Twitter Revolution

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.

Dear Lael…What I’ve Learned About Twitter in My First Month

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I woke up early, and decided I would tell my new friend, Lael Arrington, everything I have learned about Twitter in the last month.  She’s brand new to Twitter, and it can feel overwhelming.  By the way, if you haven’t heard about the devotional Lael wrote with Kelly Monroe Kullberg, you are missing out.  Click Here

I’m not technical (many of you know that!) and I don’t have a lot of time to spend learning this stuff. But here are a few things I wish someone would have told me if they were sitting beside me at my computer:

“Dear Lael,

The cool thing about Twitter is that you can start with little knowledge and still have fun, and make good contacts.

As you start to get comfortable, you will find the learning is limitless!

I have only been doing it seriously for about a month, but I really do see the potential.  I thought I would share with you a few things that have helped me:

*Make sure you put some information in your profile, so that people know who they are following.

*Most people won’t follow you, unless you have a photo.

*I don’t know how people follow 25,000 or 45,000 people – obviously they are trying to use Twitter commercially.  But it really is about getting people to follow you.  You’re sort of building an audience that you will be able to have influence with.  They will be listening as you tell them your favorite tea shop or what’s on sale at Target.  That’s another reason I like Tweet Deck – I made a group of my favorites, so that I don’t miss their tweets.  Then I sort of skim the other regular tweets.

*At first, I thought I would just “tweet” with friends, but realized that Twitter is a great business tool.  I downloaded a really easy-to-read, $10, e-book called Twitter Means Business and read it while working out on my elliptical machine.  It made me realize the business potential.  People who use Twitter are on the cutting edge.  I do think it will morph over the coming months and probably get saturated with advertisers, but for now, it is such a great tool that is “high tech, high touch.”

*Notice people who “tweet” effectively (I love Michael Hyatt’s and Sheila Walsh’s tweets. They are personal, interesting, and funny). I don’t think Twitter is meant to only be a business tool. Try to build small relationships, and then if you find a business connection, do it via email and telephone.

*When you tweet, make sure you are giving!  Be generous with all the things in your life that you have found to be helpful. Re-tweet information that you find helpful (remember, others aren’t seeing all the tweets you receive).

*Michael Hyatt recommends tweeting between 5 – 10 times a day. Twitter gives people little glimpses of your life.  Make sure you’re not over-promoting your own material.  Limit it to about 1 out of 10 tweets.

*I am following someone called “Twetiquette.”  He posts etiquette tips about Twitter.

*To find other people who Twitter, you can type their name followed by the word “Twitter” into Google.  Or you can use the “find people” icon at the top of your Twitter page.  Famous people twitter too, and the wonderful thing about Twitter is that it gives you direct access to that person. It’s great for interacting with celebrities, TV personalities, news anchors, and congresspeople.

*To find people who are tweeting about subjects you enjoy, click on the search button at the bottom of the page. If you use the hashtag before the work, you will find a stream of people talking about that subject and you don’t even have to be following them and they don’t have to be following you. So, let’s say you want to see what people are saying about the space shuttle launch. Type #spaceshuttle into the search box and you will see comments from everyone who has something to say about it, including people who are inside the launch site or even the shuttle itself!

*Be leery about following people who don’t seem equal in the amount of people they are following and the people who are following them.  I choose not to follow people who use foul language, don’t post a photograph, dress provocatively, or talk only about themselves.

*I’m not technical, and I don’t have a lot of time to spend learning all this stuff.  Lately, I’ve been downloading some of Warren Whitlock’s Blog Talk Radio posts onto my IPod.  Then I listen while I go for a jog.  He a master at knowing how people use Twitter, and teaches you what not to do.

*This was a good article – The top 10 reasons I will not follow you in return on Twitter


*My friend Gina Schreck, has these great video clips that make Twitter easy to understand.  They are short and have great advice.

*TweetDeck is a cool thing – you might want to wait a week or so until you get a little more Twitter under your belt, or not.  I really like it.  It was simple to install.  Here’s a short video that shows you what you can do.


The good thing about Tweet Deck is the way it lets you hover over a person, and give you four options.  For instance you can respond to that person with and “@ message” that everyone sees.  Like when Michael Hyatt says he loves “@GailHyatt” or you can direct message them where no one else see it.  You simply click on the “direct message” icon, or you can put “d (space) and the person’s twitter name” which does the same thing.

*What’s good about referring to someone with an “@” followed by their Twitter name, is that others can click on them to see who you are talking about.

