About 6 months ago I signed up for Twitter because so many bloggers were touting it. I had no idea what to do with my Twitter account, so it sat idol for several months. Finally, I heard about a book called, Twitter Revolution written by Warren Whitlock and Deborah Micek.
Their book put me on the fast track to understanding Twitter. It helped me realize that Twitter wasn’t just a silly time-waster that lets you talk to people 140 characters at a time. Instead, Twitter is a powerful tool for building connections with people all over the world. Connections which have proven to bring me new friends, as well customers. Connections which have introduced me to all sorts of information I would never have had before.
@WarrenWhitlock and @CoachDeb (those are the authors’ Twitter names) understand how to use Twitter and how not to use it. For instance, they tell you not to “tweet” about yourself too often. Instead, be a giver. Offer links to great gifts, coffee shops, learning venues, blogs. The list of things people talk about on Twitter is endless.
Imagine Twitter is a cocktail party. You wouldn’t walk up to someone and try to sell them something. You would ask about the person. And every so often you would tell them something about you. As time passes, you find points in common. That’s how to use Twitter.
On your Twitter homepage, the question says, “What are you doing now?” Instead, the question should be, “What’s forefront on your mind? And how might this benefit others?” Then share people!
Twitter is not meant to purely be a business tool. Nor is it purely social. It is the perfect blend of “high-touch/high-tech.” Sort of like that gas station you go to because they still have an attendant who greets you and offers to pump your gas.
Whitlock and Micek encourage their readers to build mini-bonds with people. In the long run, people may choose to do business with you – not because you sold them on Twitter, but because you built friendly little relationships.
People like doing business with folks they know. In fact, Warren and Deb actually met using social media (I can’t remember if it was FaceBook or Twitter). But it was after many months of getting to know each other that they formed the idea for a book.
The authors relied on the Twitter audience for their book material. That was really smart of the authors, because every person who contributed to the book is listed by their Twitter handle, and all those people would become the book’s best promoters.
Whitlock also has a BlogTalk Radio show, in which he constantly teaches about Twitter. I like to put his shows on my iPod so that when I go running, I learn. Warren is very conversational, and really tries to get people to understand that it’s not about selling people.
People hate to be sold.
Twitter is about giving and finding connection, and Whitlock is the master at this. Each day, he finds average people on Twitter and encourages others to follow them. It’s sort of like his random act of kindness.