“It is about being the tortoise, not the hare.”
That's one bit of advice for finding success on Twitter from Gary Vaynerchuk, the CEO of social media marketing agency VaynerMedia, co-owner of online wine, beer, and spirits retailer Wine Library, and author of several books--most recently, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell your Story in a Noisy Social World. Vaynerchuk, who has more than a million Twitter followers, sat down with Inc.com deputy editor Allison Fass for an Inc. Live Chat on Tuesday to share social media tips.
For Vaynerchuk, being successful on Twitter starts with understanding what the platform is all about.
"The key is becoming practical. I think too many people think that it is going to save their world and others think it gives nothing of value," said Vaynerchuk during the chat. "It falls clearly somewhere in between."
He added that building an audience on Twitter doesn’t happen overnight. This is where the tortoise part comes in--you have to listen to what other people are talking about on Twitter before you can make your move. Even retweets from social giants with many followers won’t get you there overnight.
"For all my talking--and boy do I love it, I wish I could do it 24/7 in front of a camera--I’m a good listener too,” said Vaynerchuk. “It is what has made me good at Twitter."
Vaynerchuk stressed that the search option on Twitter is the greatest tool at your disposal. He suggested that you search for topics you are interested in or want to talk to others about, and then jump into the conversation. But keep in mind that it isn’t Google, so you should search for things people would actually tweet.
"Twitter is a cocktail party. How do you become really good at a cocktail party? You show up, you go into a circle, you start talking," he said. "If you are a listener and you actually add something to the conversation, we become friends."
The entrepreneur added that although it might be tempting to jump in and offer up your service right away or to ask for endorsements, it is better to be patient and deliver value. You wouldn’t walk into a real cocktail party and start shouting or ask other people to tell everyone that you are cool. “Provide value first," he said. "It gives you such a better chance."