This is an excerpt from “Twitter for Business: Twitter for Friends” that relates to getting to know people using Twitter and creating good habits. I hope that you will enjoy it.
Tweeting With Strangers?
Are we tweeting with strangers? This question surely makes sense to a lot of people. You may wonder how to meet people with Twitter or how a person can possibly ever feel they have developed friendships and alliances using the Internet. Can you imagine developing meaningful personal and business relationships using what has sometimes even been so misunderstood to be called an “Update Service”? It is often the case that a proper answer is far lengthier than the question. Fortunately, that is why you have this book. Just to ease the burning question of whether we are just tweeting with strangers, I will give you the simple answer, which is “no”.
A more in-depth look at the question at hand will reveal that many great relationships begin with a greeting far shorter than the 140 character limitation of Twitter. Think about how many times you met somebody and the first thing you said to them was simply “Hi”. Consider how you met your dearest friends, or even your spouse. If you can recall the very first communication, it likely all began with one single sentence. Sure, you may have had a great conversation, but when it started, you said something, and then you listened to what they had to say. I trust that you can see where I am going with this.
Is there a right or wrong way to use Twitter?
There are some things that you would surely not wish to reveal in public, and there are some things that you will share with some friends but not with others. There are clearly things that are against the rules of Twitter, and of society for that matter. However, when it comes to Twitter, what I want to make abundantly clear is that the people using Twitter truly are as unique as those you would meet in a shopping mall, restaurant, your children’s school, or anywhere else. You can meet many types, and each has a unique style of using Twitter. Being yourself is far better than trying to conform to how anybody may tell you to use the service. Be real, be yourself, and rest assured that there will be many others who will like you just the way you are.
Overcoming Shyness, Hesitation, and Laziness
If I could help eradicate shyness, hesitation, and laziness just by writing a book, we would really have something special there, right? If this book even makes a significant impact in those areas, I will clearly have a better 2010 racing season than I ever expected. You are surely wondering what the heck this has to do with racing, but pay close attention! You see, you just learned more about me. Yes, I am a race car driver. I instruct high performance driving and racing skills for Porsche Club of America, Audi Club North America, BMW Club of America, race tracks, and several other driving courses including Street Survival (http://streetsurvival.org) for young drivers. It is my burning desire to race cars full time, while considering the stuff that pays me to be my hobby. I also love to help others race better, faster, and safer. I am very accomplished in this area. If you were receiving my tweets, you may have even seen me send a tweet of one of my on-track videos or show my Cop Magnet race Webcast at http://copmagnet.com. So what does this have to do with social media and Twitter, you must ask? It has everything to do with listening to people and realizing that you can meet and get to know people much more easily when you know something about them.
Enter a Warm Conversation
When entering a warm conversation, you are not making cold connections with people you know nothing about. Not unlike any in-person social gathering, if you observe what is around you, there are many ways to tactfully join into a conversation. If I tweet about it, then it is clearly not meant to be private. If somebody tweets about auto racing and you like the sport, send them a message. It could be as simple as saying “I see that you teach teen drivers. Do you know a good school in Atlanta?” It is very non-threatening, and how do you really expect somebody to answer that? I can tell you that it will normally be met with a very friendly response. Twitter users are there to meet other people, so don’t be shy.
Hesitation: The Real Enemy is You!
When I think of hesitation, I picture the person who simply waits for good things to fall into their lap. I receive many telephone calls from people who say they have a great product or service they want to bring to market, but then never follow through with a plan. When it begins to look like an effort is required, many people will hesitate. I used to take a lot more time following up with these people, but I found that they will generally hesitate for at least six to twelve months before they even take the slightest action. Sure, you could assume that a simple call from me could prompt action on their part, but at what cost? If I spend my time chasing the people who talk more than act, I am reducing myself little by little into their mediocrity. So many of them will tell me about how their plans changed, their committee needs to meet again, or that they are still excited to work with me. The bottom line is that in the time they hesitate, the highest cost is accruing right under their nose. This cost is that of lost opportunity. When you hesitate and talk about thinking about considering possibly one day doing something to improve your network of friends and business relations, you are only hurting yourself.
Laziness: 3 Simple Steps
On the topic of laziness, it is easy to spot. Maybe I could come up with a gentler word for it, but so many of the things you wish you could achieve with social media, yet have not, come down to laziness. You can say that you just don’t have the time for it, but that is quite often simply an excuse. You have the same amount of time the rest of us have, but an important question is in whether you are using that time doing the right things. Did you make an effort to reach out and meet somebody new today? Have you taken steps today to create a stronger and wiser approach to achieving your social media goals tomorrow? If not, how could you possibly expect positive results?
I am going to give you three daily tasks to perform that, when done consistently over time, will curb your laziness and give you more of what you want.
Step 1. Meet somebody new today on Twitter! If you cannot think of anything to say to them, keep looking until you find somebody who interests you more. You will see funny stuff on Twitter all the time. Maybe you can just comment on their wit. Whatever it is that sparked your interest, let them know. Something, anything, just go meet somebody! Start a dialog, even if it as simple as “Hi”, but even better, find out to whom you are saying “Hi”.
Step 2. Communicate with the new person in Step 1 every day for at least a week. If you have chosen somebody you found interesting, you will want to do this anyway. Wish them a good day, ask if they are still _____, find out how their kid’s school program went … just say something. I am not saying that you should force out something that is not genuine, I am saying that if you want to get to know somebody, you must make an effort.
Step 3. Repeat Step 1 and Step 2 every day for 30 days! At the end of 30 days, you will have made some new friends and you will be well on your way with a new and positive habit.
If you are disappointed with your social networking and social media marketing efforts, laziness is likely the first place to look. This is true with many things missing in your life. Are you making every effort to reach out and use the tools at your disposal? Do you ever find yourself thinking that you just don’t have the time to keep trying something that does not show you an immediate benefit? Follow these three simple steps. If it does not benefit you the way you expected, the worst scenario is that it still helped.
If you will spend the time to know and care about others, you will build relationships based on far more than the few words that you see in a tweet. The basic principle here is to open your eyes and really see what people are telling you. The question of “Who are these Twitter people?” will soon fade away.
If you like what you have found here, please order “Twitter for Business: Twitter for Friends” at Amazon.com.