There are no shortage of discussions about Twitter, which is ironic, as each "Tweet" is at most 140 characters, the length of this sentence.
Yet most people wonder how - and even why - this so-called phenomenon is being used. Is there an ROI? Who has the time? (another 140 characters)
If you are just getting into Twitter - or have been using it without much success - consider these eight different Micro-blogging strategies: (another 140)
Time-waster: You have followed others who provide a steady stream of low-value information, but which you find fascinating. And in turn, you provide your followers the minute details of whatever happens to be on your mind.
Lurker: In this strategy, you are a consumer of information. You have followed a number of people (friends, family, colleagues, and a few experts), and they provide you with intelligence relevant to your work and personal life. You rarely Tweet yourself.
Searcher: You don't follow many people, but you use the Twitter Search functionality to review trending topics and links to newly available resources. You don't typically post much at all: Twitter search is your new version of Google.
Strategic sender: With this strategy, you send updates - usually self-centered - to let your clients, colleagues, and suppliers know about your important professional activities. You may do an update once or twice weekly - not more often, or your Tweets may look like spam. You may be a Reader as well.
Asker: As an Asker, you are concerned about what your customers, prospects, and the Twitterverse thinks. Instead of telling the world something (eg "Just launched the Gismo-212, find out more here") you ask them for their opinion instead (eg "Anyone using our new Gismo-212? What do you think?) While it sounds like market research, it is really more about the conversation than the data collection.
Spammer: Your number one goal as a spammer is to collect followers, and then send links to a product or service sales page, often several times each day. In the same way that email spam is unappreciated, following this strategy is a quick way to get yourself "unfollowed".
Trusted Guru: A Trusted Guru is a person who is completely up-to-date in their area of expertise, and shares this by Tweeting several times daily, with links, short editorial comments, and other value-added content. The Trusted guru rarely Tweets about personal activities.
False Prophet: This strategy is one where you will try to establish "authority" by virtue of the quality of your posts, but where there is little or no real-world expertise. (Unfortunately for everyone in the "Twitterverse", real-life Trusted Gurus are often too busy to actually implement a Trusted Guru strategy, clearing the way for False Prophets.)
This week's action item: Consider which category you want to be in, and don't waste your time doing things that don't give you a good return on your time investment. (A final 140 characters.)
Randall Craig is an expert on Career Planning, Work-Life Balance, and Networking; to find out how his workshops, webinars, and keynotes can help your team or add to your event, contact him through www.PersonalBalanceSheet.com, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Copyright © 2009 Knowledge to Action Press and Randall Craig. All rights reserved.
Publication Date: September 29, 2009