4 ways to Twitter success

by Urs E. Gattiker on 2010/01/20 · 88 comments 21,961 views

in c micro-blogging Twitter,e marketing 101 serving a need

    Update 2010-01-20: This morning (lunch time GMT) the Twitter whale is showing again. How reliable a technology is and how this affects our business is another issue we could have addressed here. But we did not.

In the meantime,  anyone curious about why their CEO fails with Twitter, or whether better (Twitter) micro-blogging might give your company a more personal voice and better client-engagement, this post is for you. This article will clarify where Twitter could fail you miserably and why social media experts may try to sell you snake-oil.

Context!?
Smaller companies like ours simply do not have the resources to be active everywhere. Nevertheless, so-called social media experts tell you that being active in at least 10 channels is a must. Get real!

The opportunity costs could simply be too high for you. For instance, instead of spending another two hours on Facebook, why not talk to one or two clients?

Lesson 1: Regardless of what ‘experts’ tell you, focus on a maximum of two channels (e.g., Naijapulse, Identi.ca, Twitter), drop the time-wasters and focus on doing a good job wherever your customers participate.

Doing a good job speaks louder than tweets
These days, an increasing number of self-styled experts want to teach you the indispensable tricks to Twitter success:

Image - tweet by ComMetrics - #Metrics improve focus. Just be sure you know where you want to go and you focus on the relevant #KPIs to get you thereLincoln (Europe’s self-proclaimed leading Social Media specialist) tells companies to:

    - Find daily interesting information about what you do.
    - Develop a list of jokes and tips to share on a daily basis.

So why doesn’t she take her own advice? It’s been 61 days since her last tweet on November 20 and dry spells of 30 days or more seemed to be a common occurrence in 2009. Usually, there is a spurt of tweets just before she holds a webinar or a workshop and not much after.

Lesson 2: Don’t just believe what others says will succeed, find out for yourself. One tweet each workday about something and at a time that your clients find valuable is a smart way to build a network of weak ties on Twitter.

Relationships are reserved for family and friends – others need not apply
Everybody insists that Twitter is great for relationships, but not really for most people in Europe.

    “The only way for a company to earn attention and loyalty is to develop an authentic and relevant relationship.”
    “Trust is the life-force of successful relationship marketing, and trust is developed and strengthened through relevant communications through relevant channels at relevant times.” ((White Paper: Relationship marketing 3.0, p. 2))

The above gave me pause.
Image - tweet by @richmeyer - Truth about branding via social media #socialmedia http://twitpic.com/vwfz2 -

As @richmeyer points out in one of his tweets (see right) – most of us don’t want a relationship with Nespresso, except maybe George Clooney. We are satisfied with good value, and fast and courteous service.

Most important, I need to be able to trust the claims made by a brand in its advertising, product catalog or on its webpage (e.g., money back guarantee).

Lesson 3: Answer this key question - why be on Twitter? To find information that helps your clients solve their problems quicker or helps you work smarter.

The follow/unfollow syndromeImage - tweet by Sergio Rossi - We enjoy positive feedback! Thank you Obsessedwithshoes.com for the awesome mention
I recently came across the Sergio Rossi shoe brand and got curious and was amused by the tweet that my monitoring tool picked up, stating that the brand was enjoying positive feedback (see image at right).

So, I visited the site that gave Sergio Rossi a positive review and left a comment:

    Dear Administrator,
    I am wondering how you addressed the disclosure issue when doing this product review as required by the FTC? See here: http://commetrics.com/articles/sheer-transparency/
    Did you get samples from Rossi? Did you take these pictures or images yourself or receive them from Rossi to be used?
    Can you clarify this please?
    Thank you.
    Cordially
    Urs @ComMetrics

Here is what happened:
a) The comment never make it onto the website – not good, and
b) Rossi followed our Twitter account @ComMetrics for two days and then dropped us again, because we did not follow back.

Trash the idea that because you follow me, I need to follow back. Following back is earned. As customers we want to follow suppliers’ or brands’ tweets only if we find they add value.

Lesson 4: Using Twitter is not about blatantly selling, but about building a social network of weak ties. @SergioRossi sure failed that test.

More resources about Twitter, metrics and benchmarking – what is it worth to you?

Bottom line
You can say one thing and do the other when you use Twitter, but in the digital world, nothing is forgotten. As a business person, you need to figure out your company or product’s best social media channel for yourself. Before you start micro-blogging or a Facebook fan page, you seriously need to examine the purpose of the exercise before you adopt a new technology as part of your goal-driven business.

Take-aways
I have been micro-blogging since late 2007 – a bit earlier than some people, definitely later than the geeks. As CEO of a small company, I have developed the following four insights:

1. Twitter is not scalable, so following 150 people is my limit: If a person averages three tweets a day, I need to scan 450 tweets or ignore most of them. But if I do that, am I not misleading those I claim to follow?

You might say, “I use TweetDeck and I screen and search for the best tweets using hashtags.” Good for you, but can you afford the time it takes to search through 8,000 tweets each day? “Yes,” you say. “When I ride an hour into the City every morning and back every evening… plenty of time to check and tweet.”

Is spending two hours on Twitter everyday the best use of your time? (See also saving time on Twitter.) Maybe it would be smarter to talk to a fellow commuter, nap, read important papers or a great novel…

Image - tweet by ComMetrics -Twitter#engagement - not tweeting for weeks: Does it matter? Pdf file: http://bit.ly/83eamf Your take? #metrics #webanalytics2. Serious conversations happen elsewhere: If somebody wants to chat with me they may send me a direct message, but experience has taught me to move it to email, the phone or a face-to-face meeting to get to the heart of the matter faster.

3. Forget the sales game: No, we don’t sell things or promote a TV show. We sell software as a web-based service, as well as advisory work and coaching.

Our clients are mostly businesses, industrial buyers and professional bloggers. Our best-case scenario is what happened one afternoon last week, when a Twitter follower called me from another country. The conversation went something like this:

    Urs, I follow you on Twitter.” …3 minutes later… “I have a client… and I thought about you.

The rest is history and yes, my bottom line is making me smile. Twitter has gotten us business directly twice so far and people talk to me at conferences about my tweets, resulting in business relationships.

Stop worrying about the number of followers versus RTs and such. Instead, find one customer who finds your tweets valuable and build your list of followers from thereKimberly Castleberry suggests you use vanity metrics for your Twitter account – please don’t!

4. Twitter can be useful if you have a purpose and stick to it: Having said all the above, I would not want to miss Twitter. The 75 smart people I follow provide me with know-how that I might otherwise not come across.  Most follow back. In turn, they benefit from my quality tweets that help them benchmark smarter to perform better.

As my esteemed colleague Paul W. Reidl put it:

    “For those of us who are old enough to remember client development before Al Gore invented the internet, I think that potential clients today have much, much more information available to them about potential counsel. That’s why having a positive social media presence is so important.” - @TMguy

For me, that means Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Xing – for you it may be different. Just remember, unless your client or business partner believes you provide value and follows or connects, why bother?

Please, leave a comment! We love to hear your thoughts: how do you feel about Twitter and your business? What is your experience with this subject? Have any tips to make sure we use Twitter more effectively? Please share your insights.

P.S. - Visit My.ComMetrics (register yourself – benchmark your blog(s) => improve performance). You can get updates for this blog on Twitter by following @ComMetrics or get a free subscription by RSS, or get new posts via email:

Article source: ComMetrics –  4 ways to Twitter success

  • http://www.kullin.net/ Hans Kullin

    Urs, you make some very good points in your post. I'd like to add my two cents about the scalability of Twitter.

    I too believe that there is a limit to the amount of people you can follow without losing the ability to build strong connections, but I don't see that I have made a huge commitment just because I follow someone.

    I look at Twitter as a river of information that you can dip your head into to check out what's going on, but after a while you need to get some air. So you will not be able to read everything in that flood of tweets, but that's ok, as long as you respond to reactions that are directed directly to you. At least that's how I use it.

    I am currently following about 500 people and find that it works fine. It's still possible to have a closer dialogue with a select few, and the rest I just scan to find good tips.

    Thanks / Hans

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      Dear Hans

      thanks for your input. If I understand correctly you see it less harshly as I do with the scalability…

      a) you respond do direct messages or where somebody RT (re-tweeted) your stuff or used the @Kullin

      b) you stay close with a few

      c) you limit to 500 and just glance over the flow of tweets to see if you can pick some gems in the river

      I think I use it similarly although I must admit that my about 80 people I follow is far fewer than you do and.

      I sometimes scan people's tweets on my screen without actually following them (I visit and browse through the last week of tweets, scanning). In this case I get access to people's tweets who I do not follow because they might tweet 20 times a day – fills my screen too much.

      Hans, thanks for sharing your insights.

