We hate automatic DM’s! Don’t we?

I know I am not the only one whom dreads the direct message received after clicking the follow button. I don’t like being told what to do, unless it is my wife or my boss doing the telling (just in case they read this), which is what these DM’s typically do for example: –  “Go like my Facebook  page” or the “Sign up to my site”. I will decide when and if I will do either of these activities, let me continue to read your posts and we will go from there.

So with my disdain for DM’s it was a bit hypocritical for me to consider setting up this function. However I did want to address my tardiness in welcoming and thanking new followers.

So I took the plunge and did some research to find the tool I was going to be happy with, in this case it was Socialoomph. This tool won me over because of the ability to rotate the DM’s sent and not be repetitive.

So yesterday I set it all up, clicked save and waited for the onslaught.

The first response I received was not negative however, I was elated, here is why.

I didn’t aim my message at plugging me, instead I aimed my message at “helping” this new follower find other tweeters I thought they would enjoy and or derive value from.

As a result my DM was retweeted, thank you Thomas

Yes I felt pretty good, Yes I felt helpful.

What do you think of Direct Messgages? What are the worst ones you have seen? What are the best ones? Have you, like me, even unfollowed someone as a result of a DM?

One lump or two? How many accounts should I have on twitter?

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.

Twitter Facts

Twitter attracts one million new users per day. (Jeff Bullas)

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)

Read more at business2community.com

Twitter Manners [Infographic]

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.

Lists are the Paracetamol for the Twitter Headache

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.