*Be very careful when sending a Direct Message.  Even though it goes only to one person, people have been known to make a mistake that everyone sees!  I wouldn’t “direct message” something that you wouldn’t want others to see if you hit the wrong computer key.  Save that for email or telephone.

I have so much more to learn, and there is so much more that Twitter can do….but that’s it for now.

Warmly, Lucille”

Tweaching an Old Dog New Twicks with Twitter

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Technology is changing our lives, and I’m not sure I’m up to the task!

I have a presence on Facebook, but I don’t update it, and I don’t spend more than 15 minutes per month looking at it. In fact, I spend so little time on Facebook that people have made fun of me for having only “two friends.” They’ve even offered to give me some of theirs.  Mainly I keep it there, with a link to my blog, so that people who do spend time on Facebook can find me.  Now that you know I am not a technical person, let me take you to the rest of the story…

Exactly one year ago, I was sitting in Summit Canyon Mountaineering coffee shop in downtown Glenwood Springs, CO. I was sending query letters to potential agents, for a book I wanted to write. I had ridden along with my husband who had some work to do in Glenwood – while he was out working I was sitting in a warm coffee shop. I had some initial replies from agents, but was told I was doing it all wrong. The thing that helped me most was talking with Rachelle Garner whose blog is invaluable for all of us wanna-be-writers: Be forewarned, the learning curve to a published book is huge. Rachelle let me know that if I wanted to ever be looked at by a publisher, I better have a “platform,” and part of creating a platform might include a blog.

Thus, my descent into the world of techno-geeking. Now, after a year of learning, I think I can finally say I’ve got an elementary level of blogging success under my belt. I’ve learned to create blogs with pretty photos, and I’ve even learned how to set up a Google reader, which creates a neat one-stop collection of the other blogs I like to read.

But suddenly, all I heard from the “blogosphere” were people talking about Twitter. I thought, “No, no, no, not something else to learn!” I resisted it for months, even after I all the hullabaloo – it just seemed silly.

Now, you know what’s coming…

I finally succumbed to twittering. Or “tweating” as it’s called. I’m finally convinced that Twitter has something to offer me, both professionally and personally (find me here). I recently read a quote: “Companies who don’t Twitter, do so at their peril.” and “Not using Twitter is like not having a fax machine in the 80′s.” In essence, Twitter is like microblogging.  If you have an Internet presence, people are talking about you via Twitter.  Don’t you want to know what they are saying?

Michael Hyatt wrote a nice blog post for beginners:  Click here

And here’s a free, simple tutorial in PDF format to get you started:

Click Here.

I also recommend that you read this $10 downloadable book if you want to know more about how Twitter is being used by businesses:

Twitter Means Business Click Here

Basically, Twitter lets you give snapshots of your day – in 140 characters or less – to anyone who has signed up to “follow you.” It also lets you follow people with whom you have an interest, whether they be movie stars, friends, business associates, or strangers. The only caveat is that they must have Twitter accounts as well.

Not convinced?  Here’s a short video clip of one of my friends, Gina Schreck, giving a short talk about Twitter:

Click Here

Now if you think this might be for you, the Mogul Mom posted this question and some great resources to help you learn more about Twitter:

“Today, I received this comment from Roxanne Beckford Hoge:

‘Okay, ya got me. I signed up on Twitter after reading your post a while ago. And made a couple updates. And now I want to follow you, for example, and I CANNOT figure out how to! I want to gnash my teeth — I’m a college grad, can multi-task like a mother (pun intended) and consider my verbal skills decent. So why is this beyond me? I would let it die quietly, but we’re working on opening a store in a week, and I thought it be fun to Tweet or Twit about it.

Okay, tantrum over. But if you can point to a really easy tutorial, I’d appreciate it.’

Roxanne, this is your lucky day! :) Here are 5 of my favorite posts about Twitter from some heavy Twitters. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!):

From @guykawasaki, Looking for Mr. Goodtweet and How To Use Twitter As A Twool:

http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2008/11/looking-for-m-1.html

http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2008/12/how-to-use-twit.html

From @twitip, How To Set Up A Twitter Account

http://www.twitip.com/how-to-set-up-a-twitter-account/

From @chrisbrogan, Newbies Guide to Twitter:

http://www.chrisbrogan.com/newbies-guide-to-twitter/

From @PRSarahEvans, How To Build Community On Twitter:

http://mashable.com/2008/11/10/twitter-community/