covent-garden-london-gbln145I joined Twitter on March 23, 2009.  The same day I started my blog Wasabi Nights and joined the Trunk Club as a style expert.  In the beginning, I didn’t get Twitter.  It seemed fragmented and bizarre.  My first diary notes were:

Twitter is strange.  I am not sure what I think of it or how helpful it is.  Random people follow me.  I am not sure how or why.  It seems like a smorgasbord of un-related information.   How can you follow hundreds or even thousands of people on Twitter?   I still haven’t figured out the real point of Twitter.

It’s been a few short months, and in that time I have become a Twitter evangelist.  Thanks to Guy Kawasaki, I was able to hone in on my niche (successful men) and learn more about their current lifestyle trends and interests.

I didn’t know who Guy Kawasaki was prior to joining Twitter.  However, when looking at the follow lists of a few key people in my niche, I noticed the majority of them followed Guy Kawasaki.  I placed a search on him via Tweetdeck and immediately had a steady supply of niche men at my fingertips.   Searching by job title or subject wasn’t as effective for me.  Searching by a major twitter icon gave me a wider spectrum of opportunity.

Red_Phone.54101451_stdTwitter has turned out to be  a powerful business communication tool for me.  I have clients tweeting me with scheduling and clothing requests, style questions and just general business relationship messages.  Some of my clients don’t read emails (or if they do, mine seem to end up in the spam folder).  Twitter seems to be an effective platform for me to communicate with them.  It’s like they have a special, red phone sitting directly on their desk.  I can bypass all the noise of email, phone calls, texting, IM and go straight to the “red phone” via a direct message on Twitter.

Most importantly, Twitter helped me grow my blog and business.  Twitter is an effective means for promoting my blog and promoting my role as a style expert for the Trunk Club.  PR is worth every penny in my opinion, and it’s fabulous that Twitter helps you promote for free!

How can Twitter help you?

  • Twitter is like a search engine-networking hybrid.  You can find and connect with people far easier with Twitter than Facebook or LinkedIn.  Twitter is worth the time and effort.
  • Twitter is a very effective way to start a dialog with someone you don’t know; but want to know.
  • Twitter is a fast and efficient way to directly communicate with someone who is following you.  I have scheduled interviews, Trunk Club consultations, and business meetings via direct tweets much faster than if I had attempted via email in certain cases.
  • Twitter is a helpful tool in promoting your blog or events.
  • Twitter.com is painful and slow to use.  Use one of the applications like Tweetdeck instead.
  • If you are trying to find or promote to a specific niche, look through the follow lists of a few niche people and see who they all commonly follow.  Then, do a twittersearch on the big tweeter.  You will instantly see an up to date collection of people in your niche, who tweet about and re-tweet this person.
  • To be the most successful at Twitter, you have to regularly tweet (think once a day at least).
  • Twitter is one of my best networking research tools.  If I need to know facts about a particular subject, I google it.  If I want to know who is interested in a particular subject or niche, I twittersearch it.
  • Twitter helps you keep up to date on the interests and happenings of people.  Which in turn helps you stay connected and up to date.  Good business is based on maintaining the relationship.red cardinal

Lisa’s Twitter Etiquette

  • Twitter is a helpful tool in promoting yourself.  However, put a real picture up, not an icon.  Start building relationships honestly.
  • Fill out your Twitter profile as completely as you can (name, links, job description, interests perhaps).  People don’t follow a mysterious nobody.
  • Unless you are Guy Kawasaki or a truly professional tweeter, balance your tweets of links, re-tweets, and promotions with a few tweets about you.  The “you” tweets don’t necessarily have to be all telling and deeply personal, but should at least help people get to know you a little.  Help build the relationship.
  • Unless your niche is “quotes and thoughts,” don’t bore everyone with an endless barrage of zen-like thoughts and quotes.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!
  • You won’t get followers unless you follow others first.  However, don’t waste people’s time.  Select carefully and responsibly.  Be wary of the “get thousands of followers in ninety days” schemes.  They can make you look sleazy in my opinion.
  • How to re-tweet another re-tweet: Retweet the original author and then give credit to the re-tweeter at the end “via @…” (RT @wasabinights: Despite the economy I see growth & innovation. Good times makes us fat and lazy & tough times force us to be creative. via @heykeenan)
  • A dialog that begins with a reply to one of your tweets should quickly move to direct tweets if the content isn’t a benefit to your followers.  Otherwise, it’s like the obnoxious person in the room who thinks everyone needs to hear his personal conversation.
  • Ultimately, if you are using Twitter for business reasons, keep your tweets business-friendly.  “Yo Slobs!” tweets don’t offer anyone much value and communicate a sloppy image.

I see comparisons of Twitter versus Facebook versus LinkedIn all the time.  However, this blog article by Jim Keenan struck me as  current  and accurate.

Personally, I wish I had more time for Twitter.  I know I could build a large following and maximize Twitter’s value for me if I just had more time to spend on it.

Want to learn more about Twitter?  Think you know everything about Twitter?  Read this blog post by Koka Sexton to find out everything you ever need to know about Twitter. I am willing to bet even the seasoned Tweeter will pick up something new and useful.

-Lisa

lisabrunckner_headshotLisa Bruckner is a  Trunk Club Expert – helping men buy their clothing the way they always wanted to!  She writes for two men’s blogs: Wasabi Nights and The Trunk Club Blog and spent twelve years in the research sector before switching gears to follow her passion for fashion.
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