If I had a dollar for every time this question came up! In answer there is a simple rule, “you are you”, even if you are playing a business role there is no reason you can not be yourself. Unless of course you are mean and sucky and if you are, it is likely you will fail on Twitter anyway.
In a recent post from @lilachbullock about Instagram, Lilach spoke about professionalism at risk, I think she hit the nail on the head. Many sales people pride themselves on professionalism, which of course, is an important factor. But this is what she goes on to say:
“Taking a picture of your dinner may have been irrelevant to customers in the 20th century…..but hello! What century are we in? Whether it’s a meal, a picture of your kids birthday party or those pair of shoes you’ve wanted for literally years…share it! No one is going to think twice at the thought of you being allowed a life outside of business hours. Putting a face to a business creates a notion of trustworthiness, and sharing your pride and joy, whether it’s your kids…or those new shoes helps to personalise your approach to business and just goes to show you’re a genuine human being.”
I have to agree, being able to resonate with people on a personal or emotional level, creating that level of trust where, with open arms, we build that connection into or networks.
“The more you are seen sharing material, the more willing people will reciprocate. Adding to your showcase portfolio of pictures on a regular basis increases the likelihood of customer acquisition but also creates that ‘buzz’ that gets people talking.
How do you manage your personal and business life? Drop a comment below and say hello.
Of Twitter’s 165 million users, half access Twitter on mobile devices at least occasionally. (HubSpot)
53% of Twitter users have been a member for less than a year, compared to just 19% for Facebook. (Convince & Convert)
76% of Twitter users are active tweeters, up from 47% in 2010. (Convince & Convert)
Want to get retweeted more often? Research shows that keywords which increase the likelihood of retweeting include “please,” “thank you,” “Twitter,” “social media” and “you.” Words to avoid include “lol,” gonna,” “hey,” “tired,” “work” and “bored.” (iMedia Connection)
Twitter users now post 340 million tweets per day, or roughly a billion tweets every three days. (Digital Buzz Blog)
Most of us have taken to utilising common courtesy when it comes to Twitter etiquette, while others feel there are many unwritten laws. This post is just some thoughts of mine that I hope helps you in your journey of this platform. Please add your examples in the comments…..
Use your profile to tell people who you are, what makes you tick and add an image of you, never something else. Before you start Tweeting let people know who they’re listening to. When someone discovers your carefully written and deeply valuable first Tweets, they’re going to come to our profile to learn more and decide if they want to follow you. If you’ve got the default icon and no info they may wait until later. Except there is no later. They’ll forget you.
Choose who you follow carefully. Look for the value add to your life, both from a personal aspect and business synergies. This is about building relationships that will in time, I promise, bear fruit.
Do not feel that you have to follow everyone following you. As I mentioned above its about value and relationships. Take time to understand who they are and if they fit into your goals. It will take time to un-follow, if they do not. In this scenario I utilise lists, thereby screening a persons content before being added in my main stream, this may work for you too.
Only direct message when absolutely necessary, do not DM someone saying “Thanks for the follow, check out this whitepaper”. When this happens to me they loose me as a follower immediately. If you really do have a fantastic white paper tell me in public and I just might re-tweet the link.
It’s not about you, you, you! Share your Tweets about people you admire (If you don’t have any find some. ) Send out links to blogs, web sites or Tweets from people that are just as smart as you. Better yet, even smarter.
Don’t keep all the good stuff you find to yourself. Add value. Share information through links. Add a very short and clear description so we know what to expect when we get there. When you write a Tweet make sure there is room for it to get re-tweeted. That means leave at least 20-40 characters at the end so when someone re-tweets it to their network they don’t have to shorten your Tweet.
Say please and thank you. Always thank people for re-tweeting or mentioning you. It doesn’t have to be a reply, it can be a direct message or even an e-mail or a phone call. Let them know you appreciate their time and sharing your Tweet with their network.
Give credit to the source. If you have found a great article find the author on Twitter and say something like “Awesome post from @chrisbrogan. Same thing with re-tweets. Give the Tweeter credit, either say RT @markwschaefer and then quote the tweet verbatim, I for instance choose to get the information to the reader quicker and take to adding “via @markwschaefer” at the end of the Tweet.
Be personal, but remember you’re in public. Don’t say things you’ll regret and never in the heat of the moment.
Be transparent. If your Twitter persona is for a corporation or your looking for a job, let people know either in your profile or by your tweets. The more open you are about who you are and why you’re on Twitter the better.
Be open minded. When you create your new Twitter network of pals think out of the box. Listen carefully for people talking about things that interest you in other niches. If you only talk about one subject with people they get bored with you. Branch out. Talk about your hobbies and follow people doing things you always wanted to do. Someday you might get the opportunity to do something through one of your new buddies.
What other hints and tips do you have to share with the world.
Cutting Through the Noise of Twitter
Now that your following a vast quantity of people, keeping on top of your following can now be quite daunting. More than likely you have over two hundred people that are providing you instant news, interesting topics that cover everything from your personal interests to business synergies. For example, someone in sales should have at least five lists including: Companies (in your industry) Clients, Competitors, Potential Prospects, Partners.
