I recently read “What Ails Twitter,” an article posted on LinkedIn about how Twitter is missing the boat by not changing their call to action. This post, by The Street & CNBC journalist Herb Greenberg, said that Twitter should be touting its platform as a one-sided personal news feed. A place to listen rather than talk. While I do disagree with Herb, this was a great blog post. Here’s why:
1. It took a stand (and one that the author knew might be controversial).
2. It made me laugh (well of course lawyers can’t fathom writing in 140 characters, have you seen a legal brief! That’s just good comedy.)*
3. It made me think (mostly about why I disagree with him), which leads to…
4. It gave me a great idea for a blog post of my own. Which is this…
TWITTER is a fantastic social platform for business. And while being a source for news is one of Twitter’s assets, it’s certainly not the only one. Here are 4 more things Twitter is excellent for:
Making initial connections – I cross-connect on social profiles. This means that if I’m following someone on Twitter who follows me back, engages with me (whether that’s in Retweeting my content, through thoughtful DMs, etc.), I will look them up on LinkedIn so that we can connect there, as well. For me, this has led to email and phone conversations, face-to-face meetings, and yes, new business. If I hadn’t found them on Twitter first, I’d never know they existed.
Listening – It’s true that Twitter can be a great news source for you, and especially specific to your industry. As Dave Kerpen commented on the original post, “…It’s all about listening.” And it is! But besides just gathering information/news, it’s important to listen critically to what industry leaders, competitors and consumers are saying. Why? Because it gives you ideas on what’s important, what’s trending, how consumers interact with other brands, what works and doesn’t in social media. And allows you to join the conversation. (for more on social listening, you might want to read “Stop Talking. Start Listening.”)
Establishing your brand voice – Mastering 140 characters is no easy task. But it is a great way to tighten your writing and create a voice for your brand. Is your brand/company serious, humorous, edgy, wise, trendy…? Work on getting that across in 140 characters or less – your consistency will pay off. Here’s where those lawyers can learn something!
Sharing content – This is huge. If you consistently curate content related to your industry and share that with others on Twitter, your chances of being seen as a news source yourself will increase exponentially. Your twitter handle will be added to industry specific lists, followed for insights and shared with others. It’s a great way to get introduced to companies and people you’d never have come in contact with otherwise.
Maybe these four reasons don’t make Twitter the #1 social platform for the general public. And that’s okay. Twitter knows what it does, and does it well. And that’s good advice for any company. As Michael Brenner (@BrennerMichael) states in his recent article Twitter Stock is Getting Killed (and why it doesn’t matter), “Twitter follows the 1% rule… (and) is still 1 of the Top Social Networks and probably in the top 3 of consideration for any brand advertising along with Facebook and Linkedin.”
Thanks to Mr. Greenberg (@herbgreenberg) for writing this post. And also to Dave Kerpen (@davekerpen) who commented on it via LinkedIn. Until that moment, I’d never heard of Herb Greenberg, but because I follow Dave Kerpen and his company Likeable Media (and Likeable Local), the post showed up in my news feed. A great example of the power of social media!
What do you think? Should Twitter focus solely on being a news source? Or rely on the power of social media to encourage companies and brands to not only listen, but join the conversation?
Let’s connect! Find me on Twitter @a1972bmw
*I love lawyers!