convert followers to email subscribers, as we actually own our email lists. Plus, newsletters are a fantastic way to stay in touch with people and continue nurturing relationships. Even better? There are no algorithms to compete with this way! Instead, you get to focus on delivering quality content to those who truly love you and what you do.
QUESTION: What do you think about the new Twitter Blue for $2.99 a month?
MADALYN SKLAR: I love Twitter Blue! If you're a power user, like me, you will find the features to be invaluable. I especially love that I can create folders for all my bookmark tweets. This keeps things organized and has been a big time saver for me. And while we do not have an edit button (yet!), with Twitter Blue, you can set a timer to undo your tweets which is great if you catch a typo or forgot to tag someone. Another great perk is early access to features being tested before they're available to everyone.
QUESTION: Lastly, Elon Musk has been in the news as he's attempted to gain control of Twitter. This brings to mind how a single individual can become the embodiment of a brand, for example, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic. How could this help or harm Twitter in the long run?
MADALYN SKLAR: The more this drags on, the less positive I feel about a good outcome. When Musk first offered to buy Twitter, I felt this could be a great benefit to Twitter's long-term success. However, in light of his delaying the transaction and now changing his mind, I'm concerned it will become a legal mess that no one will benefit from.
My thanks to Madalyn for sharing her digital marketing insights and Twitter insights and for appearing here on my Blog.
Visit Madalyn's key sites online:
Image Credit: Tyler Callahan via Unsplash.