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I Wish Twitter Would Go Away

I have a long love/hate relationship with Twitter. When I first started with it, I hated it. Then I quit it, then I came back.

Now I’m back for more of the same topic. Here goes… this might hurt a little bit. No one else will say it, but I will.

I wish Twitter would just go away.

Why? Well, basically it comes down to this. Time spent vs. ROI/reward.

Sure, I’ve seen some results from my Twitter usage. Higher branding, more reach, popularity, etc… I’ve even seen revenue from Twitter for my consulting business. However, the scale is GREATLY weighted to the one side. In other words, for the amount of time and effort I’ve put into Twitter, I believe the rewards/ROI are far outweighed by the “time put in”. In marketing land, that’s a bad formula. It should be the other way around.

No, I’m not quitting Twitter. I’m simply stating that I wish it would go away. Things would be so much easier. Here we are almost 5-years into the launch of it and I can honestly say that my business might be in better shape if I spent less time on Twitter and more time “doing business things” that increase my bottom line.

What do you think? Would your business be better or worse if Twitter just went away?

P.S. Quitting Twitter now isn’t an option for someone like me. Makes no sense for me to do that. I’m just saying, my business might be in better shape if it wasn’t around. I’m stuck with it.

Discover Twitter & LinkedIn’s Hidden Potential

Join me & Lewis Howes & Sean Malarkey to talk about how you can drive more leads and boost your traffic in this free social media webinar. Yep, free. Register here.

In this one hour social media webinar you will learn:

• The Top 5 Things You Must Do On LinkedIn To Generate Business
• Top 5 Twitter Tips to boost Traffic To Your Site
• How To Become A Thought Leader In Your Industry
• The Biggest Mistakes People Make On Twitter & LinkedIn
• Unique Tips for Twitter & LinkedIn That Get Massive Results

Lewis Howes is the King of LinkedIn, and wrote the book on the subject (literally). You will be blown away when he shares some of the tactics he uses to make LinkedIn so powerful. Sean Malarkey – A true Ninja on Twitter – grew his following to over 100k people on twitter in 9 months and utilizes it better than anyone I’ve met. Just one of his tips that took 2 seconds to implement has made a big difference for me.

Here’s a video of Lewis explaining 8-ways to use social media. Register here.

Making the most of your time at a TweetUp

BostonTweetUp MegaTweetUp

On December 3, 2009 I attended the Boston MegaTweetUp at the Microsoft Cambridge NERD center. I went by myself and didn’t know anyone who was going to be there. I was really looking forward to it and excited to meet new people. However, I am a bit introverted and I have a hard time approaching people directly and thinking of something to say. I do think however that I had a very productive time. Here are some great tips that I thought about while I was at the MegaTweetUp.

Check Yourself before you Wreck Yourself

Put yourself in the right mindset for an event. I was psyched for this event and then drove into Boston. Driving in Boston is something I am terrified to do and something that always makes me a nervous wreck. I thought I was okay because I now had a GPS phone and I’d go right to the door of NERD with no problems at all. Nope, I ended up not being able to use the GPS and got lost, many times getting to the event. Anxiety set in and my mindset was poor. My great mood rushed by my own nervous anxiety. So, the first 1/2 hour I ended up a bit upset and pissed off, things bugged me.

How did I break this cycle of anxiety, nervousness and stress?

I stopped myself and said, “I’m here to meet people, make connections, contacts and friends. I’m not leaving until I accomplish this.” I would not let myself leave the event until I had met at least 10 new people. In an event of 400 people that should be easy, right? Well, for someone who needs a little push it makes it tough. So, I came up with the next tip.

You’ve Got The Touch!

Wear Your Passions

I was wearing my Autobot Symbol Belt Buckle, why, because it is memorable, funny and also part of who I am. I’m a Transformers Fan and very knowledgeable about the Transformers. I’m not talking about the Michael Bay debacle but we’re talking back in 1984 10 year-old me cataloging all of my Transformers toys on an Appleworks Database program. Yeah, I’m a fan.

Well, I was wearing the belt buckle and I had my camera with me so I tweeted:

“BenSpark: At the #megatweetup know no one here. Anyone in same boat come say hi to the guy w the autobot belt buckle and Nikon camera.”

You’ve Got the Touch means that you are the only one who can affect change within yourself so put yourself out there. People want to meet you but they just don’t know it yet, so don’t hide the greatness inside you, put it out there.

Who is that Guy?

BostonTweetUp MegaTweetUp

Be memorable, I wore the buckle because I like it and it is part of who I am, it was also a fun icebreaker. Walking around a few people called me over because I had that as an icebreaker and I had sent out the tweet. I made myself accessible and noticeable so people kinda wondered, “Who is that guy?” Be interesting and approachable.

Bring an Accessory or Prop.

