I often hear - "I don't get twitter" from some of my clients friends and family. I used to "not get it" either, but once you "get it", you would want to make Twitter part of your daily ritual.
If you maintain a perspective on why you are using twitter and what type of results you expect to achieve from it, then it will be a powerful network when used correctly and efficiently. For example, if your only intent is to "push" products or services with an automated message, then you will probably have a lower success rate. However, The real power comes when you see and use Twitter as an opportunity to connect with people (without limitation) that you might not have otherwise. Used wisely and smartly, it can be a chance to source out other networks and start to "be known" among them. This is the start of a potential connection of value. If only Bud Fox had could have grabbed Gordon Gecko's attention from his consistent tweets, it would have saved all those office visits and phone calls.
Initially, social networks were invented primarily to be social. Meaning without limitation? A good example is Facebook. When you friend someone that wasn’t in your email contacts, it’s like you’re asking “do you know this person personally”? The answer is “not yet Facebook, I’m trying to network on your social site, stop blocking me”. Facebook’s limitations pose a massive disadvantage when you are trying to build your network; you have this buffer preventing you from making brand new connections. Meaning, a social network shouldn’t push you in a corner, practically making brands “buy” likes with advertising. Imagine going to a cocktail party and being told “you can’t make a connection with that person because you don’t already know them” it’s one of those things that make you go hmmm. Boggle the mind, doesn’t it? Since when does social marketing become semi-social marketing? Facebook’s social conversation tools are awesome for personal connections but it’s not the right platform for networking yourself to success; the limiting connection gatekeeper is less desirable making Twitter far more attractive.
Twitter, on the other hand, allows you to follow anyone and everyone. They might not follow you back, but at least you have an honest chance making that connection. Even if they don’t follow you back, you can still be on top of topics that they tweet about and engage with them on the conversation. You can do this on Facebook but has way less impact as it will only show up on one page, on specific news feeds and not a general tweet listing.
Twitter for Social Relationships
From a relationship building perspective, consistently being seen, sharing thoughts, content links and supporting other like minded tweeters can only help you make a successful business connection. It doesn’t help to learn from them. It can also help you improve your reputation online, be a thought leader in your industry, and hopefully lead to "potential" customers researching your brand and want to do business with you. If they think you know what you are talking about, they will go a step further and look over your corporate site. Additionally, you can connect with others that you might not have had the same traction as you would on FB or other networks. Also the UI allows you to be in on many topics even if you don't have a connection with the people tweeting and try to establish a connection or share an opinion.
Some of the best business relationships start on a personal level. Twitter can be super fun to find new connections during "hot topics"; for example sports playoffs are a blast to tweet the #hashtags of an event while it is happening and share/read comments with other passionate tweeters. From a keyword perspective, it is awesome to be "in" on topics being discussed - example #MKTGdebate or to start a topic on your own. Remember, originally Twitter was modeled after the NYC cab style radio communication and I think it does a great job of replicating that. Whoever is "listening" (reading) gets to "hear" (read) the tweet. Broadcasting snippets that either make a point, help someone share knowledge, thoughts, ideas, hot topics or opinions. This allows people you have never met see what you have posted, ultimately giving you a chance at a business connection that can lead to more.. You would want to consistently be seen in all marketing channels Use twitter correctly, you will gain attention or find a connection of interest.
Ultimately social networks are about connections, opinions, influence, sharing, relationships, consistency, awareness, and most of all, new connections to help build your brand. They are a great vehicle to drive traffic, engagement, and gain interest. They take patience and hard work. In most cases, the long-term goal is to gain more customers and sales, but as long as you are genuine in your approach you will see results. We coach many companies in this regard to find their "voice" for each network and have clear goals when penetrating communities on twitter which ultimately leads to measurable ROI.
There might be a lot of fluff on Twitter; however, if you know how to master the right tools and techniques, then you can stay on top of the right topics and drive target traffic to your site.
Author - Gregg Jaden