Are you re-inventing your own wheel?
When 'failure' turns into innovation = win-win

In search of conversations

In these days of online conversations - aka Social Media Tools - many businesses are engaging with their prospects and clients on the Internet. Through blogs - which I prefer to call dynamic and interactive web sites = "blog-sites" - YouTube, Facebook, MyBlogLog, LinkedIn, various forums and Twitter.

In December and January I dipped my toes in the Twitter world, in search for mini conversations: twittering or tweeting to followers in 140 characters. And on 21 January I had enough and 'untweeted' myself. The post I wrote about it focussed on what I experienced as seeing only one side of the conversation. I didn't get it.

February saw an avalanche of white papers, blog-articles, free reports and even handbooks on how Twitter is working for so many businesses. And as many of you know I'm never averse of publishing comments left, right and center about my own experiences. The avalanche became so thick and quick I almost decide I didn't even want to 'get it'.

This decision was halted at the end of last week.

Martin Malden - the WealthyDragon - wrote: "Is Twitter the New List?" on his blog Creating an Awesome Home Business. And low and behold, someone else had already left a comment that reflected my own feelings towards the subject.

"I can see this approach working for a very large company. It’s free and easy to blast a short message to throngs of people. If they pick up on it, great. If not, who cares?

For a home business, this just isn’t the case. You’re trying to establish deeper relationships with less people and I just don’t see that happening in 140 characters. Quality versus quantity."

Chris O - Referral Key - Your Trusted Referral Network

I followed suit with my own comments on list building. And a very interesting discussion started, listing experiences and 'tactics' about using Twitter for list building.

The 'tactics' - in the best meaning of the word - Martin listed made me think. Specially when he talked about using Twitter's search function on specific keywords to find other Twitters asking questions on subjects Martin feels he can help with.

Questionmark So, what if you forget about Twitter as "conventional" Age of Conversation Tool and use it as a "finding Tool" for those in need of your expertise? The search on keywords can be rss-feeded into any 'blog-reader'.
Instead of watching the one side of conversations of those you follow, you use Twitter to contact the Twittee (?) who asked the question. You offer help in the form of a link to an article, blog-post or even, as Martin frequently does, write a whole new article/post to address the question.

Now, that's in my 'conventional' web-marketing eyes a perfect way to build a list and start a conversational relationship with new leads, prospects and clients in more than one way and in more than 140 characters. Twitter as start, not as "only on".

Don't you just love it when inventions turn into an innovation

"So are you saying that invention is merely the creation of some technology, but that the innovation is the idea of applying it to a previously unexploited market?"
Arthur M Gallagher

I can see that work for every small business: turning the invention Twitter, the mini-blog tool, into the innovation for finding those in need of your expertise/knowledge/experiences and as start of the relationship building conversation. Now that's what I do get.

You know what's funny (in my eyes at least)? I only realised this through an 'old fashion' multi-contributors discussion in the comment box of Martin's blog. Would the same have happened through mini-blogs of 140 characters?

Directions Next project: setting up a new Twitter account for Wood You Like and we'll be in search for those needing help on all matters related to wooden flooring. Our FAQ & News site (aka business blog) has plenty of useful articles already we can direct them to and if needed we will write a special post for the answer.

Comments

Martin Malden

Hi Karin,

Invention vs Innovation - great analogy!

I do hope you're able to get some good new leads from your Twitter searches.

As I mentioned in one of the reply comments, it is important to keep a mix of marketing channels going. Twitter has, for me, become a very successful part of that mix.

But I do have a list in the 'conventional' sense. I also carry out other marketing activities (articles, social marketing, bookmarking etc). All these streams come together to create some momentum.

You may remember Eric joined the conversation and mentioned Medical Tourism. When I did a search on that it only brings up 2 or 3 questions a day. If he's able to create answers to 2 or 3 a day that's great and should be helpful to him - but it echoes his point that Twitter may work better for some businesses than others.

Again - I hope Twitter brings you some good new leads!

Cheers,

Martin.

Karin H.

Cheers Martin

Twitter (@woodyoulike) will have to find its own place among our other marketing tools - AWeber, informative website and our FAQ & News site. Perhaps the combination of all of them will turn out to be the winner.

Facebook group or page are also in the pipeline: we like to be versatile ;-)

Karin H
p.s. great analogy is from friend Arthur - not mine, I just use it ;-)


At 23:14 01/03/2009, you wrote:

Chris O.

Karin,

Thanks for the quote. I can't find the advanced search faeture but I'll get to that.

We'll, I guess we'll all reconvene and see how successful our efforts have been.

I'd also like to point out the early adoption theory as far as marketing on new tools. I have a lot of experience with new media marketing, and while this may not be the case; I find that what's considered good marketing in the beginning of a social network's adoption, is often considered spam or annoying just a few months later.

For instance, MySpace was a great place to reach out to strangers to connect over a product a few years ago. Now it is plagued with marketers and reaching out to people you don't know, with an over-arching commercial interest, is one of the reasons MySpace is losing.

best,
Chris
Referral Key
Your Trusted referral network

Karin H.

Hi Chris

I've just re installed Tweetdeck where you can have columns per keyword searches, very handy. Plus you can set the one column to replies only - so reducing the numbers of normal tweets from those you follow.
If you use Twitter for this, that feature comes in handy too.

Agree with you about new media tools. Once it has gone past the early adapters the spammers come in and spoil it for many. Then others, the innovators I like to call them, find new ways to use the tool for proper marketing. An example perhpas is AWeber for opt-in email marketing as innovation and proper enhancement on Permission Marketing. Permission Marketing has been spoiled by opt-out bulk mailshots, now with ethical programs like AWeber email marketing is back in force again - fortunately.

Karin H

At 15:02 02/03/2009, you wrote:

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