Back in December of 2008 I decided to launch Phase II of my “Castain 2.0” campaign by embracing that crazy bird we call “Twitter” For me it was like I showed up and was talking in this huge arena and no one was listening.
I’ll spare you a long, drawn out, play by play and tell you that I wanted to give that bird a bird of my own at least a dozen times.
So, I decided to model the behavior of those who were getting the result I wanted and eventually I too was getting results. I even got used to this strange urge that everyone had to put “tw” in front of every damn word in their vocabulary as in “Tweeps” and “Twanksgiving” but most importantly, I learned some cool things along the way!
Check it out . . .
1) You need to Show Up! I thought about something the folks at Kodak have been saying when it comes to Social Media and trying to measure ROI. Instead we should look at ROI as Return On Ignoring. You see, there’s a conversation going on right now (several actual). The million dollar question is if you will be a part of that conversation. Either way that conversation takes place with or without you. The other thing to consider is that everyone has their preferred venue for communicating. Why limit yourself? My humble suggestion is that you set up a Twitter account by clicking here.
“Show Up” with good content! Ah, I can hear you now. What, pray tell, does one tweet?
Well, aside from industry specific things to demonstrate your expertise, you might want to visit http://stufftotweet.com/ for, well, stuff to tweet! You can also visit http://popurls.com/ for more handy, dandy content.
How about links to useful articles, a tip, a funny “note to self”, links to your own blog etc (with caution)
Tip: Do a cut and paste time saver by preparing your “Tweets” (for some reason I feel dirty when I say that) the night before. Slap them into a word doc or something like Yahoo Notepad and you’re freakin good to go!
2) Listen! As a sales person, Twitter is truly a target rich environment if you know how to listen. One of the reasons why I love Tweetdeck is because I can set up keywords that I want to receive tweets on. I can have topics, I can have industries and hashtags. I can even keep tabs on my competitors. It would absolutely blow your mind what kind of complete disclosure people are willing to offer in these venues. Now I’m not saying that we use that for some sort of evil, but if the conversation is happening and we’re not listening, that’s an opportunity lost! Additionally, I use Twitter Search http://search.twitter.com and search for discussions that I want to jump into that will help me demonstrate my expertise. Just think of the various keywords that represent the space you want to target. Just for the hell of it, go to Twitter search and pop in the name of a company you’re targeting. Having an inside track is a mighty cool thing my friend!
Now that’s the “sales” side of the equation. What you really need to do, is learn to listen to what other people are saying so you can do something too many people miss . . . validate the other person’s thoughts and feelings. If one of my “friends” is talking about how much they miss their kids when they are on the road, I’m all over it. Next thing you know, we’re trading stories about kids and continuing this process of building a relationship.
Now if I don’t listen for this stuff or I’m too busy spewing data, an opportunity is missed for freakin shizzle!
– Rapid Fire Tweeting: This is when you tweet like 6 tweets in a row, all with content you want me to look at. Not bueno!
– The One Way Tweeter (See also “Tool”) This is when all you do is data dump in your tweets with no interaction or response to your followers. Let me ask you a quick question. Do you communicate like that in the real world? Then get a grip and cut the mechanical crap out and have a conversation!
Tip: Know when its time to “Get A Room” (and I’m guilty of this one) This happens when you get into this lengthy dialogue with someone and are completely clueless that you are clogging your followers Twitter stream. You get a room by taking the conversation offline. I’ll get better at this one, I promise!
4) Grow Up! Repeat after me “It aint about me, its about them” Its seems like at times we can all get caught up in our own “Internet Fame” and when we do, we fail to realize that everyone has a story and wants to be heard. What can you do to help someone look like a rock star today?
– Embrace the ReTweet! Chris Brogan says we should promote others 12 times to every time we promote ourselves. ReTweeting is also a great way for you to continue to add value to your network by sharing awesome content.
– Twitter Snobbery: This is when you only RT people who are in your RT club or have your lips affixed to some rock stars ass while dissin your own homies! Twitter Snobbery also occurs when one has a crappy follower to follow ratio. I’m not saying that you have to follow everyone back, but when I see someone with 5,000 followers who only follows 700, my immediate thought is that they aren’t being overly “Social” The final quality of a “Twitter Snob” is when you “@” them with a message and they continually blow you off.
– Repeat after me “Thank You”. That wasn’t so hard was it? Too many people accepting the generosities of others and forget their manners. While I don’t sit and keep a scorecard, it doesn’t exactly encourage me to want to make you look good to my “Tweeps” (still doesn’t feel right saying it) My good friend Kelley Robertson wrote about it in his Fearless Selling blog. Check it out!
Tip: The first word in “Social Networking” is “Social” reflect on that dude!
5) Cross Pollinate: Invite people via Twitter to connect with you on Linkedin, Facebook and visit your blog. (with caution) On those other venues, you should be inviting people to follow you on Twitter. In your email auto signature there should be a Twitter icon for people to follow you. My theory here is that if you and I connect well on a variety of venues, we strengthen our virtual relationship.
6) Transition To “Real Time” Since I just wrote about this yesterday, I’ll spare you the double sermon and ask you to check it out again here and consider applying some of those ideas to Twitter.
My suggestion to you is that you either jump in and give this a try for at least 90 days or (if you’re already on Twitter) you commit to some of these ideas for the next 90 days.
And should you decide to pass on Twitter or even quit Twitter, its all good dude. Your competitor has your back!
Use the #salesplaybook hashtag to tweet sales tips, resources and to swipe a few cool ones for yourself 🙂
Paul Castain works with both organizations and aspiring rock stars to help them achieve new levels of achievement! For more information and a free coaching session with Paul . . . send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org And by all means hurry, we aren’t getting any younger you know!