  • http://twitter.com/soenke_d Soenke Dohrn

    Dear Urs,

    Thank you for taking the length to investigate the pattern of some self-proclaimed social media experts and the strong discrepancy in following their own advice. I already found myself wondering if I was missing the obvious since you can hear it shouting from the rooftops to micro-blog like mad because it is imperative… uhm, just for the sake of it?
    By not following the mainstream you become the odd one out. Odd means a barrier to trust requiring much time and effort to build up via alternative ways.

    I think with the diversity of channels increasing, it becomes ever more important to sit down and devise an individual strategy of what serves how with the time and human resources at hand.

    To me it just doesn't make sense at all to ponder about a technology, whether it being blogs, wikis or mirco-blogging, etc. if you have to find a use case thereafter. Instead, technology should serve you by fulfilling a purpose. Be clear about the purpose and your capacities.
    After all, each day has only 24 hours and that will never change, no matter how many new tools and technologies emerge. Thank you for adding the salt to the soup.

    Kind regards,
    Soenke

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      Soenke

      Nice comment and I appreciate your input also about that it may not make that much sense if we have to reflect and wonder about a technology's usefulness… to justify its use.

      But with technology it is often the case that we do not know that well what usefulness it has when it is being released. For instance, until the early 80s nobody did much text messaging or sending SMS even though the technology was available. Today, most of us use it at least from time to time.

      Of course, some like me are so much challenged that I prefer using the computer to type an SMS to send it to my wife… or call instead of trying to text… too slow I am. But besides this personal challenge we often require some time before we know about all the uses.

      As far as calculating the cost-benefit issue or as you might want to call it the transaction costs of using social media: There is a cost and in a corporate setting you somehow have to figure out as best as you can if it is worth the opportunity costs.

      I tried to address this for CEOs as far as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter is concerned here and I still wonder what Richard Branson gets out of tweeting except for showing that his brand is going with the times, so to speak.

      ==> http://howto.commetrics.com/articles/ceo-blogge

      And besides the reality that each day has 24-hours only, I like going going tobogganing with my six year old as I did this Monday afternoon on the Rigi mountain

      ===> http://ad.vu/rwyj

      Beats tweeting any day.

      Soenke, thanks for sharing your insights.

  • LeyLucas

    Urs,
    When reading your article my first thought was how insightful! Generally, Everybody tends to write about the positive aspects of Twitter. Your article, instead underline what I call the real Twitter approach. As a user I completely agree with many of your statements. Although Twitter could improve Brand equity, regarding customer retention/loyalty. There are some points that tend to be overseen and I believe you exposed these issues in your article.
    Thanks for your contribution!

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      Dear Ley

      Thanks for your nice feedback. Funny but just now again Twitter is out and all we see is the whale.

      This is another issue I have with Twitter and its success it more often than we like cannot cope with its rapid growth. In turn, it is frequently off-line for no apparent reason.

      This does, however, not make it easier to engage with clients does it?

      Ley, Thanks so much for sharing.

  • sharonjaffe

    Urs,excellent post! You took the words or shall I say the “Lessons” right out of my mouth.

    Twitter is powerful source of information and engagement however there is no real instruction manual out there so folks tend to get sucked into being sheep (following other sheep) instead of asking themselves “am I really getting value here?” or “is this helping me achieve my objectives“?

    I personally follow too many people and feel almost anxious at all the tweets I miss (similar to my anxiety of having an email in box that never reaches 0). I look forward to a time when digital marketing tools like Twitter and Facebook are:

    a) put in perspective in the marketing palette and
    b) extracted effectively for their full potential.

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      @jaffeblend I love your comment about Twitter value + achieving one's objectives.

      While these tools are wonderful, the are not perfect and they do take lots of time like writing blog posts or commenting on other blogs for that matter.

      I previously pointed out:

      Unfortunately, tweets involving sweepstakes and discount codes can:
      <ul>a) lower your margins,
      b) encourage spamming by other Twitter users (see Continental, eBookers, etc.) and damage your brand's reputation; and,
      c) increase pressure to further lower prices (e.g., after decades, US car manufacturers have found it impossible to phase them out).</ul>
      Does this represent higher sales? Maybe, BUT these people might have purchased a Dell product anyway.

      Dell has not provided public or proprietary information to convince its finance committee and investors that tweeting increases profits.

      === > http://commetrics.com/articles/metrics-3/

      But today I was asked being sheep (following other sheep) as you call it by being invited to another Webinar by Hotspot this Thursday with a blurb going something like this:

      “…Twitter is more than a cool toy. It has valid business applications and potential for ROI. Join this short 30 minute webinar where Rick Burnes will present brand new data and case studies on how companies of all sizes and in all industries are successfully using Twitter as part of their overall marketing plan to achieve their business goals…”

      Until then, I go for a walk instead of listening to such stuff.

      Sharon, thanks much for sharing.

  • nilsmontan

    Thanks Urs

    This is a very valuable reminder that it is important to pick your channels of distribution carefully. There are so many platforms out there and sometimes we think we have to be on all of them blabbing constantly about this and that.

    I think less can be more. It's better to concentrate on quality in a few places. Nils

  • nilsmontan

    Thanks Urs.

    There was once a famous comment, I think it was about architecture, but it may apply to twitter and other social media outlets – “less is more.”

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      Hear you Nils

      I will tweet less, of course…. but try to deliver better quality for sure.

      Hope you will approve.

  • http://digimarketingconvo.blogspot.com/ Pritesh Patel

    Interesting post.

    I think its important to also understand that you don't have to actively be talking on Twitter but just merely listening.

    Twitter is an engagement tool as we all know it but it can also be a listening tool or platform.

    More and more people are asking questions on Twitter as opposed to searching for answers on Google. Why? Because you get an answer from a human and not a search engine or a webpage. I see tweets like:

    What is a good restaurant to eat in Manchester?

    Now if i was a restaurant owner in Manchester I would reply back and say “Try me”. You don't have to engage just listen and answer questions.

    Another example is “How do i add extra columns in Microsoft Word?”. Why are these tweets posted if the information is already available? People want to hear answers from people.

    I agree totally with point 4 – every business must define its purpose and stick to it. Even if it is just listening and reacting to the conversations.

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      Pritesh

      I like your restaurant example. But the problem is if the person wants to know now where to eat, as a restaurant owner working in the kitchen I might not know about this until much later.

      So when I answer, you may have had dinner at my competitor's place. Too bad…

      If you can find a topic that might interest your audience or customers it is surely helpful to provide answers as you suggest with the Word example. But as you point out as well, the actual answer will be found somewhere else. An example might be a tweet that provides a link to a blog post with the answer I am looking for.

      Interesting thoughts but it looks as if we agree that two issues remain:

      a) there is the matter of focus and
      b) saving time as much as I can to make sure I don't forget to bring home the beacon.

      Pritesh, thanks for sharing.

  • marfak

    Urs,
    I agree that Twitter has some value but quite honestly I find it overwhelming at times.

    Even doing a triage of all of my tweets from the people I am following takes a lot of time I would be interested in tools or techniques for focusing the incoming tweets.

    Thanks for quoting me!

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      Paul @TMguy, thanks for this comment. To better monitor tweets you may look at the:

      Best 100 Twitter tools.

      Another tool I mention in the blog post itself, I blogged about how to use TweetDeck that helps you keep tracks of tweets.

      Finally, you can also create a list (go to your Twitter profile, click on lists) and make it private, in turn, you can then follow a particular group of people only.

      I hope this is helpful.

  • http://linkama.wordpress.com/ Kimmo Linkama

    As Twitter is very American-dominated, much of the advice on how to use it is unapplicable in the European context. I find it extremely refreshing to have a sober, no-nonsense opinion like yours, Urs.

    I'm a B2B copywriter and have had a Twitter presence since May 2009, now clocking a little over 1,000 tweets that have so far produced two clients. Considering the time spent, I think the investment justifies itself—although just barely. On the other hand, establishing stronger clout might in the future produce better results.

    Other social media platforms I'm using are LinkedIn and Xing, plus I write two blogs, one in English, the other in Finnish. One of the uses of Twitter for me is to drive traffic to them, as well as my website. I don't (yet) have a business Facebook page, although I'm tentatively using FB for personal purposes.

    What I think is an important, yet often forgotten, aspect of social media presence from the business viewpoint is that first of all:

    ==> you should find out which platforms are dominant in the market(s) you want to address.

    For example, Twitter usage in Finland (my main market) is close to zero, whereas Facebook is very strong.

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      @kimmolinkama made comment: #Twitter usage in Finland (my main market) is close to zero, whereas #Facebook is very strong.

      So if Facebook is dominant in your market this is where you go, of course.

      But I also think that with Twitter it is difficult to determine if it is worth for the bottom line directly but indirectly by learning from other people's tweets. This is probably the greatest benefit I have.

