Thursday, April 16, 2009

10 Things I Love About Twitter


Haven't you noticed how the media & bloggers simply love Twitter? Even if many (most?) haven't figured out how to use Twitter effectively, they have discovered that any article or post about Twitter will result in traffic. Until recently most of the coverage surrounding Twitter has been positive. However lately it seems that about 1 in 3 are now harping on the negatives of Twitter without a true understanding of the awesome potential it offers people & organizations. I wanted to take some time to share some of the "good" stuff.

10 Things I Love About Twitter

1. The friendships. I have been able to make some amazing friends who I know I'd want to keep in my life even if Twitter disappeared tomorrow. For all that many say about friendships forged through social media being shallow & superficial, I have to strongly disagree.

2. So many interests, so little time. I have a voracious appetite for new information on a variety of different areas. I'm also a news junkie. I've been able to share information I come across with others. I've been able to connect with experts in areas which I'd never have otherwise had access to. The older I get, the more I realize how little I know, how precious time is and how much more I want to discover. Twitter helps fill a void in this respect.

3. It's there when I need it. When I have time between work & real life stuff, I can go to Twitter. Some days I have very little time to tweet. But it is there when I want it.

4. Getting answers & input fast. I've had at least a dozen cases where I've needed to get input on something or find out how to do something. Within minutes someone on Twitter has been able to come to the rescue.

5. Making an impact on others. I'm a firm believer that we are what we put out there. I try to live my life by doing "something" each day to brighten up other people's day. Twitter makes this very easy to do. Let's face it - there's a lot of negativity in the world. Every one of us has a rough day from time to time. Reaching out somehow to others to do something nice not only helps them feel better but also can make us feel better too. It's helped make me happier on a day to day basis because I really don't waste time now on the small stuff. Twitter flows with positivity.

6. Connecting with personal heroes. I've been followed first on Twitter by a number of people I consider to be personal heroes in business. One is a bit of a funny story. A few years back, I was at a dinner with friends. The dinner game of - if you could have dinner with anyone living or dead started. Someone before me mentioned Richard Branson. My next choice was Michael Tchong (he was a tremendous influence for me during my early years doing business on the Internet). I was excited to see he had followed me on Twitter and in my overabundance of enthusiasm, I tweeted about the dinner story. Michael responded, we've stayed connected & hopefully soon I'll be actually meeting him. Another personal hero of mine is Scott McKain. Scott is a business strategist with a unique take on what drives true customer service excellence in organizations. His best-selling books have had tremendous impact on the way I create and manage my businesses. I now regularly communicate with him because of Twitter.

7. Actual business. If you are one of my followers, you'll likely have noticed that I rarely tweet about my businesses. The only times I do are when someone asks me a question. Even then I try and have the courtesy to bring it to DM or an alternate communication method. In spite of this, Twitter generates a substantial amount of business for me. For one of my sites listed in my bio, I am getting anywhere from 5-14 new clients a day - just from Twitter. The lifetime value of clients gained from Twitter per day is averaging $3-4,000 right now. I've had over a dozen domain name sales as a result of Twitter. I've had several very nice size deals for various businesses I operate. The most recent of these is a $20,000 per month 1 year contract. I'm also working with a VC firm on domain valuations & acquisitions for companies they invest in.

8. Money connections. To date five venture capitalist firms have contacted me about investing in businesses I own. All of these contacts stemmed from Twitter. I'm not looking for investors right now, but to have these contacts for the future is invaluable. I've also made numerous contacts who are interested in passively investing in domain names.

9. New doors are opening. Some extremely exciting things have been happening that I could never have foreseen. I've been in talks with a large company to do a daily podcast. A radio station contacted me because of the music I tweet. They asked if I'd be interested in doing a regular show with them once a week. I've been invited to be a guest on many webinars/teleseminars. I have several interviews and guest posts for blogs lined up. I'm also working on a coaching program+workshop series to be held in a dozen different cities.

10. Deals get closed faster. When dealing with contacts made outside of Twitter, I'm finding that my Twitter reputation is enhancing my credibility - thus helping me close deals much faster. This goes both for prospective clients as well as partnerships/joint ventures. They know if I am "out there," I'm not going to risk my reputation over a single deal.

