I preface this post by saying that I LOVE facebook. I love how I've been able to meet old friends, connect with new friends, and message my daughter who should have gone to bed already but is too busy chatting on facebook with friends. I love all that it allows you to do, and since having added a fan page for my business, I love that I can share new listings, fun ideas and photos, and even the fact that my local brick and morter storefront closed. (sigh, still sad about that.) It's allowed me to connect and share.
But twitter, well, I've had an account for a while, but just haven't figured it out yet. I haven't "connected". I didn't understand it. I haven't used it. But today, I went to a Twitter Seminar sponsored by my local Chamber of Commerce. Kyle Lacy, the author of "Twitter For Dummies" was the speaker.
This is what I learned:
The medium age of the average twitter user is 33 years old. I was thinking that was old, or at least older than I thought they would be. I kind of imagined them being these young, hip 20 somethings. But I guess, that's more of a myspace or facebook age. After looking at my kids (no, my kids are not that old), I can understand. But then I realized, that's me...and my average customer. So I definitely need to figure this out!
Twitter is basically a micro-blogging site. Kind of like a cocktail party where you can talk to people and listen in on their conversations. Then, you can decide if you want to go join in or just keep to yourself. Since, I am rather quiet by nature, and would absolutely die at a party where I had to mingle, I don't know how I feel about this aspect yet. It would be nice to talk in the comfort of your home, but I'm not good at talking on the spot and making up conversation. Should be interesting.
It's important to have your bio filled out. Use important key terms that will help people find you and know about you. What you do, what you like, interesting info... Google may end up using this in the future, so use it!
Tweetdeck and Hootsuite are applications used for twitter management. Now this was very interesting to me. I really liked that you could organize your content, your tweets to be viewed, what people are saying about you, and all kinds of relevant information so you don't get overwhelmed. That's been my hardest part of twittering. It all goes so fast and how do you know what to actually read and respond to? It looks like these applications can help you manage it all! I can't wait to look into them more.
Tweetdeck is a desktop application, while Hootsuite is a web based browser application. I like aspects of both from what I've seen, but I like that hootsuite allows you to preschedule your tweets. That could come in handy, for those days I'm totally swamped with orders (or more likely, mom duties.)
Search.twitter.com --can't wait to get in and get ugly with this function! You can go to "advanced search" and type all kinds of interesting terms to find out what people are "tweeting" about, what is interesting to your clients, and what they are saying about you. I think this would help to know what products would be interesting to people. Say, my clients' kids are into Karate...I will know to go make a karate candy bar or name plaque. That could really be helpful!
How to find quality people? First start out by finding and following your friends. Then follow their friends. Then follow conversations and people who are interesting. Follow industry leaders. They will have interesting things to retweet. They will tell you new aspects of your business. Follow your customers. Find out what they are saying and doing. What their clients are saying and doing.
Getting the "MOST" out of Social Networking:
M: Monitoring: get on and listen to what people are saying and talking about.
O: Objectives: what are yours? set up a time! Should be on their daily for about 30 min. a day.
S: Strategy: Where are you driving the user? What is your end game? Have a quality website and keep it updated! Use blogs with interesting content.
T: Technology: What are you using? More important, what is your cusomter using? It doesn't matter if you hate myspace if that's where your clients are! Use it! Are they using Facebook? Myspace? Twitter? Flicker? You Tube?
Content should be interesting. Use client stories, industry news, things that happen to you. Try constantcontent.com for help with newsletter content. Find other blogs that have content at blogsearch.google.com
Get started today and give it a try for a month. Really try it and see what happens. But get started today by doing three things...
1. setup an account
2. set up time blocks (don't get sucked in, but do it daily)
3. use twitter search and find at least 10 people to follow
There was a lot more information and I can't wait to get and read Kyle's book. Hopefully twitter will finally "connect" me to where I want to be!