      Thanks for sharing.

  • http://deborahdrake.com/Blog Deborah Drake – Catalyst

    Twitter, honestly I don't resonate with Twitter, though I know that many people embrace it and love it and cultivate followings (some with purpose and others just because). Of all the statements in this post I appreciate this one best of all:

    “Serious conversations happen elsewhere.”

    We have 24/7 internet technology to make it possible to send emails, or Tweets, or post on Facebook or LinkedIn or more obscure and specific social networks: to create community, curiosity and connections with new friends and peers. The real conversations happen in some way off-line I find. In my experience, the breadth and depth to a relationship (be it business or personal) is cultivated between the Tweets and the posts for all to read. And to start shallow “here” and move deep to “there” is my inclination.

    I always appreciate Urs the thought and research that I know goes into your posts and if there are metrics to be shared, you do, and that makes your boldest of statements, that much more compelling.

    Yes, I agree, Twitter is a powerful resource channel for sharing information and beginning engagement, but if all we had (for example) was a Twitter relationship, it would be forever shallow till I took the Twitter comments offline.

    And then my ability to express 140 characters at a time would be zip. That I know. So my use of social networks is grounded in one ulterior motive for me and that is to get to know people truly better.

    So following too many people, people I don't know is of no interest to me. How many people can I know really well? I wonder. I don't think it's even 150 these days…

    Twitter can build good will.
    Twitter can pique curiosity.
    Twitter can add color and a sense of culture to a brand or organization.
    Twitter can impact people dare I say as much as direct mail? Or TV commercials? Hoping or a small percent of new business for all the eyeballs that see and read the message.

    Twitter has value and absolutely must be kept in perspective as part of the whole marketing and PR plan.

    And following too many people be it through Twitter or Facebook or any other social network may feel good but is it profitable action to give Twitter too much attention?

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      Love @deborahdrake comment: Twitter has #value and …. remains important part of the whole #marketing and #PR plan. So true

      If your customers follow you on Twitter, agreed it can build good will with those individuals if not pique curiosity in new stuff as you suggest above.

      But there remains the felling good challenge as you point out and while vanity metrics (number of followers, RTs etc.) may make us all feel good, they don't pay the office rent.

      Deborah, thanks so much for sharing.

  • http://www.theresek.mionegroup.com/ Therese Kutscheid

    Thank you so much for this article, at last, there is someone that is not lost in cyberspace.

    What in all the world is going on with humanity? I am not taking public transport that often. But sometime I do and I can't believe what I see. If people do not travel with their friends, they usualy are using their laptop or mobile phone.

    There is no communication between commuters. We are such technology junkies.

    Why is it so important to communicate on Twitter, Facebook or all those social sites and not with those people around you?

    I am on so many social sites I lost count and simply don't know what to do with all those contacts. I think I will cancel all of them and just go with one that is in my niche.

    Technology is fascinating but I think humanity is slowly disappearing in cyberspace.

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      Dear Therese

      Thanks for your input. Actually, I thought you might want to check my answer to Kimmo:

      http://commetrics.com/articles/getting-real-val

      I really liked the job applicant I had last week when she said – Facebook and Twitter are for the birds when it comes to keep in touch with my pals.

      It was refreshing to talk to a teenager who is into computers but prefers to have a live instead of spending too much time on the Internet. One student told me when I asked about Facebook:

      “Urs I have a live, no time for this.”

      So there is still hope that we will not disappear into cyberspace, thank god.

      Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.catseyemarketingblog.com/ Judy Dunn

    Another thought-provoking post, Urs. I agree with so many of the comments here.

    For me (and what I always tell my clients when they come to me with social media questions), the biggest issue is:

    What is your GOAL for being on Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn?

    It gets so much easier after you figure that out. We are almost ready to launch a WordPress membership subscription site and I can tell you that Twitter was exactly the right move for us. It has all the people on it who are 1) our prospective customers and 2) can help us spread the word.

    Bob (@CatsEyeDesign and, soon, @SavvyWordPress) has spent more than a year just being helpful: offering WordPress advice, announcing free workshops, generally helping people with their problems. He has also developed some close relationships with WordPress theme developers who are willing to help him promote the new site on Twitter. In one word, he has built our credibility.

    I have developed at least two new major partnerships that would not have other wise happened. And I am strengthening a relationship I had stared building outside Twitter. But it doesn't happen overnight.

    Bottom line: I do think it is possible to get new business from Twitter IF you approach it in the same way to do your other networking and marketing efforts. Make friends and be helpful first. Develop the relationship first.

    Thanks again for the thought and effort that so obviously go into your posts, Urs.

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      @CatsEyeWriter thanks for “…get new business from Twitter IF… you make friends and be helpful first.”

      I agree wholeheartedly with the above. Your comment got me to reflect further and I went ahead and checked into the Twitter resonance issue.

      How weak are these ties on Twitter. So I did a study of the reactions and RTs I got for this blogpost on Twitter… here are some of the results:

      - 0.5% of my followers used RT and re-tweeted the story using my URL shortened link or making up their own, PLUS
      - 1.0% wrote their own tweet about it, PLUS
      - 9.7% clicked on the link I provided

      The above may underestimate the level of resonance (11.7%) I got but that is fine. At first it seems very small. But then I did some more digging:

      One of the bigger Twitter accounts that tweeted about this got:

      - 0.00015% of his or her followers using the RT function to re-tweet the story taking his or her URL shortened link or making up their own, PLUS
      - 0.0004 made up their own tweet about the story, PLUS
      - 0.00… CLICKed on the link

      With another account that also had over 140,000 followers I got 0.0000533% RTs for the tweet the person sent out.

      What does it all mean?
      People are simply inundated with loads of tweets and in most cases are challenged to keep track of things.

      In turn, tweeting something that actually interests your audience – of course, this is the only reason why you tweeted about it – does not mean it gets a lot of resonance out there.

      Accordingly, your point that “I am strengthening a relationship I had started building outside Twitter.” confirms this. Weak ties on Twitter have to be moved elsewhere to be strengthened if both parties feel this is beneficial.

      I have tried connecting better with Twitter users interested in #webanalytics, #metrics and so forth by finding space where these issues can be discused in more detail, such as:

      ==> Facebook group ==> Europe – social media metrics http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=179706493… AND

      ==> Xing group ==> social media monitoring https://www.xing.com/net/smmetrics/

      Judy, thanks for sharing your insights and let us all continue in exploring these exciting new tools in order to make better use of them and, hopefully, enrich our lives herewith.

  • http://karenpurves.com karenpurves

    Great post Urs. I agree with your sentiments about follow strategies. I posted about this in June last year – http://www.karenpurves.com/2009/06/following-yo… showing people just how many tweets they would need to read to keep in contact with their followers.

    I think Twitter is a much misunderstood tool and much of that misunderstanding is down to its ease to join and, when people are struggling to find content, they fall back on the traditional marketing methods based on pushing out your message for people to respond… or not!

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      Karen – thanks for sharing

      I went and read your blogpost from June last year. I really liked your sentence:

      “You can not be a member of more than a few tribes without becoming a lurker and that’s not the same as participating.”

      Absolutely true for me… so even if you open a Facebook or a Xing group, people need to participate …. shirking makes it far less interesting for the rest of us.

      Merci bien.

  • sophiezo

    Twitter is definitely not for everybody.

    It is a tool like any other tool you can use to network or market your business. Twitter has been a great success for me, but it is not the only avenue I pursue nor is it something I spend hours on.

    I have set up a system to manage it in a way that works for me.
    Everyone must do the research to figure out what will work for their business.

    Believing every guru you hear is a sure path to overwhelm and disappointment.

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      Sophie

      Thanks for leaving a comment. I went and looked at your Twitter account, of course and I can see you use one or two tools regularly to help you manage the Twitter account smartly.

      But I think your important point is that Twitter is not the only way you market your business but one of the several channels you use.

      Thanks for pointing this out.

  • http://pollytraylor.com/default.aspx Polly Traylor

    Loved the piece, v realistic insights in here, among all the “Twitter experts” I like your philosophy so much more….

    I have a personal account and one I manage on behalf of a client. I read a lot on the topic and take note of what I do and don't like among fellow tweeters.

