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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

#TalkFloor Series: Advanced Twitter

#TalkFloor Series: Advanced Twitter
Are you ready for Advanced Twitter and How to Make Sense of Twitter for Business? TalkFloor's Dave Foster and I are continuing with our special #TalkFloor social media series and ready to discuss that very subject.  You can participate with us via Twitter as you listen to the recorded interviews.

Part I was titled #TalkFloor Series on Social Media and addressed What is Twitter and Why Should I Care?

Part II was titled #TalkFloor Series: Twitter & Social Media and addressed How To Get Started With Twitter.

This segment covers Advanced Uses For Twitter.

Dave's Twitter handle is @DaveTalkFloor and mine is @cbwhittemore. Consider following us. Feel free to practice some of what we discuss. If you want to Tweet us questions, simply use #TalkFloor and the '@' to direct the question to us. I'm listening!

Dave's introduction to this interview reads as follows:

Christine Whittemore – All About Social Networking - Part 3
Christine Whittemore, Simple Marketing Now, in the third segment in an ongoing series on social networking talks about advanced uses For Twitter, setting up TweetDeck and conducting multiple parallel searches as well as the prime benefits of Twitter and the prime differences between Twitter and LinkedIn and Facebook.

This segment is in three parts, each approximately 10 minutes long.

These are my show notes for the segment.

Advanced Twitter Introduction


At this point, you’ve set up a Twitter account, you’ve experimented with it, done searches using search.Twitter.com and Bing.com/Twitter, and you’ve shortened some URLs using Bit.ly. If you’ve done it enough, you’ve started to get aggravated with the inefficiency of working with 3 browser tabs, going back and forth.  That’s when you know you are ready to go to the next step and set up TweetDeck.

What is TweetDeck? How Do You Use It?


TweetDeck is a free, third party Adobe Air desktop application. The best part about TweetDeck [some others are Seesmic, HootSuite, Twhirl, …] is that it allows you to create multiple parallel searches that you can easily edit and monitor so you can make sense of the Twitter Stream of the people you follow. You can filter based on the keywords or terms that matter to you.

When you download it [just go to a search window and type in TweetDeck; you can also get a version for your iPhone. For your Blackberry, an equivalent tool is UberTwitter..], you’ll see 3 columns:

- All Friends
- Mentions
- Direct Messages

Go ahead and add more columns! You might add a column for #TalkFloor or flooring, perhaps a brand name or a company name.

You might create a group and have a column for tweets made by those in the group [e.g., all those involved in home interiors or green based on their profiles].

As you filter, you can start to pay attention to who says what, and then start interacting by: RT or addressing someone directly with @. Then share some links.  By the way, TweetDeck automatically shortens links - a marvelous feature!

Making Meaning out of Twitter


Twitter is different from LinkedIn and Facebook where you connect based on who you know professionally and casually. Twitter allows you to connect based on AFFINITY and shared interests. Similar to an in-person networking event except that you have a better chance of quickly finding people with whom you share a lot in common. I find it extremely beneficial as a B2B tool whereas others have found it extremely useful as a customer service tool, or for special offers, for ordering, to communicate specific information [e.g., the Red Cross], for focus group type research, for conversational marketing or generating word of mouth. It all depends.

Whole Foods, for example: each store has its own Twitter account. There’s also a Whole Foods Twitter account for cheese and one for wine. [For more about Whole Foods and other Twitter success stories, read Twitter Success Stories From MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Mixer.]

If you search under keywords or terms that are relevant to you, you’ll notice people whose tweets appeal to you. Consider following them.

Word of Caution: Don’t plan on building your following over night. Focus on quality rather than quantity. Build it slowly, consistently over time. Beware of schemes that promise you 10 million followers. You will regret it.

I build my network by connecting with folks I meet at conferences or in anticipation of a conference by following the # for that conference.  During webinars, I follow and share observations via Twitter and meet liked minded professionals.

There are events called Meetups and Tweetups – ie.., meetings organized online. At Coverings, I participated in a Tweetup and met several fascinating people with whom I continue to exchange updates and relevant information. [If you are in the Northern New Jersey area, consider attending a Meetup of New Jersey Open Coffee - Montclair.]

Meetups address - Meetup.com
Tweetups address – Twtvite.com

Check Out a Twitter Chat!


Another fascinating event that takes place on Twitter is a Twitterchat - a regularly occurring conversation on a specific topic usually weekly and at a set time. There are a whole range of Twitter chats available. For example: #PRchat #carchat #booktweet or #BlogChat.

Here’s how it works.

The organizer will put together a summary blogpost in anticipation of the event listing discussion topic and questions for the Twitterchat.

On the day of the event, you can participate by creating a search column with the # for the event in TweetDeck, or use another application such at WhatTheHashtag. At the start, the moderator will do introductions and start the conversation by asking questions sequentially and responding to participants. Event can last 1 hour+. When it’s over, the moderator will summarize key points in a recap and include a transcript.

How to Build Your Twitter Following:


Other ways to build your following:
Use the Social Flooring Index to explore other Twitter accounts in the flooring industry.

You can search on ExecTweets and explore those accounts.

Two resources – WeFollow and Twellow – allow you to find users by subject area. There’s also Twellowhood which is geography based.

Ideas on How to Use Twitter for Business


WiseGrass uses Twitter to exchange perspectives and get advice from fellow businesspeople.[See Small Businesses Marketing With Twitter: WiseGrass, NakedPizza, Berry Chill.]

Let’s say you are a big supporter of Girls Scouts. The Girls Scouts has several active Twitter presences. You can connect with them on Twitter and help them get the word out.

Street food vendors around the country use Twitter to announce where they will be selling, and what they have available. [e.g., talk about a fascinating mobile/geo location based use of Twitter].

Laura Gainor used Twitter in combination with a few other tools [Twitpik and Twitvid + Foursquare] to stand out for a position when she was relocating from Charlotte to Milwaukee. [See Simplifying Social Media. For Research, Connection, Differentiation.]

Be sure to integrate your Twitter activity with LinkedIn and Facebook

What’s the point of all of this Twitter stuff?


Digital visibility! Twitter is search engine visible. It’s a way for you to differentiate yourself, it’s a way for you to be visible, to reach out and provide value.

Common Twitter Mistakes To Avoid:


At the recent MarketingProfs B2B Forum, I offered 20 minute 1 on 1 Twitter consulting advice to corporate marketers. My sessions started out with a quick evaluation to find patterns that got in the way of effective Twitter engagement. Here are some of the patterns I was on the lookout for:

- Unequal follower/following numbers
- No engagement - as in all tweets coming from you without any kind of interaction with others. May include a lot of 'shouting', too.  It's usually because someone is tweeting from the web and has no idea conversation is taking place! This may make sense for a news organization, but not really for individuals.
- Tweeting as a corporate entity rather than as a person with a human voice.

What's Your Twitter Assignment?


Here's your assignment: Go explore! Think about how Twitter can create value for your business by thinking how you can offer value to others using the tool.

You may find the following links interesting:
+ 21 Tips for Using Twitter for Business
+ How to Use Twitter Events to Grow Your Network

Questions or comments? Please send a Tweet to @cbwhittemore or email me at cbwhittemore @ simple marketing now.com
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