Upon first glance, Twitter followings and Amish craftsmen appear to have very little in common. In fact, claiming that they are similar may even sound ludicrous. But, crazy as it sounds, the Amish way of life can actually offer a number of valuable insights into how you can jump-start your Twitter growth.
Consider the following...
Did you know that most Amish groups don’t reject technology? In fact, many are actually quite engaged with modern tech, including company websites and personal telephones. The difference is that the Amish are much more suspicious of technological advancements. When a new technology comes out, they make a deliberate choice whether or not to include it into their life.
The question the Amish raise for new technologies -- “Will this hurt me?” -- is the same sort of question you should ask when deciding to jump on the bandwagon for a new fad, twitter campaign, or trending hashtag. If cookie giant, Entenmann's, had asked itself this question in 2011, they might have avoided the #notguilty mess after the Casey Anthony trial.
Fill a Niche:
Today, Lehman’s is an internationally known hardware store with over 40,000 square feet of showroom space. But Jay Lehman started his small store in Ohio back in 1955 with a unique goal: to build a non-electric hardware business to serve the needs of the Amish community. He loved the Amish country and wanted to capture that niche market.
Filling a distinct niche is the best way to pave a clear path to success for yourself or your business. Determine what unique benefit you want to offer your Twitter followers and try to primarily stick to tweets that fit that criteria. Remember, by trying to please everyone, you spread yourself too thin and please no one.
Build to Last:
Quality. Reliability. Durability. These are the traits that come to mind for Amish craftsmanship. Brands are bound to fail when they focus exclusively on efficiency, speed, and profits at the expense of quality connections with their consumers.
When building a Twitter following, make sure you focus on the core elements that will keep your followers coming back again and again. A hastily-planned twitter account may cause you headaches as you try to expand or change later on. Do your research, track your analytics, and take the necessary steps to continually engage the right types of users. That means offering fresh and original content, using creative campaigns and tactics, and following the most influential users in your niche.
Amish craftsmen are known for being honest about their products’ features and letting their customers make up their own minds. In fact, the link between the Amish and honesty is so strong that many companies are starting to put Amish on the label as a marketing ploy.
Flashy sales pitches may capture your followers’ attention, but they won’t help your brand or reputation. People will feel emotionally connected to you if you appear open, honest, and a real live person. Give your tweets an honest and engaging personality and you’ll reap the benefits. (Check out my previous article for more info on creating conversational and engaging content.)
The beauty of Amish food, furniture, and clothing is its superior craftsmanship and utter simplicity. When deciding how to create your Twitter strategy, remember to prioritize what’s most important and let the rest fall to the wayside. Tweeting every hour on the hour may reach a ton of users, but it comes across as needy and will alienate your most active followers who will prefer some breathing room in their Twitter feed.
If you come up with a bunch of promising tweets in one go, save them as drafts or schedule them out over the next week to keep things consistent. By crafting fewer tweets that have a greater impact, you’ll dramatically increase your credibility and reputation.