My favorite social media network for business is probably Twitter. The “rules” change there less often and there’s a lot of power in Twitter. Sadly, it’s frequently under-utilized by business owners. It takes time to use Twitter thoroughly, and it takes a willingness to applaud others who are doing a good job, perhaps even in your own industry. Not everyone is comfortable with that, but if you are, Twitter is an amazing resource for the proactive business leader. But the very first step in leveraging Twitter for your business is to remember that it’s conversational – just like any other social media network – they’re meant to be social.
Real conversations happen on Twitter all the time. Last week, I had a Twitter conversation with someone I consider a social media industry-leader. He and his business are “ahead” of Polka Dot Impressions on the influence curve, and I’m okay with that. What they do is different from what we do, but they have a passion to see social media done well and efficiently, and I can endorse that desire without hesitation. The man’s name is Robert Caruso, and his company is Bundle Post. I’ve followed him on Twitter for a while now, and I’ve learned quite a bit from his blog articles and shared content. When I mentioned him by name on Twitter the other day, he replied to me personally. That’s powerful on many levels, and he was certainly leveraging Twitter to build his influence with me.
@polkadotimpress Well that was kind. Thank you so much. Tell me about your business?
— Robert Caruso (@fondalo) October 26, 2012
Our Twitter conversation went back and forth a few times, and it was wonderful. I would have been impressed with this personal touch alone, but he went one step further. After a few exchanges, he suggested we take our conversation off Twitter to Skype so that we could talk a bit more. What started as a simple tweet from me, ended up in a half hour personal conversation with someone whose company and brand I admire. In that conversation, Robert shared a lot of good, solid, free advice for me based on our conversation and his experience. Now that’s leveraging Twitter!
How can you apply this to your niche? What kind of customer service, thought leadership, or real-time value can you create around your brand? I feel confident that if you think about this, you can come up with some ideas pretty easily that will suit your industry. Here’s the catch though. Nothing would have happened without my initial Tweet. I had to be paying attention to what others were saying. I had to be willing to endorse or communicate with others personally and directly. If all you do with your Twitter account is automate posts and never interact, you will be missing one of the most powerful brand-building features of Twitter.
That’s like going for a steak dinner at a fine restaurant, but just enjoying the look of it on your table…
(Check out one of Robert’s YouTube videos – a recorded webinar – describing what Bundle Post does.)