Twitter, Paul Castain Gets it Right!

Posted on January 29, 2010


Twitter: A Study On Those Who “Get It”!
by Paul Castain January 27, 2010

I thought it would be cool to study some of the folks on Twitter who really “get it”. So, for the last year, I took a really close look and jotted down some best practices that have guided me in my “Castain 2.0″ rebranding quest.

Here they are in no particular order!

They aren’t “Me Centered”: You can really learn a lot about someone by their tweets (why am I still uncomfortable with that word). One of the biggest turn offs for me is when I click on a profile and all I see are tweets about their new article, how their company is the bestest, I just did this, my company just did that. The best examples on Twitter are by those who are pointing their followers to other people as resources as well. They mention, they RT, they share their community. Then I look at how many followers they have and how many people they follow back. When I see something like 3,000 followers and following back 700 it gives me the impression of someone who misses the community aspect of the venue and might be a tad hung up on “Me, Me, Me”. The most successful people on Twitter are the ones that clearly get the community part of the equation. Now that brings us to the next quality . . .
They Interact! Whether it’s graciously thanking someone for a mention or re tweet, acknowledging someone in their network or even some brief back and forth . . . they are actually evil geniuses believe it or not. Why? Because they understand that people want to interact with a brand. Companies like Starbucks, Kodak and Zappos really get this. They understand that the interaction is part of the trust factor necessary to get and keep clients. I believe there is a lesson in that for us sales folk and our personal brand! Oh, and they understand something else that I want you to think about . . . Everyone has a story and wants to be heard. They acknowledge that which is important to the other person. This is no different than conventional networking (other than the fact that we are doing it in front of millions) Show enough interest in other people and a high percentage of your followers will naturally want to know about you! Personally I think there is a rather cool mystique in that approach but then again I’m a bit of a complex carbohydrate when it comes to these things.
They aren’t a “Flatliner”. For those of you who don’t know what a “Flatliner” is, I’m referring to someone who is absolutely freakin dead in the personality dept. You know damn well what I’m talking about too!. The ones that when you talk to them, you wish God would give you that heart attack he was saving for later in your life! The most successful people on Twitter are interesting. They vary their tweets with a healthy diet of information, humor, interaction, RT’s, mentions, resources etc. I know of one person who just bored the piss out of me with his constant tweets about what he is reading. For the longest time I felt like Dr Evil with my finger dangling over the un follow button, but now that I vaporized the bastard, I’d like to think he is in a happier place.
They are approachable! This is huge and its part of that interaction thing I keep mentioning. There are some people on twitter that will not respond to you, thank you for an RT etc. They are either too busy looking in the mirror counting followers or they are partaking in the old Middle School BS of sticking to their crowd. I was absolutely flawed that Twitter studs like Chris Brogan authors like Bob Burg (The Go Giver), Anthony Parinello (Selling To V.I.T.O.) Hank Trisler (No Bull Selling) not only respond, but have a genuine interest and graciousness about them. And mentioning them here is just business as usual for these people. I guess when people like you, they talk about you behind your back. What do you think they do when you engage in “Twitter Snobbery”? Reflect on that one class!
They Use Adjustable Sights. The smart networkers in this space focus on 3 things simultaneously : What’s above as in who are the people that are a few steps ahead of them in terms of results and even (dare I say) popularity. Those who are the up and comers. A smart strategy because that person you snub today might be a Twitter Stud (or studette) tomorrow. They also focus on people at the peer level. They share resources, give of themselves freely and as share their community on multiple levels!
They Cross Pollinate! They don’t just hang out on Twitter, they blog, they are on Linkedin and Facebook. They also do something else . . .
They Move It From Virtual to Real Time! As I’ve said before, our online activities are useless. Do you have thousands of followers? Have you become “Internet Famous”? Great job. Now try paying your mortgage with that Forrest! People in the know, move these relationships to real time by attending “Tweetups”, meeting for a drink, speaking engagements, dinner, lunch, a phone call. Doing this makes you real and puts you light years ahead of all the others counting their followers and waiting for their star on the “Internet Famous Walk Of Fame”. Don’t get so hung up on the technology side of Sales 2.0 that you fail to realize that its driven by relationships!
They Are Consistent: You can count them delivering value every day. They don’t show up today, skip 3 weeks, tweet like hell and disappear for a few days. They are dependable. Like a new pair of underwear. I put that there to make sure you were awake, although I think that would make a cool saying!
They Don’t Overdo It!. I know of a few self proclaimed “Social Media Experts” that think nothing of rapid fire tweeting so much sh*t that they quickly become this annoying relative that keeps inviting himself over for dinner. Why not use a Potato chip strategy where you give people a few chips so they want to reach for the whole bag. Success lies in your ability to make them reach for the bag. Don’t ever forget that.
They are real! They aren’t auto tweeting and auto following and auto messaging. Being real also goes back to not being a flatliner. They show that they are human and vulnerable. Nuff said!
They Are Intentional: They understand that this is about community and trust and everything they do points to that. They don’t tweet some random, stream of conciousness, “dear diary” crap. They are deliberate in their approach with the reader in mind at all times!
So there you have it. My take on what it takes to be successful on Twitter or even in your day to day quest to become that rock star you set out to be!

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