Are You Twittering?

Ouch!

twitter-logo-are-you-twitteringI’ve been a fuddy-duddy (Bet you haven’t heard that word in a while).  I first heard about Twitter well over a year or so ago and my immediate reaction was, “puleeeze … another texting toy” having nothing to do with salon, spa or beauty pr, and gave it no more thought than that.  I didn’t see the gathering storm.

While watching TV in the evenings, I spend an hour or so on my laptop frequenting PR and blog related websites and blogs ‘intelligence gathering’ trying to stay abreast of the latest-greatest.  Last year, I began to see an increasing number of comments, posts, and references about Twitter.  First only a few, then a steady stream, and recently, a torrent of thoughts and comments on the virtues of Twitter.  The comments were from highly respected people, marketers, companies, and business magazines. Hmmm. What have I missed.  As I read, I began to grasp what Twitter brought to the table for us ‘grups’ (an old Star Trek reference: grownups) … it brings “Value”.

Panning for Gold

Latest estimate is that over 4 million people are now following Twitter’s masthead instruction, “What are you doing”?  Personally, I like the question, “What has your interest”. The numbers of users has increased almost exponentially since spring of 2008 … from 1 to 4 million.  It’s a true web phenomenon.  It’s certainly not texters anymore.

Yes, there’s a lot of silly stuff being twittered about like, “I’m eating a peanut butter sandwich” or, “I’m headed off to watch television now“, but now there is also a large population of remarkable, intelligent, and interesting people with great expertise, sharing things you do want to know about!.  They are not answering the question ‘what they are doing … they are telling you ‘ what has their attention‘.  So, as in every other aspect of your life, you simply ‘pan for the gold nuggets’, bypassing the boring and ‘following’ those that offer value to you.  Who you follow and ‘unfollow’ is up to you.  I follow people for a week or so, sample their tweets and if they are tedious, I’m gone.  I’m looking for ideas and information I can adapt to our business and that has value to share with you.

A Very Short History

The early Twitter users, in 2007, were the cell phone texting crowd.  After Twitter tweaked its interface to allow users to send and get messages without using a phone number through instant messaging services, it then developed its own website interface . . . and that is when the world changed.

The blogging community picked up on Twitter and began using it as a micro-blogging platform.  They found Twitter could help them grow their blog readership.  Much more than answering the question, “What are you doing?” they offered short (140 characters) provocative and intelligent thoughts that often contained a link back to their own or someone else’s interesting blog entry.

Two excellent bloggers, Chris Brogan and Guy Kawasaki, are a great place to start ‘getting’ Twitter.  Follow them and they will lead you with a wealth of thoughts that expand your thinking and to places you would not have thought to go.  Here’s what one new twitterer discovered as he was trying to figure out this Twitter thingie.

New Ideas and Innovation = Newsworthy

In the salon and spa business, to get the attention of the press we must ‘innovate’.  We must be more ‘interesting’ than the next guy.  Don’t expect an editor to find you and your business newsworthy and worth talking about to their readers if there isn’t something ‘remarkable’ about you and it … something out of the ordinary.  Twitter is LOADED with ammunition to spark your thinking and creativity.  It’s also loaded with people trends.  It’s the place to find out where people are moving before the magazines pick it up.  You can be the salon or spa that is ahead of the wave telling your clients about a trend before it appears elsewhere.  What’s that worth?

So Go Explore Now!  (First steps … inspired by Chris Brogan’s 50 Ideas for using Twitter for Business)

1.       Start by following @BeautyPRpro and seeing a few of those we have elected to follow.  You can always ‘unfollow’ someone if they get to be a bore.  We do. (No … This wasn’t Chris Brogan’s first suggestion 🙂 ).

2.       Build an account and start using Twitter Search to listen for your name, your competitor’s names, words that relate to your space.  (Listening always comes first.)

3.       Add a picture.  (See our post “Show Yourself!  – Get a ‘Gravatar'”).  We want to see you.

4.       Talk to people about THEIR interests, too.  I know this doesn’t sell more widgets, but it shows us you’re human.

5.       Point out interesting things in your space, not just about you.

6.       Share links to neat things in your community.  (@wholefoods does this well).

7.       Don’t get stuck in the apology loop.  Be helpful instead.  (@jetblue gives travel tips.)

8.       Be wary of always pimping your stuff.  Your fans will love it.  Others will tune out.

9.       Promote your employees’ outside-of-work stories.  (@TheHomeDepot does it well.)

10.   Throw in a few humans, like RichardAtDELL, LionelAtDELL, etc.

11.   Talk about non-business, too, like @astrout and @jstorerj from Mzinga.

More good info on Twitter at http://socialmediatoday.com/SMC/65750

Who Have You Found You Think We Should Follow?

  • Share your experience with Twitter.
  • What good ideas did you find that can work for others?

Follow us on twitter at ‘BeautyPRpro‘ and on Facebook.

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