Thursday, April 28, 2011

So You Think You Don't Need To Tweet

I really don't need to know that Susie is on the deck enjoying ice tea.

Twitter is nothing more than idle chatter.

I text my friends and clients/customers so I don't need Twitter.

Twitter doesn't make sense to me.

I don't know if Twitter is right for me.

Is Twitter for everyone? A good question and one that eventually gets asked by individuals and companies who are venturing into the Twitter community for the first time. As you stare at your Twitter homepage with a few followers and, literally, a handful of tweets to your credit, you find yourself wondering … Is Twitter really for me?

Twitter Don't Get No Respect

There appears to be no middle ground when it comes to Twitter; you either love or hate the blue bird. There are some who say it has to do with your personality type. Some claim the platform favors outgoing people but many introverts are quick to say they love Twitter as it allows them to connect and build relationships on their own terms. It seems that Twitter has become the Rodney Dangerfield of social media but before you dismiss it completely, consider showing the blue bird a little love.

None of my customers are using Twitter so this is just a big waste of my time.

There are many other benefits to Twitter beyond simply making sales leads. Even if your customers aren't on Twitter - yet - the platform is a powerful way to learn, connect with your peers not to mention keeping track of what the competition is up to. Imagine yourself getting in front of the curve, becoming familiar with Twitter before your customers start asking you about its benefits.

Is there a place for Twitter in every organization and company?

It depends.

Lawyers, financial managers, medical professionals, caregivers and defense contractors may have strict regulatory limitations regarding information they can discuss in public so Twitter may not be appropriate. Keep in mind that Twitter is a form of publishing. Which brings an interesting point to consider: Where do your customers get their information?

People are jumping on the social media train in record numbers and are spending inordinately enormous amounts of time there. Ask any business owner what their number one marketing and business issue is and chances are they'll tell you "social media."

Aside from all the window-dressing, at its center, Twitter is a business networking tool - something many companies and individuals don't understand. If you view Twitter as just another way to broadcast company press releases or as your social media sales tool, you're missing the point.

You wouldn't attend an industry conference or a chamber meeting or event and read press releases out loud would you? Of course you wouldn't. You attend these events to seek out people to connect with, discuss subjects that you both have a common interest in and look for ways to work together. There's a reason why a social time is offered following an event.

Welcome to Twitter.

In today's always connected world, the role of social media in the business and personal world is blurring. There are a number of strategies to help you become successful on Twitter, which we'll explore in future posts but I won't leave you without first giving some words of Twitter advice:

  • Know your voice and be true. 
  • Everything you say on social media should sound like your company or brand.
  • Good content isn't fake and it doesn't make promises it can't keep.
  • It has personality which is what makes it engaging. Individuals actively engaged and connected on the social media network will sniff you out if you are pretending.
  • When networking, the successful relationships are built on trust and friendships, so it is perfectly acceptable - and welcome - to let others know a little bit about what is going on in your life; sports, charity and family.

Tweeting what is interesting to you on a daily basis, as long as its appropriate and professional, will add to your Twitter success.

1 comment:

  1. The thing about social media I find most interesting is that companies can choose not to tweet or use Facebook or whatever. But they can't really choose whether or not others will tweet about them or share info or photos or comments etc.... So really companies need to keep that in mind: You can't control the people who don't work for you. So whether or not you choose as a company to participate you have to realize that you may in fact become part of the conversation thanks to the people outside of your organization who have something to say about your company or topics related to your industry. And that's where keeping a constant eye on what's being said throughout the social web using services like google alerts or more sophisticated ones like Radian6 makes a lot of sense. Bottom line: Listening/monitoring is a great - and very safe - place to start for any business when it comes to social media.