None of the above were benefits I had expected to get from using Twitter. They have all been pleasant surprises and definite reasons why I consider Twitter to be of high value for me. At the same time there are 3 reasons why I had wanted to become active on Twitter - all of which have materialized. I thought it may be worthwhile sharing these too:

1. Networking. I've been able to meet a lot of like-minded people, have traded business leads and have had some private "shop talk" which has been beneficial.

2. Recruiting. Finding talent is difficult. For both full-time and occasional staff, Twitter has proven to be invaluable. Like non-Twitter recruiting, not everything has worked out. But the ability to get an insight into the people I am considering hiring has been invaluable in pre-filtering candidates so that the relationship has a better chance of working.

3. Chronicling some of my life. Although I really don't micro-blog per se, I do share tidbits of what is going on in my life. I doubt I'll ever go back and read it all, but it's still "there" if I ever want to someday.

I'm not implying that anyone using Twitter will be able to benefit from these same 13 things as I have. That's the nice thing about Twitter - we each use it for our own reasons. How we use it helps define our own success. I just wanted to pull up the blind so you may have some idea of the potential that may be waiting for you.

One of the issues many people have about Twitter is that they feel it is too time-consuming. I spend a lot of time on Twitter. In under 4 months, I've accumulated well over 10,000 tweets. I probably average 15-21 hours a week on public tweets. I can appreciate for many small business owners that it is hard enough to find the time to do what needs to get done - never mind indulging in something as seemingly frivolous as tweeting. The key here is - to be able to leverage the power of Twitter, you need to have your business and life organized in such a way that taking advantage of an opportunity like this is possible. Personally, I have no doubt that the ROI on my time has been well worth it. This is part of the reason I will be conducting my upcoming coaching program & workshops - to help share with entrepreneurs & professionals how to strategize and systematize their businesses so that they can focus on what they do best in their business. Info on these programs will be coming up soon :)

Please feel free to share your own successes with Twitter in the comments.

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter too :)

P.S. I'll be posting a follow-up to this next week on the "bad" to provide some balance.

10 comments:

Dr. Ben said...

Thank you, Sharon--what a thorough and heartfelt, personal yet widely applicable view of Twitter. Implicitly "instructional", too, to those of us newer to Twitter...you've led by example, and now it's neat to see more of the thinking and the person beyind the example we see! :)

Michelle said...

Sharon:

I loved your post and wish I could pick my favorite out of your list...most of all, I treasure the true connections & friendships I have formed as a result of Twitter!

I look forward to more of your posts!

Michelle Mangen
Owner, Your Virtual Assistant
http://www.TheVirtualAsst.com

@ruthe said...

Great list! I too love the immediate feedback as you list in #4.

Matthew Bibby said...

Great post - thanks Sharon.

It is interesting to hear that you are closing deals faster with people who don't even use twitter! Matt.

Tony Letts said...

Great stuff Sharon! I am loving Twitter too and would really miss the new friends I have made there. In fact I'm really worried what we would all do if Twitter were to fold (perish the thought)

Brett Borders said...

This is a great list... I didn't realize how much business you could get from Twitter with a large network. Impressive!

Karla said...

Hi Sharon,

This is no "run of the mill" list, the kind you typically see about Twitter. Though it is written about this particular application it is equally relevant to any type of social networking. You provide your readers with real life examples of how you make it work for you, what you give back to others, how you can walk away and come back, the amazing relationships you would likely never have had the opportunity to forge without it and more. This was a great read - no wonder you are successful! Many people will benefit from reading this so I am going to tweet it right now :-) @karla_porter

theresa said...

Great post Sharon, I'm trying to convince my company to "get on board", hopefully in the near future. Thank you!

Maureen said...

Wow - what a great list, Sharon! I'm already a huge fan of Twitter but you made me realize just how impressive it really is. Thanks!

r u s s said...

Although I have not personally experienced Twitter's goodness in terms of Marketing, on a personal level I have certainly come to love Twitter. When I first joined, I was actually surprised that a lot of my real-world friends have Twitter accounts. It's funny when there are times that I message them on their mobile phones and they don't reply! But message them in Twitter ... lo and behold, you get replies.Ü

It's great. I get to keep in touch with friends more. I get my daily dose of news fast & straight. I agree with you that inputs also come in quick. Learning becomes better because you learn from the experiences of other people. Learning is also inter-active and as this happens, in the process, you start building new friendships. Like you.Ü

Have a good weekend Sharon!
@Russsta