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.
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?
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.