    Here's my list!
    • Quality versus quantity is my rule on following others.
    • Be genuine, don't follow anyone else's rules. If you don't like to tweet personal observations or on the job tips, then don't. But occasionally, do interject some personality.
    • Ask questions, solicit opinions.
    • Don't be afraid to write about semi-controversial topics for a business account. But of course be careful!
    • Don't be afraid to tweet news of a competitor or semi-competitor. That builds community and credibility.
    • Read at least a bit of the link you are tweeting or retweeting! Don’t tweet based on headlines, can get you into trouble…
    • Don't toot your own horn more than every once in a while. It's annoying to followers.
    • Don't overtweet… I have unfollowed people who tweet more than 10x.day: focus on quality over quantity always!
    • I mistrust non celebs who have very large followings…I don’t know why, I just do. In my view the point of twitter is not to gain large followings, it's to gain a valuable community.
    • Tweet about what interests you, not just what you believe others are interested in reading.
    • Do reply to and retweet stuff that you're really interested in. Don't retweet stuff randomly
    • Always thank everyone who mentions you and retweets you. Not everyone does this!
    • I got one DM from someone asking what made me follow them: I responded and he was grateful. Excellent tactic!
    • I never follow someone who doesn't have the slightest bit of information about them in their profile other than a website. I want to know a little bit about the person, their affiliations, and their topics of interest.

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      @PSTraylor – 15 Twitter tips for improving your followers' Twitter experience – great help like:

      - I unfollow if you tweet more than 10 times a day – In my opinion Twitter is not to gain large followings, it is to gain a valuable community.

      Where you tell me to improve
      Besides that I find the points you, Polly raise very useful, some got me to reflect and think about what I do. I might have to change a bit => shape up or ship out so to speak.

      - ask questions solicit opinions: I am not doing that often enough but also found I do not get much response…. I have to try harder …

      - tweet about what interests you: I am not sure about this….. since I try to tweet what my clients and those that could be would be interested in – I surely have to remain vigilant to assure a careful balance that results in a most interesting stream of tweets.

      My confusion
      But with one of your suggestions I had to pause for a minute:

      - Always thank everyone who mentions you and retweets you. Not everyone does this!

      Let us say I have this happen about 7 times a day or sometimes more often. I can do as follows:

      1 – If I do not follow people who mention me or RT my stuff, I can send them a direct message but they cannot respond back. To be fair, if I send them a direct message I need to follow to enable them to send a direct message back.
      2 – Else, if I do not want to follow a person that tweeted my stuff or did a RT, I can make an attempt to find their email address and say thank you that way.
      3 – If I cannot find their email, another option is that I fill out the contact form on their website to say 'thank you.'

      It is obvious that all this takes time.

      I have found one way to deal with this fairly while making it scalable. I have created a so-called RT group that I made private, whereby I follow people that RT my tweets or mention me in their tweets. This allows me to scan their tweets. If I find something that might interest my followers, I retweet or mention their Twitter name.
      Hence, I try to show my appreciation this way.

      As you can see with my blog, here I try to respond to everybody's thoughtful comment with a half decent reply. AND if the person like yourself leaves me an email address, then I go to the trouble to send them a short thank you note.
      Yes this takes time. However, it is the least I can do considering that it takes much MORE time to write a good comment compared to a tweet. One of my followers send this tweet:

      ==> Yes you're right! It's just who I'm. When I enjoy something I do not want to add anything else, unless I have had time to study it.

      Polly, you suggest that “Read at least a bit of the link you are tweeting or retweeting! Don’t tweet based on headlines, can get you into trouble…

      As the tweet above illustrates, however, for some users it is easier to tweet or RT something without having really studied it carefully. How else can it be that so often shallow stuff gets re-tweeted so many times?

      Finding a personal voice – managing a client account
      Managing an account on behalf of a client is an interesting approach. I believe as long as the Twitter account has a 'personable voice' it is probably fine. We have been trying this with one account but now it is moving back to the company that owns the Twitter handle whilst we provide the coaching needed to help them along on the learning curve.

      Polly, thanks so much for sharing. This list is really helpful.

      • Polly Traylor

        Urs
        Yes I suppose if you have lots of people retweetinga and mentioning you, it would be hard to acknowledge each person although I do see people doing this: “Thanks for the RT and then list all the user names that RT'd or mentioned them that day..”

        Someone, though I can't find whom now, disputed the notion that you should unfollow someone who tweets too much.

        My view is that if I am following 100 people, and each tweets 10x/day, 5 days a week, that is 5000 tweets.

        If I am lucky I am able to scan maybe 1/4 of those though that seems too ambitious still.

        So I think it is something to consider if the point of Twitter is to engage, we must alll be mindful of frequency a bit.
        Quality over quantity is still my rule! Thanks all for the useful comments to this piece which I still need to read. Very insightful…

        Polly

        • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

          Polly I like your point: “… I do see people doing this: “Thanks for the RT and then list all the user names that RT'd or mentioned them that day…” But I think those tweets might make me as re-tweeter feel good but at the same time the tweet may not add much beef. But being mindful of frequency is a good point. Since posting this story on our blog, I have cut down tweeting. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/timgier tim gier

    Excellent article. I especially like this:

    “So why doesn’t she take her own advice? It’s been 61 days since her last tweet on November 20 and dry spells of 30 days or more seemed to be a common occurrence in 2009.”

    I have been twittering like a fool for a while now and I keep thinking that something is going to come from it, hopefully more than just feeling more foolish!

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      Tim

      I know this feeling had it for about six months when I started with Twitter… thinking anybody listening out there.

      But I started to use Twitter for giving me intelligence or information I might not have come across otherwise. It is all about the people you follow they might provide you with real nuggets, mine do.

      In return, I try to pass them one or two good ones each day. Of course, I am not always succeeding.

      Thanks for sharing Tim.

  • http://twitter.com/electric220 Jeffries Electric

    Very real comments.

    This cuts through the hype and the buzz, and brings the real world into focus .

    Thanks for the insight.

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      Jeffries

      Glad you liked it – hope you will stop by again soon and write another comment. Merci.

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  • http://linkama.wordpress.com/ Kimmo Linkama

    To Polly: I disagree with your advice to unfollow people who tweet more than X number of times a day. Bearing in mind the quality vs. quantity issue, wouldn't this emphasise just the wrong alternative? Example: I am targeting the English-speaking world—which, unfortunately, is spread across almost every time zone on earth. As a result, you may encounter my tweets (and even the same ones, although worded a bit differently) as many as 12 times a day. I'm sure there are large numbers of people besides me doing the same. Of course, if the content is rubbish, there's no reason not to unfollow, but tweet frequency perhaps isn't the best criterion.

    • Polly Traylor

      I see your point Kimmo, though I replied to Urs that if everyone tweets this much and you are following 100 or more people, its impossible to even pick up on more than 1/5 or 1/4 of the flow of info from those you follow so it limits your engagement and defeats purpose of following others…

      I like to still emphasize quality v quantity though there are some I follow who do tweet a lot yet I still like most of their tweets so I am still following them:)

      I guess if someone tweets that much they have to be REALLY valuable for me to keep following them!
      Best
      Polly

      • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

        Polly

        I like your point:
        “… I do see people doing this: “Thanks for the RT and then list all the user names that RT'd or mentioned them that day…”

        But I think those tweets might make me as re-tweeter feel good but at the same time the tweet may not add much beef.

        But being mindful of frequency is a good point. Since posting this story on our blog, I have cut down tweeting.

        Thanks so much for sharing.

        • http://linkama.wordpress.com/ Kimmo Linkama

          Urs & Polly,

          My approach is rather that I'm not even trying to keep up to date with tweets from people other than whom I'm better friends with. If I happen upon some gems, fine, but Twitter is such a river that it's impossible to monitor it all.

          While I'm not advocating the collection of thousands of followers — or following thousands of people myself — just for the sake of numbers, I believe in what they call “weak links” much for the same reasons as mentioned eg here: http://bit.ly/7Aa1Lh

          What it really comes down to is perhaps

          1) how much time you want to invest in Twitter and
          2) what is its importance to you (or your business).

        • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

          Kimmo thanks…

          Interesting link above, similar to what my Lesson 2:

          Lesson 2: Don't just believe what others says will succeed, find out for yourself. One tweet each workday about something and at a time that your clients find valuable is a smart way to build a network of weak ties on Twitter.

          Of course, I have managed to decide how much time I have with Twitter AND what I use it for…. thanks to the comments I read a went a step urther and cut down on the numbers of tweets as well as how much time I spend on Twitter.

          Kimmo thanks for this, it helps me use Twitter smarter.

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  • http://twitter.com/TheRealPRMan Steve Farnsworth

    I think your focus on developing relationships is very on target, and those getting into Twitter should take it to heart. I could not have said it better!

    I started Twitter to meet others interested in the future of communications and how social media would change the way professionals do marketing. While your self-imposed limit of 75 or 150 is absolutely valid, I have a slightly different philosophy.

    I found following people a great way of saying “Hi”. A way of meeting new people I might not meet otherwise. I actively search for people who tweet about social media and marketing, and follow them. The number of people I follow, about 30,000, makes my regularly Twitter stream unusable. To read what people I follow are saying I use Twitter lists, or go directly to Twitter streams of those who have engaged me through an @ reply or an RT. And if people engage me I will follow them back, too.

