I took a little field trip a couple weeks ago and attended the Hartford Business Journal‘s E-Technology Summit in South Windsor. The hot topic of the day was, not surprisingly, social media. It’s hard for some business folks to wrap their heads around how “tweeting” and “friending” will help their business grow.
I kept hearing “How do I integrate it (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) into my business and how exactly can I use it to improve my business’ bottom line?”
I’m still a novice when it comes to integrating “social media” into my business but really Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn ( to name a few) are just communication tools. They are tools that expand the reach or your network.
Most of us know how to network. You listen. You talk. You find out what other people do. You tell people what you do. You see if there is a connection. You try to find people you can use as a resource. You see if you can be a resource to the people you meet. You make new friends. You tell your new friends about other friends who they might find interesting.
In the process of networking, you find business–via referrals, collaboration or strategic alliances. And you learn stuff–stuff that makes you more marketable. This all adds to your bottom line.
The new tools don’t change the concept of networking. But they do expand your network. Now instead of your business network being limited to Hartford, or to your region, you can make friends all over the world. Isn’t that a cool concept?
So, I made a new friend at the E-Technology Summit and she came by my office to have a chat yesterday. She’s a writer, I’m a web designer, so there’s opportunity for collaboration. We talked about the kind of clients we have and the kinds of things we’ve done and are doing.
I mentioned that with the popularity of blogging, there might be great opportunities for writers these days. I brought up the post one of my tweeple (a Twitter contact) made recently about a winery in California that was looking for a writer to blog about wine and food. They were offering a 6-month contract at $10,000 a month. That’s not bad green for eating, drinking and writing.
I saw the light go on in her head. But although she recognized that opportunities were out there in “twitterland” she was still kind of hesitant about the technology. She said she’s been to workshops about social media and they all tell you to “just jump in”. She pointed out that if she were the type of person to “just jump in” she probably wouldn’t be at the workshop.
Point well taken. I didn’t tell her to jump in.
But I did tell her what I did. As I said earlier, I’m a novice, so there are many people who are far more knowledgeable about this than I am. But for all you newbies out there who are afraid to “jump in” here’s how to stick your toe in the “twitter water”.
- Sign up at twitter.com
- You don’t have to answer the question “what are you doing now” (if everyone answered that question honestly there would be a lot of “I just signed up for Twitter and I’m wondering what to do now”)
- Use twitter search to find posts about topics you’re interested in. I might have originally done a few searches, probably for SEO, web design, and Google Android.
- Look through the search results and click on some interesting posts. See an interesting post? Click on the poster’s link – read their other posts. If they seem interesting, click the “Follow” button. Now all the posts that person makes will show up on your screen when you’re logged in.
- The person you “Follow” will get a message and may decide to “Follow” you. You’ve now got your first “follower”.
That’s it. I’m going to stop there. That’s how to stick your toe in the “twitter water”.
Next week I’ll talk about some of my favorite Twitter tools such as TwitterFeed, Twirl, TweetDeck.