In my efforts to get my coach active on Twitter I asked my Twitter Guru – Chris Spiek of Awecomm Technologies – to get her on board. Minus the pleasantries, here’s his email to her word for word. Great advice for any entrepreneur just starting out on “The Twitter”.
I’d say that starting to use Twitter is like quitting smoking. If you’re curious about it and you’re willing to commit to it for a few days, you’ll probably have success and get a lot out of it. If you’re truly just not interested in it, then don’t bother.
Start by creating a Twitter account and following people that you know personally (me – @chriscbs and @alesya included). Then go to Google and do some searches for people that you’re interested in within your industry, and the word Twitter; e.g. Guy Kawasaki Twitter, Steven Covey Twitter, etc. It’s probably the easiest way to find people’s twitter feeds and quickly add people. At this point you’ll at least be able to get a feel for how it works and how people interact.
With regards to a true social media strategy, you’ll have to adopt the way you push content out on Twitter to how you’re trying to grow your coaching business. If you blog, it’s a great way to get people to read your new posts. If you don’t, find some industry people that are blogging and start conversations with them about their recent posts. It’s a quick and easy way to build a strong reputation.
Finally, I’m a huge fan of a piece of software called Tweetdeck. Download it after you have your twitter account and give it a try. It will allow you to save searches for terms (e.g. “business coaching”) so you can quickly see the latest things that people have said related to that term e.g. “I’m looking for a business coach in Troy, Michigan – can anyone recommend someone good?” It’s an easy way to jump into conversations. Saved searches are displayed as columns, so it’s easy to manage a lot of them. If something interests me, I add it as a saved search.
Over time you’ll probably accumulate lots of followers, and in-turn, end up following a lot of people back (it’s the polite thing to do, unless they’re spammers or they don’t have a real picture as their avatar – I make it a point not to follow logos). For this reason, I also like to create a couple of extra columns in Tweetdeck which makes it easy for me to scan in the morning over coffee, and throughout the day. I call one “Real Friends.” These are people I know in real life. When I open Twitter I want to make sure that I see things that they’ve written, even if I’ve been away for a while. The other is “Influential” – people in my industry that I know I need to keep up with.
I know this is a lot to take in. If you have questions or want to talk through anything over the phone, let me know.
P.S. As if there weren’t enough reasons to use Twitter, apparently if you ever find yourself imprisoned in Afghanistan, Twitter will help you escape - http://gizmodo.com/5632247/imprisoned-journalist-tweets-status-from-captors-cellphone