Lists on Twitter can allow you to categorize people in groups, you will have already started to group types of people in your head, allowing you to start to make sense of the noise. By accessing your lists from the main account icon you will be able to monitor the tweets from smaller groups that are important to you. You can share your lists publicly or make them private, for instance a list called “potential prospects” would be good to have as private.
Lists that have been created by others, public lists, are available for you to follow (subscribe) and your public lists are available for others too.
I have taken the next step and now use a third party tool to listen and monitor these lists better. The tool I use is Hootsuite but another favourite is Tweetdeck. I will cover these later.
You can utilize your lists to help others, in turn help you increase your value and followers.
Share your lists. Already you have public lists created, but it will not be clear to others you have them. Plan to share your lists on your blog or website. The URL for a list would typically look like this: http//twitter.com/username/listname You could even add them to you email footer!
Make sure you add yourself to these lists, as people subscribe to them they will also be following you too.
Name your lists well. The name will form a part of the shared URL, avoid acronyms, make them enticing “Worldwide CMO List” or “My Favorite Bloggers”
Think of your lists as a marketing tool and ask yourself the following questions
Who are my target customers? (“audience” if your a blogger)
Do they have different needs or interests? (If so, define each)
What are their goals, as they relate to my area of business?
What information helps them reach those goals
What kind of information do these customers find interesting?
Who on Twitter regularly tweets this information
Using the answers you get you can then define and build lists for each customer segment, designed to meet their goals.
Remember these lists can be followed by competitors! Be mindful of the environment.
You know have created powerful resources for List members providing a real service. In the process you have met a whole bunch of new potential customers that you can share you thoughts views and products with.
This is a great infographic. If you read my previous post on Facebook you would know my feelings about this platform. Lock it down make it private, but hey that’s my opinion
I do however think the other platforms listed here are great.
Source: Hired My Way
How important is your personal brand to you, and which platforms are helping you create it?
They asked, “Do you Facebook?” I said no, (ok I fibbed, I am on it, I use it to stalk my wife, it saves having a conversation later) joke hunny!
They said this would be an eye opening webinar, that Facebook was a sales tool in disguise, that sales people could build better relationships, reach new clients and drive sales. I was intrigued because I and I will be honest, dislike Facebook. But as always, I was receptive to being converted, so I allocated an hour of my time to revisit and maybe discover this potential.
I wasn’t converted and for 24 hours I struggled to understand why. I understood the privacy settings, the creation of groups and how you can feed different messages to different parts of your network, I get that, much like Google+.
My conclusion was that it must be more than just one thing, so here are three.
1) The webinar was run by a marketer, (nothing wrong with that of course.) But the conversation revolved around demonstrations of what brands were doing. Not what or how an individual sales person could benefit.
2) I have yet to hear someone in a B2B environment say “hello C’suite, will you be my friend on Facebook?”. Even rephrasing it to “Join my network on Facebook” doesn’t sound right.
3) With other platforms that I use for business, engagement and relationship building cant I just have one place that is mine where I can relax, chill out and if I feel the need to just talk rubbish I can. Yes I know your can separate by using the groups, but it just means they’re in the room next door.
So here’s my question? Can I convince you, the sales person, that Facebook is not the place for connecting with your clients?
Twitter – Business Networking on Steroids!
(also written from a Brand perspective just to be fair)
Seventy nine percent of Twitter followers (versus 60 percent of Facebook fans) are more likely to recommend brands since becoming a fan or follower.
Sixty seven percent of Twitter followers (versus 51 percent of Facebook fans) are more likely to buy the brands they follow.
Facebook’s shared links average three clicks, while Twitter’s tweets generate nineteen clicks on average
Want more? Ok!
Twitter users generated double the median monthly leads of non-Twitter users.
Consumers active on Twitter are three times more likely to affect a brand’s online reputation through syndicated Tweets, blog posts, articles and product reviews.
Twenty percent of consumers indicate they have followed a brand on Twitter in order to interact with the company – more than e-mail subscribers or Facebook fans.
If that doesn’t sway you, then there is always LinkedIn – where it does feel right to say “Join my network of business professionals”
See my LinkedIn posts
Did you know that a recent survey showed that people are 25 percent more likely to buy a product that they would be proud to own if it has social media buttons next to it? Conversely, the same study revealed that users are 25 percent lesslikely to buy an embarrassing product if it’s placed anywhere near a social sharing tool.
Of course, this conflict presents something of a problem for brands. Used well, social media can empower businesses of all shapes and sizes, allowing them to reach vast audiences and shift huge amounts of product. Used poorly, and it’s going to have the exact opposite effect. Egg? Meet face.
It’s certainly true that there’s a steep learning curve. For example, while 26 percent of businesses regularly include “call to action” messages in their tweets, if brands do this too often they’ll drive away large sections of their community. Equally, brands that never issue calls to action – which amounts to almost half (49 percent) – are missing out on a golden opportunity.
It’s not all about marketing and sales, either. Amazingly, some 70 percent of brands ignore complaints on Twitter. Not only does this mean they’re saying goodbye to tons of repeat business, but when you consider that 83 percent of people who complained on Twitter loved the response from those companies that did make the effort, well… you do the math.