I don’t mean be the guy with the parrot on his shoulder (very few people can pull off this look). I carry a camera everywhere I go and one thing I need to be much better about is taking pictures of people. There was a guy, GregPC, there that I didn’t meet or even see but he took photos of nearly everyone at the event. His set of 1000 faces is awesome. What is fantastic about this is that he connected with so many people in a direct way. Once he uploads his photos there are so many people who will seek him out on Flickr, a simple perfect idea in my opinion.

So, if you have a camera get out there and take photos. If you have a new gadget take it and use it as an icebreaker. That is if you don’t already have that outgoing personality.

Do that Thing That You Do

BostonTweetUp MegaTweetUp

At the end of the MegaTweetUp there was a raffle and the organizer of the event Joselin Mane made sure that he got each person who won prizes to pose with him and the prize. I went and started shooting pictures of each of these interactions. I stood there for an hour taking photos of every single winner. After the raffle was over I approached Joselin and let him know I had the photos and that I’d post them to Flickr the next day. By just doing what I do I was able to make a connection with the organizer of the event, which brings me to the next tip.

Meet the Organizer

BostonTweetUp MegaTweetUp

If you are at an event find the person who organized said event and meet them. Make sure that you tell them what you think of the event, thank them and make a connection with that person. I had a nice in with Joselin because of all the photos I took. That gave me a great way to say hello. We made a very nice connection and had a great conversation.

Talk to Everyone you can, but Listen More

BostonTweetUp MegaTweetUp

Everyone at an event like this has something interesting about them. If you exchange business cards stop and take a look at the card, read it right then and there, pick out something to ask questions about. For instance, I met a woman who is a men’s fashion consultant. I found that out by reading her business card. So I asked her if I was a fashion travesty. She said no and that I was actually put together pretty well. The nice thing about that interaction was that I was able to identify and validate what she was all about (according to the business card) and show that I was interested in who she was. If you take a business card, glance at it and stuff it in your pocket then you’re doing yourself a disservice and also a disservice to the person who gave you the card. I know that someone has read my card when they mention any of my descriptions on the back especially Transformers Fan.

Here’s a tip. Take the card, look at it. Really Read it. Find something to ask a question about based on the card details. When you are done your conversation use the card to write some details about the interaction. This will help you imprint and remember that conversation which is great for the next tip.

Follow Up on those Conversations.

BostonTweetUp MegaTweetUp Recap

So many events I’ve been to I’ve collected business cards and did things all wrong. I have a stack of cards on my desk and I have no clue about the person I talked to because I didn’t follow my own tips. However, for this TweetUp I took the stack of cards and my little notes and then sent a follow up e-mail to each person. By following up you further cement those relationships.

Another Follow Up I did was post all my MegaTweetUp photos to flickr and I used the add person feature to identify people who were in the shots. I also sent a few tweets to the links and asked people to identify themselves in the photos. People love to see themselves in photos especially at events. One more tip would be to get into photos. I have no photos of me at all from the event. That is my one regret from the TweetUp.

Do you have TweetUp tips that I missed?

About the author: Andrew Bennett aka BenSpark is a husband, father, blogger, photographer, wired kayaker and an old school Transformers fan. He takes a photo every day and blogs about it on BenSpark.com. You can follow BenSpark on Twitter.

Twitter Lists Resurrect The “A-List”?

Twitter just released Twitter Lists. Steve Rubel points out that this is perhaps the new measure of influence?

list2.jpg (JPEG Image, 640x427 pixels)

In July 2008 I wrote “The Death of the A-List” which caused a slight stir. Ok, not really, I was right.

Here’s what I know. We don’t need lists to tell ourselves how influential we are. You don’t need them. I don’t need them.

You have influence or you don’t.

I was influential speaking to 30 entrepreneur ladies in a knitting shop the other night in Lakewood, Ohio. I didn’t need to be on their list to know I affected them. I could see it in their eyes.

I was influential on stage in front of 3k people introducing Chris Brogan and Gary Vaynerchuk at the past Affiliate Summit events. Do I need those people in that audience to put me on a list to tell me that I’m influential? No. Hundreds of emails and contacts later I just know I did a good job.

Haven’t we got past this yet? Twitter lists seem to want to resurrect the idea that certain people are “more” than others. Being on a list doesn’t mean anything anymore, as it shouldn’t. It’s nice to be included, but…

Influence is measured to me in terms of sales, leads and publicity for myself or my clients. Or in the way that my audience reacts to me either immediately or down the road. Perhaps it’s measured different for you, that’s fine. The point is there’s ROI in influence. Being on a list is going to help that? I’m not so sure.

Or maybe I’m missing the point entirely?

Todd says…

I think Twitter Lists will end up helping separate the men from the boys when it comes to influence. In addition to seeing a Twitter users follower count, we can now see the number of other Twitter users who have added them to lists (example to the right). I would argue that getting added to a list is a bigger deal than simply getting someone to follow you.

In today’s world, if you need to be on a list to prove your influence. You’ve already lost.