    Do I have 30,000 meaningful relationships? No. I never intended to have a lot of followers. That was a byproduct of my efforts. However, I have exceeded my goal of meeting other like-minded social media marketing people. I have developed several dozen meaningful relationships with people I have met and/or talk to regularly, or do business with; all as a direct result of Twitter.

    I would encourage new Twitterers to reflect on what they want from Twitter.

    As they get deeper in to tweeting ask yourself from time to time, “Am I getting the value I need from it?”

    Hopefully, Urs’s great advice and my experience will help you find a strategy that is uniquely yours!

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      @Steveology great comment – “Twitter and meaningful relationships = by-product of my efforts.”

      But cultural differences or cross-national differences might make things a bit different in North America than how things seem to happen over here in Europe.

      While I have yet to investigate this a bit deeper, people over here tend to have 'relationships' via Twitter or re-tweet and reply to those they already know — fellow students, co-workers, etc. And if it is with somebody one met using Twitter, the parties make sure the next opportunity that comes up allowing them to meet they take advantage of if.

      If people are too far to arrange a face-to-face meeting, the telephone will do the trick.

      As I pointed out in my reply to Polly Traylor, like you Steve I do use lists as well to monitor people's tweets who I engage with or who RT my material but I may not follow. Others, like your own feed I just simply visit with my browser and check sometime if there is something you tweeted that helps me do a better job such as tools.

      Interestingly enough, I visited your blog and left a message thanking you for your tweet about this post. And after you and I emailed back and forth I now find this comment from you …. I am not sure if we could have accomplished all this with just using Twitter.

      But like Sophie pointed out in her comment, Twitter is a tool and if this means we need another like email to accomplish what we need, let us just do it and get the job done.

      Thanks so much for sharing and I do hope reading your insights again in another comment on this blog soon :-) Gracias.

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  • http://twitter.com/andrewhesselden Andrew Hesselden

    Yes, we've been using Twitter at Viadeo for quite a while now (http://www.twitter.com/viadeo) It's a great way for us to listen to members and gauge general mood about our brand and product.

    It is true to say you can spend (too much) time on Twitter, but if you keep a balance and you have the right people looking after your Twitter account who are empowered with information and connections internally then it can be a very powerful tool.

    I think Twitter is really only just getting started in some industries, but as more and more professional social networks are integrating Twitter, it is clear that it is a great way to share professional expertise in partnership with an established network of contacts.

    Look out for Twitter integration on Viadeo (http://www.viadeo.com) very soon.

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      Andrew @viadeo points out: Twitter is a great way for viadeo to listen to members of its social network platform.

      I agree, one can easily share information. At the same time, however, how am I supposed to keep track AND run a small business with few employees. As a start-up with limited resources …. it is hard to balance the demands upon my time from social media like Twitter, Facebook while, most importantly, talking to our clients as well – person-to-person that is.

      I am still working to manage this challenge better for myself and the business I run.

      But I do agree that it is helpful for a network like yours to inform members about changes and upgrades. Of course, integrating Twitter into Viadeo will enable me to share my activity there with my Twitter followers.

      Thanks for sharing.

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  • http://twitter.com/nagandrea nagandrea

    Twitter can take a while to get used to, but once you've developed a good system and found the right tools and can be really quick and easy to keep active. You have to learn how to filter out all the noise and information you're not interested in to hone in what you really want to be reading.

    Twitter lists and Seesmic have been fantastic for keeping track of everything!

    • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

      #metrics #tools => Seesmic + Ping.fm and Twitter lists: agreed, these tools help in getting order into the never ending stream of tweets.

      But I still get many more tweets than those that I feel help me work smarter. So instead of tweeting, I chose to write a reply to your comment …. and thereafter I am going outside for my break to enjoy the snows, instead of frittering away time in cyberspace.

      Andrea, thanks for sharing.

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  • http://www.bizchickblogs.com Tia Peterson, BizChickBlogs

    Wow! Tons of great points here. Two stand out to me.nn1. The one that stands out the most is the question about relationships. I agree with you, but my experience may be different. I have built relationships, but now they are friendships rather than business ties.nnIt has me wondering what, if any, is the relevance of the presence of large corporations in social media, unless it is to add backlinks and better SEO and SEM. I don’t really follow any brands (and if I do, obviously their tweets are so insignificant to me that I don’t even remember if I am following them).nnInteresting point, what you have said about it above:nnAs @richmeyer points out in one of his tweets (see right) – most of us don’t want a relationship with Nespresso, except maybe George Clooney. We are satisfied with good value, and fast and courteous service.nnAnd I have to admit that I cringe every time I see a corporation asking me, as a customer or captive audience to their advertising, to follow them on Twitter or be friends with them on Facebook. I laughed when I saw that my tax processing company has those invitations in their email signature. What??? Be friends with the people who send my tax money to the IRS? Yeah, right. I’d rather forget them until next year, thank you.nn2. The other point that stuck out is that you only follow 150 tweeps. How do you feel that impacts you? Do you think you appear less interested in the social connection? I recently read a post someone wrote that really tore into people who are so selective about who they follow yet claim to be interested in social media. I’m just curious about that.nnParticularly because of the rule of 150 (Malcolm Gladwell explains this in The Tipping Point). Did you choose 150 for a specific reason?nnCheers,nTia

  • http://www.bizchickblogs.com Tia Peterson, BizChickBlogs

    Wow! Tons of great points here. Two stand out to me.nn1. The one that stands out the most is the question about relationships. I agree with you, but my experience may be different. I have built relationships, but now they are friendships rather than business ties.nnIt has me wondering what, if any, is the relevance of the presence of large corporations in social media, unless it is to add backlinks and better SEO and SEM. I don’t really follow any brands (and if I do, obviously their tweets are so insignificant to me that I don’t even remember if I am following them).nnInteresting point, what you have said about it above:nnAs @richmeyer points out in one of his tweets (see right) – most of us don’t want a relationship with Nespresso, except maybe George Clooney. We are satisfied with good value, and fast and courteous service.nnAnd I have to admit that I cringe every time I see a corporation asking me, as a customer or captive audience to their advertising, to follow them on Twitter or be friends with them on Facebook. I laughed when I saw that my tax processing company has those invitations in their email signature. What??? Be friends with the people who send my tax money to the IRS? Yeah, right. I’d rather forget them until next year, thank you.nn2. The other point that stuck out is that you only follow 150 tweeps. How do you feel that impacts you? Do you think you appear less interested in the social connection? I recently read a post someone wrote that really tore into people who are so selective about who they follow yet claim to be interested in social media. I’m just curious about that.nnParticularly because of the rule of 150 (Malcolm Gladwell explains this in The Tipping Point). Did you choose 150 for a specific reason?nnCheers,nTia

  • http://www.bizchickblogs.com Tia Peterson, BizChickBlogs

    Wow! Tons of great points here. Two stand out to me.nn1. The one that stands out the most is the question about relationships. I agree with you, but my experience may be different. I have built relationships, but now they are friendships rather than business ties.nnIt has me wondering what, if any, is the relevance of the presence of large corporations in social media, unless it is to add backlinks and better SEO and SEM. I don’t really follow any brands (and if I do, obviously their tweets are so insignificant to me that I don’t even remember if I am following them).nnInteresting point, what you have said about it above:nnAs @richmeyer points out in one of his tweets (see right) – most of us don’t want a relationship with Nespresso, except maybe George Clooney. We are satisfied with good value, and fast and courteous service.nnAnd I have to admit that I cringe every time I see a corporation asking me, as a customer or captive audience to their advertising, to follow them on Twitter or be friends with them on Facebook. I laughed when I saw that my tax processing company has those invitations in their email signature. What??? Be friends with the people who send my tax money to the IRS? Yeah, right. I’d rather forget them until next year, thank you.nn2. The other point that stuck out is that you only follow 150 tweeps. How do you feel that impacts you? Do you think you appear less interested in the social connection? I recently read a post someone wrote that really tore into people who are so selective about who they follow yet claim to be interested in social media. I’m just curious about that.nnParticularly because of the rule of 150 (Malcolm Gladwell explains this in The Tipping Point). Did you choose 150 for a specific reason?nnCheers,nTia

