Later today, I’ll be delivering a presentation on social media to Mindjet with our manager of global communications, Phil Novack. While the presentation is a basic overview, it left me thinking about my own social media strategy as a Mindjet evangelist. How could I best use this blog, my participation in Facebook, Mindjet communities in LinkedIn and NING as well as communities like David Allen’s GTD Connect and other places were customers and prospects spend time.
I’ve found one tool to be particularly promising as a way to reach both customers and prospects: Twitter!
Twitter Basics: If you haven’t heard of Twitter, check it out. Here are some of the basics:
- Twitter is a microblog, which means you can post statements, called tweets.
- Tweets are limited to 140 characters.
- There are millions of Twitter users and the site is growing fast.
- It’s free to use and has a growing eco-system of companies building tools to augment Twitter’s capabilities.
- You can Twitter from just about anywhere with your computer, phone, or many third party applications.
- Members are known by their usernames. You can learn more about them from their brief bios and links to their website or blogs.
- When you find interesting people or people talking about subjects you’re interested in, ‘follow’ them. This is like making ‘friends’ on social networks like Facebook or ‘business contacts’ in LinkedIn. It also creates a subset of tweets to read making it easier for you to find relevant information and links.
- Others will follow you too! This is important if you’d like to use Twitter for sales, marketing, PR, support, etc…
- You can tweet to the public, reply to specific people publicly by including the @ symbol in front of their username (e.g. @MichaelDeutch) or send private direct message to followers.
- People tweet breaking news, questions, thoughts, answers, interesting or promotional links, blog posts, quotes and more…
- If you don’t have a strategy or purpose for using Twitter, you’ll likely either waste your time or stop using it. Check it out, see how others are using it successfully, build a plan and jump in!
- And finally, don’t just broadcast on Twitter, be a part of the community by answering questions and sharing useful information and links.
20 Ways to Twitter for Business: So, Mindjet has been using Twitter for a little over a year now. In November, I signed up and started tweeting. Based on what I’ve seen and in some cases tried, I pulled together a list of some of the successful ways that you could you use Twitter for business:
- Hear what customers are saying about your brand using Twitter Search or TweetScan.
- Learn what people are saying about your competitor’s brand.
- Use other services like TweetBeep to email you when people tweet about keywords or brands that you want to follow.
- Learn from your critics and make course-corrections.
- Ask questions about how people are using your software, product or service.
- Find out about what they’d like to see improved. Just ask. Customers are more than happy to connect with someone real!
- Attract people who are interested in what you have to say, offer or sell. Really, I’ve met 500 people in two months and I’ve just started to think about how to use Twitter more strategically. By the way, did I mention that you can connect with me at @MichaelDeutch 😉
- Create a new business that serves millions of customers (e.g. HARO, TweetLater, and more…)
- Launch a new sales channel (e.g. @DellOutlet).
- Find great people to hire! For example, @PRSarahEvans is looking to help people find PR or communication jobs. Hiring? Contact Sarah. Looking? Check out Twitter for leads & new connections.
- Retweet what others have to share and they are likely to return the favor. This can extend the reach of your message to thousands of new people.
- Promote your product, blog, website, book, etc… But don’t hide behind the technology and start spamming. Provide value and engage and help others too!
- Seek new media coverage by following @skydiver and @profnet.
- Run an innovative marketing campaign. For instance, @ChrisBrogan ran an innovative social media campaign for Kmart using his blog and Twitter. If you want to learn about social media, you can learn a lot from Chris.
- Solve customer issues proactively. Gaelen O’Connell has been the voice behind @Mindjet since it was created. She has spent many hours working with our customer and technical support teams to answer a ton of user questions.
- Test new marketing messages and conduct product research using Twitter as your Focus Group.
- Share ideas, inspiration and support others.
- Connect with thought leaders and industry experts.
- Grow your personal and corporate brand.
- And last but not least, build stronger relationships with your customers!
Just yesterday, I noticed on Twitter that a Mindjet customer Robin Capper, was in San Francisco for business meetings. Robin is an avid CAD, Design & IT blogger, that lives in New Zealand. I immediately ‘tweeted’ an invite to Robin to come out to our office so I could introduce him to the Mindjet team. Check out Robin’s 100+ blog posts on Mindjet!!! Robin, it was great to meet you!
I also recently met via Twitter, international sales specialist, Cindy King. After exchanging some tweets and a real phone conversation, Cindy invited me to be interviewed for a future podcast on her web site! Cindy developed her Twitter strategy with, you guessed it, MindManager. She attracted me with her posts! I’ve invited her to share her successful approach in a future Mindjet webinar. Another great example of how business connections are made via Twitter.
Chuck Frey, a blogger that writes about MindMapping software recently posted an article on Mindmapers that Twitter. Join me, @MichaelDeutch, @Mindjet, @ChuckFrey, @JamieNast and others in our growing mapping conversation online! And start growing your own business at the same time!
So, are you tweeting? Have you mapped out your Twitter or social media strategy? Share how you’re using social media for business below or, you can always tweet me! And while you’re at it, you can also retweet this post to your followers!