This summer I had the opportunity to really focus on my understanding of, and relationship with, Twitter. Much to my surprise, I discovered that some of the skills that create great phone communication also result in success when it comes to social media. So, for your consideration:
1. Clearly identify yourself
When using the phone, it’s vital to clearly enunciate your name. Whether you are leaving a message, creating your outbound voice mail or starting a conversation, if the other person doesn’t get your name, communication remains incomplete.
It’s the same on Twitter. There are so many great newsletters, blogs, media articles and podcasts I’m excited to share yet, when I click on the “tweet this” button, a pre-designed post appears that doesn’t contain a Twitter handle . In other words, there’s no “name”. If I want to share your post and introduce you to my followers, I have to do a search, find your Twitter handle and edit your message appropriately. If I have the time, and your message is of great value to my followers, I’ll make this effort. But otherwise, like a phone message with a mumbled name, I’ll move on and an opportunity will be lost.
2. Inspire curiosity and conversation
When we connect with someone on the phone, we need to show respect for their time by stating our purpose in a concise way that piques interest. This is what creates the possibility of conversation.
It’s the same on Twitter. If I decide to click and share your blog, newsletter, etc., and the message that appears says something like “Read this” or “I just posted” along with the link … well I’m not going to waste my followers’ time with that lack of imagination. When I’m able, I’ll create my own description of your post. After all, I found it valuable, so I know many of my followers will also appreciate it. But if I don’t have the time … another opportunity lost.
Consider this question: Do you know what your retweet messages say – what they look like? If you don’t, it’s the same as creating an outbound voice mail message but never listening to it. You need to know what your clients/potential clients/colleagues are experiencing, otherwise how can you know if it’s true to your brand, if it represents you in the best way possible?
3. Consider the Date and Time
Have you ever had someone leave you a business voice mail message at 11 pm? Or 4 am? It’s certainly happened to me and such a message clearly states “I didn’t want to reach you.” When it comes to the phone, this is sometimes okay, if the call is about leaving details that don’t require a response. But on Twitter, posting a link of value to CEOs at 6 am Sunday morning…; chances of you reaching those CEOs is pretty slim.
Maybe at this point you’re shaking your head because you don’t think Twitter (or social media) matters to your business anyway. Well, consider this:
Years ago, likely when we were still referring to the internet as the World Wide Web, I listened to a radio interview that described a day when we’d all be able to design our own news feed. We’d turn on our computers each day and, based on our own interests and concerns, read the news, articles, opinions that mattered most to us. Late adopter that I was (and still am), I shook my head and muttered “That will never happen.”
I was SO wrong. Twitter (and social media) is that news feed. If I’m following you, I’m interested. If I’m interested I ‘m going to share. And if your retweet message is well crafted, you will start to meet my followers.
This is the kind of exposure that, not that long ago, required a HUGE public relations budget. Today, it requires a bit of your time and attention … just like your phone communication.
Enjoy your phone work everyone!