This infographic from Webpresence.TV takes a closer look at social media facts and figures for brands.
When I am presenting to teams about the use of LinkedIn one question that always gets asked is “How do i sync my Twitter account with LinkedIn?”. So I thought I would write a quick post.
Here is what it looks like when you send a tweet to LinkedIn…
You’ll notice that next to the name it says “via Twitter”. If you scan through your updates, you will probably see quite a few of these auto-posted tweets.
Like many things in social media, there are no steadfast laws or rules about what you can and can’t do in situations like this, only opinions and best practices. That said, I personally don’t think people should auto-post tweets to LinkedIn and here are 3 reasons why:
The number of times most people tweet on a daily basis are far greater the number of times most experts say you should post updates on LinkedIn. The recommended frequency for tweeting is about 5-10 times per day according to some experts, while many LinkedIn Gurus agree that you should post updates no more than 1-2 times per day.
If I wanted to sift through 1000s of tweets per day from my connections, I would follow them on Twitter and do it there. I want my LinkedIn update stream to be clean and uncluttered so I can interact with my connections on a more personal level, which is why I generally will hide updates from my LinkedIn connections if they are auto-posting more than a few tweets a day.
The etiquette and terminology on the two platforms are completely different. Many people on LinkedIn don’t know what a hashtag is or what RT means. They aren’t familiar with #followfriday or #musicmonday. They could be confused when they see me referred to as @social_ben instead of my full name.
Twitter has a language of its own and doesn’t always translate very well for non-twitter users, which make up a majority of LinkedIn’s demographic. Heck, I’ve been on Twitter for 3 years and I still don’t understand what some peoples’ tweets say.
This is my #1 reason not to auto-post tweets to LinkedIn.
Why would I want to Favorite, Retweet or Reply to your LinkedIn update on Twitter? Many auto-tweets I see have good content, usually an article or quote that I WOULD like to share with my LinkedIn connections… but I can’t because they are tweets, not direct updates.
A Few Alternatives
It only takes a few extra seconds to jump on LinkedIn and post an update directly. I suggest you pick 1 or 2 of your best tweets each day, remove all the # and @ twitter references and update your LinkedIn profile like it was meant to be updated, directly from LinkedIn’s homepage.
You could also use a Social Media Management Tool like Hootsuite to send updates to both Twitter and LinkedIn at the same time. Just remember that your update is going to LinkedIn as well so try to limit the tweet-speak.
If you just can’t live without tweeting to LinkedIn, you could at least change your setting so that only tweets that include #in or #li will be shown in your LinkedIn updates. I’ll make it VERY easy for you to do this… just click here to go directly to your Twitter settings in LinkedIn and check the box that says “Share only tweets that contain #in (#li also works) in your LinkedIn status.”
Do you agree with me? Can you think of other reasons why you should not (or should) auto-post tweets to LinkedIn?
Everyone is talking about being social, but what does that mean to you, a seller? How can it help you? Where do you start? These and many more questions are also being asked.
Lets cut to the chase, Social Media, Social Business, Social Networking, what ever you want to call it, put simply its just another form of communication. You have been doing it for years, its just the growth in technology has just made it easier to be louder and reach a wider audience.
Some of the benefits will include; efficiency, collaboration, identification and not least, trust.
BUT these benefits will not will not happen overnight, it is a journey you will have to undertake. Some will adopt to this new way of communicating quicker than others but make no mistake we all need to be on this road.
Why? Lets look at some reasons:
Having a digital presence is one of the best ways to be found, creating your personal brand that in turn will help you become eminent in your field of expertise.
A recent study has shown that the role of the buyer (seeker of information) has changed. No longer so they pick up the telephone to you (do they know you even) and ask “is this the right thing I need”. They are looking for this information online. Eighty five percent of the buying decision has already been made before you the sales person even get involved.
We Sell or Else (#wesoe), lets face it. If you can utilise another channel to assist in growing your business then its a no brainer.
If your still wondering can social technologies really help grow your business, there are a whole raft of success stories that can be found on online. Personally, I have seen and experienced $millions of generated business
Where do you start? Firstly understand the tools. Identify which platforms you customers are on and participate in. Places like LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook or Google+ for instance. Start with three or four and ensure that one of your choices includes blogging.
Whats on offer?
LinkedIn – For a seller this should be the most important place to start. The team will help shape your profile from a resume style to a value proposition to a client. Help you understand how to utilise your network and what additional applications will work best for you.
Twitter – Lets call this an information portal. Are you advising your network what we do, what you do, the latest news, information that grabs your attention. Let people follow you and manage your reputation.
Blogging – This in my humble opinion is going to be paramount to building your eminence, creating digital footprints that allows you to be found when someone searches for you. Now whilst the premise for these tools is business, I do advocate the creation of personality, so if you want to talk about something non business (yet professional) do so.
Thoughts for your next steps?
Find your focal team, the ones that are early adopters are normally the best, teach teachers spread the word or ground swell. Get to grips on what to measure.
Lastly if you need advice or tips on best practice drop me a line.
Why not share some of your thoughts and questions below..