The other day I received an email from the CEO of a very well-respected sales training company. He asked me about my use and philosophy about Twitter as he noticed there are times when I am quite active. He also wondered about the amount of time it took me.
I thought I’d share my response with you in case you are thinking through the use of Twitter too. Here it is:
Very nice to hear from you!
The interesting thing about Twitter is that it is so new, as is the entire Social Media category, so those of us using it, including you, have the opportunity to make it whatever we want. There are so many millions of users out there that are molding it to fit their purpose. Sometimes those purposes are to simply have fun and enjoy conversing with people. Other times it’s to do some type of business, to learn, to educate or to build confidence.
My philosophy on Twitter might be a bit different than some, but also very similar to others. I watched, or listened, at first to see what was going on, then jumped in to join the conversation. It doesn’t take long to find one’s sea legs.
I have 3 goals for Twitter: To Connect, To Communicate and there’s a 3rd I’ll keep confidential because it has more to do with a personal characteristic I’m building. There are obviously subpoints to each of those goals.
It’s my philosophy that people do business with people they like and trust. It’s easy to execute marketing tactics that show one’s expertise. People have been doing that for decades. What typically takes longer is getting to that point in a business relationship where we have really connected with our client, much less our potential clients. I know I don’t need to tell you this, but it’s that point where you simply smile because you treasure the entire relationship you have with that person—you like them, they like you and your work product or service, and you wish it would last forever. In fact, you wish you could clone that relationship.
Twitter can help build those relationships for those who find that deeper relationships can be valuable or important. It allows me to show other sides of my personality and life in addition to my marketing and sales (Business Development to some) skills, and it encourages those I interact with to do the same. I value that as I find those who only Tweet links to articles can come across very cut and dry, and haven’t necessarily helped me form an opinion of them first, or even at the same time as they are promoting their business or knowledge. I think it’s okay to promote one’s business, and I do so, but I find I am more open to reading what one has to say when I know more about them personally as well as professionally.
I have come to truly like and appreciate those Followers who have shared other parts of their lives as well. It gives me an idea what they would be like to do business with, which I appreciate as I would never have known them in this way otherwise. The interesting thing is that it has sent a few relationships several steps down the road simply because a Follower and I have shared information we wouldn’t have otherwise at such an early stage. When my phone rings, and someone I Follow and who is a Follower is on the other end of the line says his/her name, we have been able to connect and share in a way right away that typically takes much longer in a traditional manner of getting to know one another. This has been good for not only getting the word out to potential clients about what I do, but also to build referral sources and friends who I now know I can go to for help with just about anything.
I could easily tell you that Twitter simply fits my personality perfectly as I love interacting with, getting to know, and learning from, people. That would be true, but I also know that my 3 goals are important with this, or any other communication or marketing tool I use. I don’t find that it takes very much time at all. It depends on the day. It’s very easy for me to send a Tweet from my phone in between meetings, on my way to an event or meeting, or while I’m waiting for a document to open. Because I find it enjoyable hearing what others have to say from all over the world, and learning as much as possible, it doesn’t seem to take that much time away from what I’m doing, or should be doing. I will admit there have been days when I feel like I could spend hours connecting with people, so I have to exercise some discipline and pull myself away from it on those occasions.