  • http://www.bizchickblogs.com Tia Peterson, BizChickBlogs

    Wow! Tons of great points here. Two stand out to me.nn1. The one that stands out the most is the question about relationships. I agree with you, but my experience may be different. I have built relationships, but now they are friendships rather than business ties.nnIt has me wondering what, if any, is the relevance of the presence of large corporations in social media, unless it is to add backlinks and better SEO and SEM. I don’t really follow any brands (and if I do, obviously their tweets are so insignificant to me that I don’t even remember if I am following them).nnInteresting point, what you have said about it above:nnAs @richmeyer points out in one of his tweets (see right) – most of us don’t want a relationship with Nespresso, except maybe George Clooney. We are satisfied with good value, and fast and courteous service.nnAnd I have to admit that I cringe every time I see a corporation asking me, as a customer or captive audience to their advertising, to follow them on Twitter or be friends with them on Facebook. I laughed when I saw that my tax processing company has those invitations in their email signature. What??? Be friends with the people who send my tax money to the IRS? Yeah, right. I’d rather forget them until next year, thank you.nn2. The other point that stuck out is that you only follow 150 tweeps. How do you feel that impacts you? Do you think you appear less interested in the social connection? I recently read a post someone wrote that really tore into people who are so selective about who they follow yet claim to be interested in social media. I’m just curious about that.nnParticularly because of the rule of 150 (Malcolm Gladwell explains this in The Tipping Point). Did you choose 150 for a specific reason?nnCheers,nTia

  • http://www.bizchickblogs.com Tia Peterson, BizChickBlogs

    Wow! Tons of great points here. Two stand out to me.nn1. The one that stands out the most is the question about relationships. I agree with you, but my experience may be different. I have built relationships, but now they are friendships rather than business ties.nnIt has me wondering what, if any, is the relevance of the presence of large corporations in social media, unless it is to add backlinks and better SEO and SEM. I don’t really follow any brands (and if I do, obviously their tweets are so insignificant to me that I don’t even remember if I am following them).nnInteresting point, what you have said about it above:nnAs @richmeyer points out in one of his tweets (see right) – most of us don’t want a relationship with Nespresso, except maybe George Clooney. We are satisfied with good value, and fast and courteous service.nnAnd I have to admit that I cringe every time I see a corporation asking me, as a customer or captive audience to their advertising, to follow them on Twitter or be friends with them on Facebook. I laughed when I saw that my tax processing company has those invitations in their email signature. What??? Be friends with the people who send my tax money to the IRS? Yeah, right. I’d rather forget them until next year, thank you.nn2. The other point that stuck out is that you only follow 150 tweeps. How do you feel that impacts you? Do you think you appear less interested in the social connection? I recently read a post someone wrote that really tore into people who are so selective about who they follow yet claim to be interested in social media. I’m just curious about that.nnParticularly because of the rule of 150 (Malcolm Gladwell explains this in The Tipping Point). Did you choose 150 for a specific reason?nnCheers,nTia

  • http://www.bizchickblogs.com Tia Peterson, BizChickBlogs

    Wow! Tons of great points here. Two stand out to me.nn1. The one that stands out the most is the question about relationships. I agree with you, but my experience may be different. I have built relationships, but now they are friendships rather than business ties.nnIt has me wondering what, if any, is the relevance of the presence of large corporations in social media, unless it is to add backlinks and better SEO and SEM. I don’t really follow any brands (and if I do, obviously their tweets are so insignificant to me that I don’t even remember if I am following them).nnInteresting point, what you have said about it above:nnAs @richmeyer points out in one of his tweets (see right) – most of us don’t want a relationship with Nespresso, except maybe George Clooney. We are satisfied with good value, and fast and courteous service.nnAnd I have to admit that I cringe every time I see a corporation asking me, as a customer or captive audience to their advertising, to follow them on Twitter or be friends with them on Facebook. I laughed when I saw that my tax processing company has those invitations in their email signature. What??? Be friends with the people who send my tax money to the IRS? Yeah, right. I’d rather forget them until next year, thank you.nn2. The other point that stuck out is that you only follow 150 tweeps. How do you feel that impacts you? Do you think you appear less interested in the social connection? I recently read a post someone wrote that really tore into people who are so selective about who they follow yet claim to be interested in social media. I’m just curious about that.nnParticularly because of the rule of 150 (Malcolm Gladwell explains this in The Tipping Point). Did you choose 150 for a specific reason?nnCheers,nTia

  • http://www.bizchickblogs.com Tia Peterson, BizChickBlogs

    Wow! Tons of great points here. Two stand out to me.nn1. The one that stands out the most is the question about relationships. I agree with you, but my experience may be different. I have built relationships, but now they are friendships rather than business ties.nnIt has me wondering what, if any, is the relevance of the presence of large corporations in social media, unless it is to add backlinks and better SEO and SEM. I don’t really follow any brands (and if I do, obviously their tweets are so insignificant to me that I don’t even remember if I am following them).nnInteresting point, what you have said about it above:nnAs @richmeyer points out in one of his tweets (see right) – most of us don’t want a relationship with Nespresso, except maybe George Clooney. We are satisfied with good value, and fast and courteous service.nnAnd I have to admit that I cringe every time I see a corporation asking me, as a customer or captive audience to their advertising, to follow them on Twitter or be friends with them on Facebook. I laughed when I saw that my tax processing company has those invitations in their email signature. What??? Be friends with the people who send my tax money to the IRS? Yeah, right. I’d rather forget them until next year, thank you.nn2. The other point that stuck out is that you only follow 150 tweeps. How do you feel that impacts you? Do you think you appear less interested in the social connection? I recently read a post someone wrote that really tore into people who are so selective about who they follow yet claim to be interested in social media. I’m just curious about that.nnParticularly because of the rule of 150 (Malcolm Gladwell explains this in The Tipping Point). Did you choose 150 for a specific reason?nnCheers,nTia

  • http://www.bizchickblogs.com Tia Peterson, BizChickBlogs

    Wow! Tons of great points here. Two stand out to me.nn1. The one that stands out the most is the question about relationships. I agree with you, but my experience may be different. I have built relationships, but now they are friendships rather than business ties.nnIt has me wondering what, if any, is the relevance of the presence of large corporations in social media, unless it is to add backlinks and better SEO and SEM. I don’t really follow any brands (and if I do, obviously their tweets are so insignificant to me that I don’t even remember if I am following them).nnInteresting point, what you have said about it above:nnAs @richmeyer points out in one of his tweets (see right) – most of us don’t want a relationship with Nespresso, except maybe George Clooney. We are satisfied with good value, and fast and courteous service.nnAnd I have to admit that I cringe every time I see a corporation asking me, as a customer or captive audience to their advertising, to follow them on Twitter or be friends with them on Facebook. I laughed when I saw that my tax processing company has those invitations in their email signature. What??? Be friends with the people who send my tax money to the IRS? Yeah, right. I’d rather forget them until next year, thank you.nn2. The other point that stuck out is that you only follow 150 tweeps. How do you feel that impacts you? Do you think you appear less interested in the social connection? I recently read a post someone wrote that really tore into people who are so selective about who they follow yet claim to be interested in social media. I’m just curious about that.nnParticularly because of the rule of 150 (Malcolm Gladwell explains this in The Tipping Point). Did you choose 150 for a specific reason?nnCheers,nTia

  • http://www.bizchickblogs.com Tia Peterson, BizChickBlogs

    Wow! Tons of great points here. Two stand out to me.nn1. The one that stands out the most is the question about relationships. I agree with you, but my experience may be different. I have built relationships, but now they are friendships rather than business ties.nnIt has me wondering what, if any, is the relevance of the presence of large corporations in social media, unless it is to add backlinks and better SEO and SEM. I don’t really follow any brands (and if I do, obviously their tweets are so insignificant to me that I don’t even remember if I am following them).nnInteresting point, what you have said about it above:nnAs @richmeyer points out in one of his tweets (see right) – most of us don’t want a relationship with Nespresso, except maybe George Clooney. We are satisfied with good value, and fast and courteous service.nnAnd I have to admit that I cringe every time I see a corporation asking me, as a customer or captive audience to their advertising, to follow them on Twitter or be friends with them on Facebook. I laughed when I saw that my tax processing company has those invitations in their email signature. What??? Be friends with the people who send my tax money to the IRS? Yeah, right. I’d rather forget them until next year, thank you.nn2. The other point that stuck out is that you only follow 150 tweeps. How do you feel that impacts you? Do you think you appear less interested in the social connection? I recently read a post someone wrote that really tore into people who are so selective about who they follow yet claim to be interested in social media. I’m just curious about that.nnParticularly because of the rule of 150 (Malcolm Gladwell explains this in The Tipping Point). Did you choose 150 for a specific reason?nnCheers,nTia

