To Twitter or not to Twitter; that is very much becoming THE question.
Well one of the best ways of working this out for yourself is to dive in and do it. As I recently described to one of my clients, discussing social media and the merits / distractions of without actually partaking, is rather like discussing whether steak and kidney in a pie works as a food combination without actually tasting it.
Let’s take 3 of the most common media sites – Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. All serve a different purpose but if you don’t get in there and interact, you’re never going to know which one suits you the most and brings the most rewards.
Here are 50 ideas on using Twitter for business. In a nutshell Twitter gives you 140 characters to say what you’re up to. Yes you can promote your business directly, and the opportunities are so much more. You can share what’s caught your eye. You can ask for help, no there isn’t always a reply but because of the 140 limit people often do cos it’s quick. You can help others, again it’s real quick. You get to see what’s going viral, what’s really catching on, or bugging people. It’s not just the traditional sources of media and their opinions and commentary, you’re seeing it at a grass roots level. If these people are representative of your customer base, you really get to see what’s important for them right now. Lastly you also have the opportunity to share what you are or have been up to. In other words people get to connect with you at the level of ‘normal human being’ rather than face of the company. You follow those who interest you, people follow you, and you start to make connections and relationships which otherwise may never have come about. In the noise of the internet we love hooking up with people who share similar interests. You’ll also find there are more and more guides on how to use things like Twitter being written and published, but even without them it’s very straightforward.
Facebook is a little different, whereas people can opt to follow you on Twitter (you can of course block them if you want), on Facebook you have to actively accept the invitation to connect. Again it’s a great opportunity to show your whole self, rather than the corporate version. For anyone other than Generation Y it’s probably a lot less intuitive to use Facebook. Well OK speaking for myself it’s less intuitive, so for me Facebook is still work in progress. Having said that it’s been great to hook up with old school friends.
Lastly LinkedIn – Your profile is there for all to see, but people have to connect with you (and you have to accept) before they can see who you’re connected to. It’s always been about connection, this just happens to be one way of doing it. I know of recruitment companies who use this to find suitable candidates – so if you’re not there, where else can they find out about you?
All of them to varying degrees work when you’re being authentic, rather than pretending to be something you’re not. Yes follow some business leaders on Twitter for a while and you do wonder who’s writing their tweets, and if it’s them, have they had a personality bypass as it all seems too scripted, too…well just not quite right.
One of the challenges as a leader is to remain connected. The above are new routes that are taking hold, no passing fancy anymore, and before long the learning curve on working out how to use them and how you want to use them will be very short indeed. The recession calls for us to be more creative, and that means exploring options that maybe in the past you’ve ignored or shrugged off.
Here’s were you’ll find me
Facebook- you’ll have to search for me, cos I can’t work out how to give you a link, yes like I said not intuitive, either that or I’m having a thick moment.