Trust, Tips and Tools for New Twitter Users

“Trust” is the new marketing
When people trust you, they’ll do business with you and refer you to their friends. The trust comes after you’ve proven certain things to people:

  • Demonstrated, over and over and over, that you care and want to help.
  • Given away a lot of valuable information that, some people, may have found out eventually but only after spending hours and hours of research and trial and error. You’ve saved them time, frustration and money.
  • Your online reputation is spotless: as people hunt for information about you, what they’re really doing is making sure you’re the right choice for (whatever it is you’re selling and whatever it is that they’re buying). This is why it’s so important to have your brand in place and walking the talk in your Web site; blog; Twitter background; Tweets (the messages you’re sharing); your LinkedIn profile is meeting certain criteria, such as a high number of people in your network and plenty of endorsements (and many other criteria); and on and on.

This is why I say that “trust” is the new marketing: people must trust you before they do business with you or before they donate money to your non-profit cause. Credibility is key. Attract your tribe (Seth Godin wrote Tribes–I highly recommend you read it) through your brand and keep delivering what you promise and you’ll do great.

Summary of what Twitter is:

Twitter helps us get to know people so well that we trust them and refer our networks to them.

Twitter gives us access to the thoughts and ideas of people we never would have had access to had this micro-blogging tool not been created.

Twitter is many things:

  • a living, breathing help engine (as opposed to a static, one-way search engine);
  • a way to build a community of like-minded people (your tribe);
  • a way to get more business;
  • a way to evolve the human race.

It’s a listening tool to improve your brand and customer service.

It’s a research and development tool: ask people for feedback on ideas you have (“crowd sourcing”).

It’s an emergency alert system for many cities.

Twitterers know about news as it’s happening with eye witnesses tweeting about events they’re part of, in the moment that it’s happening.

Twitter is a way to stay in touch and become part of the human conciousness. When we care more about others, we create more love. When we create more love, instead of hate, we evolve as a human race.

One day, we’ll have Social Capitol instead of traditional collateral and our Social Networks will be our investors who clearly see our good activities documented online (Online Reputation) and will want to invest their money in our companies because they trust us.

Tips for people brand new to Social Networking: get your house in order before you get social.
1. Your brand is what people connect with. Like a tribe leader, you’ll attract followers and raving fans; get more referrals and grow your business when you’re clear on your brand and it resonates with certain groups of people. Marketing companies are excellent at helping people create their brands. (Read Seth Godin’s “Tribes” book.)

2. Create a Twitter plan with a goal: figure out your strategy; and write your objectives so you can begin to achieve them. Do a lot of research on your own or consult with someone who’s had success using Twitter to grow their company. This plan should include polishing your Twitter bio: you’re allowed 160 characters to describe yourself, so make the most of it.

3. Your Twitter profile can link to one URL: whatever it’s linking to, (your Web site or blog or LinkedIn profile or YouTube video), make sure it’s ready to be viewed by thousands of people. People will judge you by your Web site, so be sure they’re turned on by what they see and not turned off.

4. Attract people with your photo. Have a professional photographer capture your “essence” with a great photo of you. Remember that you are part of your brand. A powerful way to attract your followers is with your photo. Take time to do it right. (Or maybe you’ll opt for an illustration or caricature). Whatever it is: make people connect to it emotionally (they should say things like  “ahhh”  or “cool!” when they see it.)

5. More branding: Get a custom designed Twitter background that includes that great photo of you and more information, such as your other Social Media links, so people can check you out and determine whether or not they want to do business with you or refer you to their friends. You could launch your Twitter account without a custom background but you’ll gain more followers when you have a custom background, simply because, if done right, it’s an extension of your brand–your story.

6. Now you’re ready to create your Twitter account and implement your Twitter plan. See Lori Gama’s blog post for tips on this:

7. Be nice. When participating in Twitter, apply the same etiquette you’d use at a networking event. And be of service to others most of the time and then you can be self-serving the rest of the time (promoting your web site link; blog post; seminar; video; etc.). Thank your followers with personal DM’s (Direct Messages).

8. Stick to your strategy, outlined in your Twitter plan. Remember that you’re going to attract people based on what your bio says; your photo; your Twitter background and your tweets. Be sure to follow your Twitter strategy . For instance, if you decided that most of your tweets would be inspirational quotes, then you’ll end up attracting people who like to re-tweet inspirational quotes. If your goal was to get people to hire you to do whatever it is you do, then, in your tweets,  you should be giving away information that demonstrates your knowledge in that field.

9. Budget your time. Decide on devoting a certain amount of time to Twitter and stick to it. Maybe 60 minutes the first day; 30 minutes the next; and 15 minutes the rest of the week days. By the third day, you’ll start to feel a lot more comfortable.

10. Have fun. Help others. Be nice.

Lori Gama’s Top 10 Twitter Tools

You can see more details about each one of my favorite Twitter Tools by reading my previous blog post: Top 10 Twitter Tools. This is the same list, just shortened for brevity:
1. My absolute favorite tool is (Best “people connections” dashboard)
2. a URL shortener
3. for R & D and viewing conversations.
4. the “Yellow Pages” of Twitter. Use it to find local Tweeple.
5. Manage several profiles in one dashboard.
6. See top endorsements of “#FollowFriday,” a popular hashtag group.
7. Mass follow or unfollow people.
8. Auto-subscribe to people by using a keyword search.
9. Another tool helpful to do #FollowFriday endorsments.
10. use it as a brand monitoring tool. It “listens” for mentions of your brand.

Twitter isn’t necessarily for everyone. But for those of us who already enjoyed networking and helping others in real life, Social Networking feels like it was invented just for us.

I urge you to think in world-shaking terms about Twitter:

I firmly believe it’s evolving us in different aspects other than growing our companies’ revenues: Twitter is evolving us a human race. I’ve said this from the very beginning of my involvement with Twitter in December, 2008.  Read Brian Solis’s latest blog post at his PR 2.0: Significant blog. I feel good because he validates many concepts and visions that I have for Social Media and especially Twitter.  Brian Solis says: “This is very much our moment in which we are empowered to shape how history remembers us.” I totally agree. Please read my March, 2009 blog post The New Renaissance is here and it’s called Web 2.0. You’ll understand the bigger picture of this new world we’re evolving into after you’ve read that and Brian’s post.

It would be delightful if you followed me on Twitter and sent me a tweet introducing yourself: Thanks for reading today and please leave a comment with your Twitter name, too.