This guest post by the always excellent Graham Jones, Internet Psychologist, was originally published on 2 July 2010. Like many of Graham’s posts it is thought provoking and rang a bell with me. He has kindly agreed that we can share it with you here:
Yesterday I sent out a simple “tweet” saying I was off to give a presentation that would warn people that Twitter should not be used for business. Within moments the broadcaster and communications consultant James Lush had replied saying he’d be fascinated to know why on earth I was saying such a thing. Well, this morning I delivered my suggestions to the Business Leaders Group where several CEOs and Managing Directors had gathered to find out whether or not social networking could help their business.
So, I rose to my feet, took a deep breath and suggested the un-suggestible. In fact, James Lush was not the only person who wanted to know why I was daring to say Twitter is not for business. Several people I met this morning at the Business Leaders Group said the same thing. They want to know how could I say such a thing when there are plenty of examples of companies making money using Twitter.
But therein lies the twist in my tale. The companies making money from Twitter are not using it as a business tool. Far from it; they are using it as a social tool.
Consider life before Twitter – if you can remember back far enough, before the internet. How did you go about getting new business in those days? And how did you go about getting more business out of existing clients? Unless you are in the fast moving consumer goods industry, business has always been about relationships. You got more business from existing clients by socialising with them – having lunch, playing golf, going down the pub, even, perhaps, going to their daughter’s wedding. But whatever you did, you didn’t discuss business – politics, yes, other people, certainly and “putting the world to rights”, of course. But business – pah! Who wants to talk about that? Yet, despite no talking about business you got more of it from these people.
And, in the past, when it came to getting new customers, what did you do? You took every opportunity to get to know them. Instead of filling their minds with “buy this” messages you sat down with them, chatted to them, asked them questions about themselves. You were trying to extract as much information out of them as possible to see where you could “fit”. But the encounter with potential clients was always social, not “salesy”. Indeed, if it were focused on sales, what happened? You were accused of being a “hard seller” using …tactics”. In other words, as soon as the conversation turned to business, that’s exactly what you lost. When the conversation was social, you gained business.
Now, fast forward to Twitter. What happens when you see a tweet that is a business conversation, when it is sales focused? Almost certainly you ignore it; you might even get angry and stop following the individual. You will, of course, find an endless array of “social networking gurus” forcing social networking guff at you on Twitter, which makes it seem that these “experts” know a thing or two and therefore if your business does the same thing you’ll be OK. Wrong. Come back in a year and see how many of the “gurus” are still in business….mmmm….I wonder?
The successful businesses on Twitter are not using their tweets to focus on business. Instead, they are simply being social; chatting, holding conversations, being friendly, even showing altruistic kindness. When you see Twitter merely as a system to hold conversations, as a social tool, your business will do well out of it. All the time you see it as a business tool it will fail you. So, don’t “do business” on Twitter, simply socialise – just like you used to do before the web came along.
Please share your thoughts and add your questions to the comments below. I’ll try to provide as many answers as possible in my future online videos, seminars, workshops, masterclasses and blog posts.
And if you enjoyed this post you may enjoy these posts as well.
Here are two FREE ways to discover the RIGHT marketing strategies to supercharge your business growth and build the business of your dreams:
Register here to attend my 90 minute FREE online training: “How I helped 442 business owners identify the RIGHT combination of marketing strategies to grow their revenues by an average of 628%” ... all by tapping into the “undiscovered” profit sources sitting right under their noses — and how you can easily replicate this system in your business.
Click here to start your FREE 7-day Stepping Stones trial: Join hundreds of other business owners who have described the “Stepping Stones” program as “transformational” and a “complete game changer.” Save years of frustration, as you discover key marketing principles that will ensure a consistent stream of high-quality leads into your business. Accelerate past the trial and error stage as you discover which marketing activities will have the biggest impact on your growth (If you lack this information, getting it right can take years longer than most people expect). Discover the RIGHT order in which to implement them (and yes there IS a right order) and how combining them in the right way will give you the momentum you need to build the business of your dreams.
For 23 years Robert Clay has helped business after business skip the immensely frustrating trial and error stage and figure out the answers they need to unlock their hidden potential; supercharge their business growth; become leaders in their niche; win major national awards; and build the business of their dreams. MEET ROBERT in this video and learn more about his journey from automotive innovator to business transformer.