I’m seeing many more of our customers and partners on Twitter this year, so I thought it timely to share more of my thinking on how Twitter brings business benefit. If I was to share with you only one piece of advice on using Twitter, my friend @Iconic88 best sums it up:
“The power of Twitter is in your sharing, not your selling” Mahei
— Iconic88 (@Iconic88) December 16, 2011
If you focus on sharing and being helpful on Twitter, the benefits will flow.
Twitter delivers competitive advantage
Your competitors, customers and potential customers are on Twitter too – are you listening for opportunities? There’s a lot of “noise” on Twitter however it’s very easy to “tune in” by setting up Lists and Searches to monitor updates and conversations. Twitter is informal in that its ok to just reply and talk to people where normally might feel uncomfortable doing so without an introduction. Offer help, advice or experience in your replies.
Twitter makes you more memorable
We’ve blogged before about the attention economy and the value of giving something rather than just selling. Twitter brings ever increasing demands on your attention so there’s a risk here. You’ll be more memorable if you’re helpful. Part of Twitter’s uniqueness is its 140 character limit which keeps a hold on how much communication you can offer per tweet. By being helpful and sharing your experience, you’ll be more memorable in the face of increasing attention demands on your customers.
Twitter builds relationships
Being part of the Twitter network brings you into contact with real people in real time – people you might not even have met face to face yet – a global network. These new types of relationships are valuable – questions get answered, recommendations get made, and trust is developed – people buy from people remember and your next opportunity could come from this. My friend Kate Carruthers put it really well in this blog post The idea of “Loose Ties over Time” is important as it demonstrates the ease with which relationships can be managed using Twitter for example.
Twitter helps you improve
We all want to grow and improve as individuals and this feeds into our business success. Using Twitter brings new ideas and thinking into your stream. You have to invest some time in following the right people. This depends on your business and interests. Use Search to help here – keywords for your industry, location and much more are available. Checkout the Advanced Search options. One of my favourites is the combination of links and hashtags to quickly find content of relevance. For example at the recent web conference LeWeb where many tweets are being shared, I want to find just the links, so I would search “#leweb filter:links” Note the hashtag use to filter to just those tweets.
Do you need help? I’ll be available over the holidays and would be happy to Skype with anyone who has questions using Twitter. Just drop a comment in here with your questions and I will be in touch.
Wishing you all the best for the festive season and success in 2012!