I believe one of the main reasons for Twitter's existence is to enable intelligent and valuable conversations among people that share the same likes and interests. Hence, my search for those interested in marketing. Also, limiting the search to those within a two-hour driving radius meant that if I developed an online relationship with some of these people (that's what is supposed to happen, right?), then it would be much easier to have an offline relationship, as well, if we ever wanted to meet face-to-face. Finally, I figured that if I found some relationships that could be mutually beneficial in the business sense, it's also easier to do business with people you can meet face-to-face. And that's how I started my search about a month ago. So, how is it going?
Well, as you would expect, I'm having no trouble finding people talking about marketing within my chosen radius. But, as you and I would not likely expect, I'm having a heck of time finding people that actually use Twitter in a non-annoying way. And I'm only searching for marketing people! Aren't they supposed to know how to do this?! I guess my expectations were too high.
Out of approximately 50 marketing-related Twitter users that I followed, so far I've only observed about five of them using Twitter in a decent, non-annoying way.
Only 10%. That's it. What's crazy about this "non-annoyance" rate is that my criteria hasn't been all that strict. I know it's the beginning and I need to give people a chance. So, my criteria right now is...just don't be annoying. You don't have to light up my world with the greatest information of all time. Just don't do the following...
Now, this certainly isn't a comprehensive guide to using Twitter, and I'm not saying I'm a model Twitter user. In fact, I really just started to be serious about it. So, I'm sure there's some etiquette yet to learn.
My experience thus far has taught me that it's more effective to look for conversations you want to join instead of people to follow. Then, you'll find people in those conversations that will emerge as candidates for mutually beneficial relationships. So, if you're just starting out, I would suggest going that route at this point.
Twitter is about conversation. Think about if you did some of the things you do on Twitter in real conversation. Don't be that friend that tells you the same story a couple of days after he told you the first time. That's almost unbearable. Don't be the friend that talks about himself all the time and never seems to be interested in others. This is not how you win friends and influence people. Don't be the friends that don't return calls because they've been "so busy." I've used that one, too, and we both know it's just not true.
Mike Fleming specializes in Analytics and Paid Search for Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @SEMFlem. Mike enjoys playing, writing and recording music along with playing basketball to get his workout in. He resides in Canton, Ohio with a girl who threw a snowball at him one day…then married him.
Mike and the team at Pole Position are available to help clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Contact them via their site or by phone at 866-685-3374.
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