  • http://www.bizchickblogs.com Tia Peterson, BizChickBlogs

    Wow! Tons of great points here. Two stand out to me.nn1. The one that stands out the most is the question about relationships. I agree with you, but my experience may be different. I have built relationships, but now they are friendships rather than business ties.nnIt has me wondering what, if any, is the relevance of the presence of large corporations in social media, unless it is to add backlinks and better SEO and SEM. I don’t really follow any brands (and if I do, obviously their tweets are so insignificant to me that I don’t even remember if I am following them).nnInteresting point, what you have said about it above:nnAs @richmeyer points out in one of his tweets (see right) – most of us don’t want a relationship with Nespresso, except maybe George Clooney. We are satisfied with good value, and fast and courteous service.nnAnd I have to admit that I cringe every time I see a corporation asking me, as a customer or captive audience to their advertising, to follow them on Twitter or be friends with them on Facebook. I laughed when I saw that my tax processing company has those invitations in their email signature. What??? Be friends with the people who send my tax money to the IRS? Yeah, right. I’d rather forget them until next year, thank you.nn2. The other point that stuck out is that you only follow 150 tweeps. How do you feel that impacts you? Do you think you appear less interested in the social connection? I recently read a post someone wrote that really tore into people who are so selective about who they follow yet claim to be interested in social media. I’m just curious about that.nnParticularly because of the rule of 150 (Malcolm Gladwell explains this in The Tipping Point). Did you choose 150 for a specific reason?nnCheers,nTia

  • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

    TiannThanks for this comment.nnI think you raise an interesting issue about large corporations. We can say large corporations including Nestlu00e9 might be using Facebook to push their brands.nnThe latter has responded to consumers feeling uneasy about becoming friends with a brand page and is changing it to ‘like.’ It probably will be easier to like a brand than to be friends with a brand.nnNevertheless, being friends or indicating that I like a brand is maybe of interest but only, if I get freebies or coupons in return. There will always be people who are interested in such kind of things. However, if you are not selling consumer product…. why would you care about 50,000 followers that will not buy your machine or power plant anyway?nnFollowing my 100 people or so on Twitter plus checking out a few others tweets regularly using my browser window may indicate that I do not want to connect on Twitter to every thing but:nn1) I use Twitter to get intelligence/links and learn in the processn2) I connect on Xing/LinkedIn and, gosh, using eMail and commenting on blogs,n3) finally, I build relationships by talking on the phone (VoIP like Google Talk) and ultimately if geographically feasible meeting face-to-face.nnSo Twitter for me is just the first start as discussed here:nWhy social networking groups fail – linknThereafter it might continue on my blog or the other person’s blog, and a group on LinkedIn or Xing likenSM Monitoring – link – with exclusive coffee break webinars linknMy greatest challenge is to watch the time… Which might explain why some people are reluctant to get too much involved.nnTia thanks for this nice and helpful feedback.

  • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

    TiannThanks for this comment.nnI think you raise an interesting issue about large corporations. We can say large corporations including Nestlu00e9 might be using Facebook to push their brands.nnThe latter has responded to consumers feeling uneasy about becoming friends with a brand page and is changing it to ‘like.’ It probably will be easier to like a brand than to be friends with a brand.nnNevertheless, being friends or indicating that I like a brand is maybe of interest but only, if I get freebies or coupons in return. There will always be people who are interested in such kind of things. However, if you are not selling consumer product…. why would you care about 50,000 followers that will not buy your machine or power plant anyway?nnFollowing my 100 people or so on Twitter plus checking out a few others tweets regularly using my browser window may indicate that I do not want to connect on Twitter to every thing but:nn1) I use Twitter to get intelligence/links and learn in the processn2) I connect on Xing/LinkedIn and, gosh, using eMail and commenting on blogs,n3) finally, I build relationships by talking on the phone (VoIP like Google Talk) and ultimately if geographically feasible meeting face-to-face.nnSo Twitter for me is just the first start as discussed here:nWhy social networking groups fail – linknThereafter it might continue on my blog or the other person’s blog, and a group on LinkedIn or Xing likenSM Monitoring – link – with exclusive coffee break webinars linknMy greatest challenge is to watch the time… Which might explain why some people are reluctant to get too much involved.nnTia thanks for this nice and helpful feedback.

  • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

    TiannThanks for this comment.nnI think you raise an interesting issue about large corporations. We can say large corporations including Nestlu00e9 might be using Facebook to push their brands.nnThe latter has responded to consumers feeling uneasy about becoming friends with a brand page and is changing it to ‘like.’ It probably will be easier to like a brand than to be friends with a brand.nnNevertheless, being friends or indicating that I like a brand is maybe of interest but only, if I get freebies or coupons in return. There will always be people who are interested in such kind of things. However, if you are not selling consumer product…. why would you care about 50,000 followers that will not buy your machine or power plant anyway?nnFollowing my 100 people or so on Twitter plus checking out a few others tweets regularly using my browser window may indicate that I do not want to connect on Twitter to every thing but:nn1) I use Twitter to get intelligence/links and learn in the processn2) I connect on Xing/LinkedIn and, gosh, using eMail and commenting on blogs,n3) finally, I build relationships by talking on the phone (VoIP like Google Talk) and ultimately if geographically feasible meeting face-to-face.nnSo Twitter for me is just the first start as discussed here:nWhy social networking groups fail – linknThereafter it might continue on my blog or the other person’s blog, and a group on LinkedIn or Xing likenSM Monitoring – link – with exclusive coffee break webinars linknMy greatest challenge is to watch the time… Which might explain why some people are reluctant to get too much involved.nnTia thanks for this nice and helpful feedback.

  • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

    TiannThanks for this comment.nnI think you raise an interesting issue about large corporations. We can say large corporations including Nestlu00e9 might be using Facebook to push their brands.nnThe latter has responded to consumers feeling uneasy about becoming friends with a brand page and is changing it to ‘like.’ It probably will be easier to like a brand than to be friends with a brand.nnNevertheless, being friends or indicating that I like a brand is maybe of interest but only, if I get freebies or coupons in return. There will always be people who are interested in such kind of things. However, if you are not selling consumer product…. why would you care about 50,000 followers that will not buy your machine or power plant anyway?nnFollowing my 100 people or so on Twitter plus checking out a few others tweets regularly using my browser window may indicate that I do not want to connect on Twitter to every thing but:nn1) I use Twitter to get intelligence/links and learn in the processn2) I connect on Xing/LinkedIn and, gosh, using eMail and commenting on blogs,n3) finally, I build relationships by talking on the phone (VoIP like Google Talk) and ultimately if geographically feasible meeting face-to-face.nnSo Twitter for me is just the first start as discussed here:nWhy social networking groups fail – linknThereafter it might continue on my blog or the other person’s blog, and a group on LinkedIn or Xing likenSM Monitoring – link – with exclusive coffee break webinars linknMy greatest challenge is to watch the time… Which might explain why some people are reluctant to get too much involved.nnTia thanks for this nice and helpful feedback.

  • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

    TiannThanks for this comment.nnI think you raise an interesting issue about large corporations. We can say large corporations including Nestlu00e9 might be using Facebook to push their brands.nnThe latter has responded to consumers feeling uneasy about becoming friends with a brand page and is changing it to ‘like.’ It probably will be easier to like a brand than to be friends with a brand.nnNevertheless, being friends or indicating that I like a brand is maybe of interest but only, if I get freebies or coupons in return. There will always be people who are interested in such kind of things. However, if you are not selling consumer product…. why would you care about 50,000 followers that will not buy your machine or power plant anyway?nnFollowing my 100 people or so on Twitter plus checking out a few others tweets regularly using my browser window may indicate that I do not want to connect on Twitter to every thing but:nn1) I use Twitter to get intelligence/links and learn in the processn2) I connect on Xing/LinkedIn and, gosh, using eMail and commenting on blogs,n3) finally, I build relationships by talking on the phone (VoIP like Google Talk) and ultimately if geographically feasible meeting face-to-face.nnSo Twitter for me is just the first start as discussed here:nWhy social networking groups fail – linknThereafter it might continue on my blog or the other person’s blog, and a group on LinkedIn or Xing likenSM Monitoring – link – with exclusive coffee break webinars linknMy greatest challenge is to watch the time… Which might explain why some people are reluctant to get too much involved.nnTia thanks for this nice and helpful feedback.

  • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

    TiannThanks for this comment.nnI think you raise an interesting issue about large corporations. We can say large corporations including Nestlu00e9 might be using Facebook to push their brands.nnThe latter has responded to consumers feeling uneasy about becoming friends with a brand page and is changing it to ‘like.’ It probably will be easier to like a brand than to be friends with a brand.nnNevertheless, being friends or indicating that I like a brand is maybe of interest but only, if I get freebies or coupons in return. There will always be people who are interested in such kind of things. However, if you are not selling consumer product…. why would you care about 50,000 followers that will not buy your machine or power plant anyway?nnFollowing my 100 people or so on Twitter plus checking out a few others tweets regularly using my browser window may indicate that I do not want to connect on Twitter to every thing but:nn1) I use Twitter to get intelligence/links and learn in the processn2) I connect on Xing/LinkedIn and, gosh, using eMail and commenting on blogs,n3) finally, I build relationships by talking on the phone (VoIP like Google Talk) and ultimately if geographically feasible meeting face-to-face.nnSo Twitter for me is just the first start as discussed here:nWhy social networking groups fail – linknThereafter it might continue on my blog or the other person’s blog, and a group on LinkedIn or Xing likenSM Monitoring – link – with exclusive coffee break webinars linknMy greatest challenge is to watch the time… Which might explain why some people are reluctant to get too much involved.nnTia thanks for this nice and helpful feedback.

  • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

    TiannThanks for this comment.nnI think you raise an interesting issue about large corporations. We can say large corporations including Nestlu00e9 might be using Facebook to push their brands.nnThe latter has responded to consumers feeling uneasy about becoming friends with a brand page and is changing it to ‘like.’ It probably will be easier to like a brand than to be friends with a brand.nnNevertheless, being friends or indicating that I like a brand is maybe of interest but only, if I get freebies or coupons in return. There will always be people who are interested in such kind of things. However, if you are not selling consumer product…. why would you care about 50,000 followers that will not buy your machine or power plant anyway?nnFollowing my 100 people or so on Twitter plus checking out a few others tweets regularly using my browser window may indicate that I do not want to connect on Twitter to every thing but:nn1) I use Twitter to get intelligence/links and learn in the processn2) I connect on Xing/LinkedIn and, gosh, using eMail and commenting on blogs,n3) finally, I build relationships by talking on the phone (VoIP like Google Talk) and ultimately if geographically feasible meeting face-to-face.nnSo Twitter for me is just the first start as discussed here:nWhy social networking groups fail – linknThereafter it might continue on my blog or the other person’s blog, and a group on LinkedIn or Xing likenSM Monitoring – link – with exclusive coffee break webinars linknMy greatest challenge is to watch the time… Which might explain why some people are reluctant to get too much involved.nnTia thanks for this nice and helpful feedback.

  • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

    TiannThanks for this comment.nnI think you raise an interesting issue about large corporations. We can say large corporations including Nestlu00e9 might be using Facebook to push their brands.nnThe latter has responded to consumers feeling uneasy about becoming friends with a brand page and is changing it to ‘like.’ It probably will be easier to like a brand than to be friends with a brand.nnNevertheless, being friends or indicating that I like a brand is maybe of interest but only, if I get freebies or coupons in return. There will always be people who are interested in such kind of things. However, if you are not selling consumer product…. why would you care about 50,000 followers that will not buy your machine or power plant anyway?nnFollowing my 100 people or so on Twitter plus checking out a few others tweets regularly using my browser window may indicate that I do not want to connect on Twitter to every thing but:nn1) I use Twitter to get intelligence/links and learn in the processn2) I connect on Xing/LinkedIn and, gosh, using eMail and commenting on blogs,n3) finally, I build relationships by talking on the phone (VoIP like Google Talk) and ultimately if geographically feasible meeting face-to-face.nnSo Twitter for me is just the first start as discussed here:nWhy social networking groups fail – linknThereafter it might continue on my blog or the other person’s blog, and a group on LinkedIn or Xing likenSM Monitoring – link – with exclusive coffee break webinars linknMy greatest challenge is to watch the time… Which might explain why some people are reluctant to get too much involved.nnTia thanks for this nice and helpful feedback.

  • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

    TiannThanks for this comment.nnI think you raise an interesting issue about large corporations. We can say large corporations including Nestlu00e9 might be using Facebook to push their brands.nnThe latter has responded to consumers feeling uneasy about becoming friends with a brand page and is changing it to ‘like.’ It probably will be easier to like a brand than to be friends with a brand.nnNevertheless, being friends or indicating that I like a brand is maybe of interest but only, if I get freebies or coupons in return. There will always be people who are interested in such kind of things. However, if you are not selling consumer product…. why would you care about 50,000 followers that will not buy your machine or power plant anyway?nnFollowing my 100 people or so on Twitter plus checking out a few others tweets regularly using my browser window may indicate that I do not want to connect on Twitter to every thing but:nn1) I use Twitter to get intelligence/links and learn in the processn2) I connect on Xing/LinkedIn and, gosh, using eMail and commenting on blogs,n3) finally, I build relationships by talking on the phone (VoIP like Google Talk) and ultimately if geographically feasible meeting face-to-face.nnSo Twitter for me is just the first start as discussed here:nWhy social networking groups fail – linknThereafter it might continue on my blog or the other person’s blog, and a group on LinkedIn or Xing likenSM Monitoring – link – with exclusive coffee break webinars linknMy greatest challenge is to watch the time… Which might explain why some people are reluctant to get too much involved.nnTia thanks for this nice and helpful feedback.

  • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

    TiannThanks for this comment.nnI think you raise an interesting issue about large corporations. We can say large corporations including Nestlu00e9 might be using Facebook to push their brands.nnThe latter has responded to consumers feeling uneasy about becoming friends with a brand page and is changing it to ‘like.’ It probably will be easier to like a brand than to be friends with a brand.nnNevertheless, being friends or indicating that I like a brand is maybe of interest but only, if I get freebies or coupons in return. There will always be people who are interested in such kind of things. However, if you are not selling consumer product…. why would you care about 50,000 followers that will not buy your machine or power plant anyway?nnFollowing my 100 people or so on Twitter plus checking out a few others tweets regularly using my browser window may indicate that I do not want to connect on Twitter to every thing but:nn1) I use Twitter to get intelligence/links and learn in the processn2) I connect on Xing/LinkedIn and, gosh, using eMail and commenting on blogs,n3) finally, I build relationships by talking on the phone (VoIP like Google Talk) and ultimately if geographically feasible meeting face-to-face.nnSo Twitter for me is just the first start as discussed here:nWhy social networking groups fail – linknThereafter it might continue on my blog or the other person’s blog, and a group on LinkedIn or Xing likenSM Monitoring – link – with exclusive coffee break webinars linknMy greatest challenge is to watch the time… Which might explain why some people are reluctant to get too much involved.nnTia thanks for this nice and helpful feedback.

  • bizchickblogs

    Wow! Tons of great points here. Two stand out to me.

    1. The one that stands out the most is the question about relationships. I agree with you, but my experience may be different. I have built relationships, but now they are friendships rather than business ties.

    It has me wondering what, if any, is the relevance of the presence of large corporations in social media, unless it is to add backlinks and better SEO and SEM. I don't really follow any brands (and if I do, obviously their tweets are so insignificant to me that I don't even remember if I am following them).

    Interesting point, what you have said about it above:

    As @richmeyer points out in one of his tweets (see right) – most of us don't want a relationship with Nespresso, except maybe George Clooney. We are satisfied with good value, and fast and courteous service.

    And I have to admit that I cringe every time I see a corporation asking me, as a customer or captive audience to their advertising, to follow them on Twitter or be friends with them on Facebook. I laughed when I saw that my tax processing company has those invitations in their email signature. What??? Be friends with the people who send my tax money to the IRS? Yeah, right. I'd rather forget them until next year, thank you.

    2. The other point that stuck out is that you only follow 150 tweeps. How do you feel that impacts you? Do you think you appear less interested in the social connection? I recently read a post someone wrote that really tore into people who are so selective about who they follow yet claim to be interested in social media. I'm just curious about that.

    Particularly because of the rule of 150 (Malcolm Gladwell explains this in The Tipping Point). Did you choose 150 for a specific reason?

    Cheers,
    Tia

  • http://My.ComMetrics.com Urs E. Gattiker

    Tia

    Thanks for this comment.

    I think you raise an interesting issue about large corporations. We can say large corporations including Nestlé might be using Facebook to push their brands.

    The latter has responded to consumers feeling uneasy about becoming friends with a brand page and is changing it to 'like.' It probably will be easier to like a brand than to be friends with a brand.

    Nevertheless, being friends or indicating that I like a brand is maybe of interest but only, if I get freebies or coupons in return. There will always be people who are interested in such kind of things. However, if you are not selling consumer product…. why would you care about 50,000 followers that will not buy your machine or power plant anyway?

    Following my 100 people or so on Twitter plus checking out a few others tweets regularly using my browser window may indicate that I do not want to connect on Twitter to every thing but:

    1) I use Twitter to get intelligence/links and learn in the process
    2) I connect on Xing/LinkedIn and, gosh, using eMail and commenting on blogs,
    3) finally, I build relationships by talking on the phone (VoIP like Google Talk) and ultimately if geographically feasible meeting face-to-face.

    So Twitter for me is just the first start as discussed here:
    Why social networking groups fail – link
    Thereafter it might continue on my blog or the other person's blog, and a group on LinkedIn or Xing like
    SM Monitoring – link – with exclusive coffee break webinars link
    My greatest challenge is to watch the time… Which might explain why some people are reluctant to get too much involved.

    Tia thanks for this nice and helpful feedback.

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