Twitter & Linkedin Secrets

Let me tell you about my friend Lewis Howes. He’s the “Linkedin Guy”. You may have heard of him. Now, when I say friends I mean we actually hang out and I know him as a person, not just as an business associate. We’ve done shows and webinars together, and we both generally believe that the new tools that are available to all of us are changing the world, and your small business, one at a time… for the better.

I normally don’t like to blog about events that are timely because then this content is out of date down the road. But I really want you to sign up and take this free Webinar from Lewis on Sept 2, 2009. Here’s the signup link.

Lewis, and Twitter guy Sean Malarkey, will be doing this free Webinar to talk about the top secrets of Twitter and Linkedin you may not know about. Now, you’re saying, “Secrets?”. Yeah, well, “secrets” is just a good marketing word to get you to take action. What you’re going to learn is tactics, and case studies that people and businesses use to make success using these amazing free online tools.

There are over 600 people registered for the free event already, so go get in now. And let me know how it was after by leaving a comment here.

10,000 Twitter Followers. Now What?

Well, here I am, with supposedly 10k Twitter followers. Yay me.

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Here’s what I think. “Big deal”.

What does it really mean? If anything at all?

I Didn’t Try Either
It’s not that I even tried to get them either. The thing is, aside from doing an auto-follow that Twitter themselves turned on for me over a year ago, I don’t even try to get followers. I mean, I have no plan or do no special things to try and get them.

I simply use Twitter as I feel like it. I retweet stuff I find interesting or problem solving or fun. I post tweets about my personal stuff and my business stuff and I’m blatantly promotional sometimes for my stuff. I often have personal conversations with others too. In fact, some, if not many, would consider me a bad follow.

So why do I have 10k followers? Once again, I’m at a Twitter crossroads. Maybe you can help.

Now what? Go for 20k followers? 50k?

What’s the point? It seems to me it’s purely a narcissistic mentality to pursue bigger numbers?

Perhaps I should start a nofollow me campaign like the Burger King “unfriend” me thing on Facebook.

Yeah, that’s it. Do NOT follow me.

Or maybe I should try to be such a bad Tweeter that people will have no choice but to unfollow me.

I wonder how fast I could take my 10k down to 1k?

Using Social Media To Sell Offline

Yesterday as I was browsing my Twitter followers, I came across a retweet from someone I know in Cleveland who linked to a local fitness company who made a video about their training programs. So I clicked on the Twitter link, went to the blog, and watched the YouTube video.

Then I picked up the phone to call them to find out how I could join.

SALE!!! DING!!! SOCIAL MEDIA JUST SOLD SOMETHING OFFLINE!!!

So let’s review again. Twitter is where I found the link. The blog had a post that included a YouTube video, which I watched. Then I called the company and asked about joining.

See what happened here?

Three very nice social media tools worked together to drive an ROI for an offline business.

This can be done… Don’t believe you can’t do it, because you can.

Here’s the video that I watched, that is very well done in my opinion.

Rackspace Hears My Twitter Whining

Well, I’m not sure how much they “get it”, but I know they use it and monitor it. Case in point…

Last week I was informed via phone that I had just passed my fifth year of hosting with Rackspace. It’s obvious I love the company and their services because why else would I pay so much for it if I didn’t? FYI, if you want to find out about getting a server at Rackspace either go here and fill out my form or contact me and I’ll give you my personal rep’s information.

So back to the point. After I got notified and personally thanked from my account manager. I went on Twitter and started whining about how I should have gotten more from them than a phone call and thank you.

About an hour later I get a call from someone at Rackspace who saw my Twitter and was apologetic and wanted to thank me even more. After that call, someone else called me and thanked me again.

Then a few days later, I received a package in the mail from the team at Rackspace. It was some boxes of microwave popcorn and some Jones Soda and a t-shirt. But a few days later I got a really nice surprise when a package arrived that was a really nice Rackspace backpack.

All from whining about how I didn’t get anything on Twitter…. :)

So, I have to give it to the social media team at Rackspace, they are listening. And then they’re taking action too. Nice work, and thanks for the stuff.

Although, it appears someone has their Twitter username and is squatting on it?

Free Business Twitter Backgrounds

Sticking with my “the power of free” mantra, I put together a small little mini-site for anyone to use that has business-type Twitter backgrounds. It’s over at TwitterBacks.com. Head on over and download a Photoshop file and customize it to make your Twitter background personalized! Here’s mine.

Why? Well, watch the video. It’s free. If you want to use them, go ahead, if you don’t, don’t.

Is Your Online Social Life Ruining Your Real Family Life?

Being “social online” using things like Twitter and Facebook is all part of having and building a brand online, especially a personal brand. I cannot “not” be on Twitter and be active. If I wasn’t, it would be a liability to me in my line of work as a consultant in the business of online marketing.

So the downside to being so social online is that it can affect my family life. My real life away from the computer and the Internets. Can our love ones and friends sometimes feel that we are more connected to our online friends than the real people that matter most… them? Yes, it can happen, even if it’s not true.

This video talks about those issues. How do you handle these issues?

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