The question was raised earlier this week and I thought it’d make a useful post.
Before asking how to use Twitter (or any other similar service), I think you really need to be able to answer the question: Why?
What is your business goal? Clearly defining the business goal takes you a significant (95% ?) of the way toward defining how you want to use Twitter, FB, or any of the others. What business are you in? This defines which social networks you want to focus on. Maybe Twitter’s not where you’ll get the best bang for your buck; just because it’s trendy doesn’t mean it’s all there is.
Assuming you have some business goals,
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you know what you want to achieve, and then you need to specifically ask the Why question. A lot of people I’ve spoken to regarding Twitter (to a lesser degree Facebook), don’t have a reason. Even those tweeting on work topics don’t have an answer to Why. The question (naturally) caused me to think about searching online.
Funny, I came across a rather interesting blog posting, “Defining Twitter Goals: A Tip for Successful Use of Twitter.” Catch it here. The author speaks to exactly these issues.
For me, the goal is to develop brand awareness, personal exposure, and drive awareness of this blog (which furthers the first two). By extension, the intent is to provide evidence of my own value, to encourage you to buy. My comments (e.g. Twitter tweets) focus on valuable content, not done too frequently, aligned with my core messages. Most of what I tweet is in direct support of my professional efforts. Only about 15-20% is casual. In all cases, they’re done being aware that everything is now, permanently, public forever.
The effort’s effectiveness is very slowly showing evidence. Attending in-person networking events, I now encounter people who, ‘…have heard of you (me)….’ Blog awareness is increasing as measured by traffic and RSS subscriptions. And, yes, I’m beginning to get some phone calls from people who’ve seen me only online heretofore. My efforts on Facebook are very similar though adjusted for the particular venue.
So, how to use social networking to achieve business goals? Define what the goals are. Have an answer as to ‘why’ you want to post anything online. Make sure what you do post is consistent and supports what you want to achieve. I won’t carry on too much more, there are a plethora of other bloggers who’ve written on related topics.