I have enjoyed and toyed with Twitter since I first signed up in December 2008, not expecting the journey to be so transformational.
For the first few months I sent the occasional tweet and connected with a few friends and watched the stream pass by. In March 2009 I started my blog inspired by the content, search engine optimisation, social media inspiration and evangelism provided by Hubspot. I then waded in a bit deeper and started to use tools and apps like TweetDeck and Bit.ly, Social Oomph, Hootsuite and Ping.fm to integrate with Twitter.
Twitter has connected and communicated my content to people from places as diverse as New York, Memphis, Miami and Lithuania. In fact, using my Bit.ly app, I can see that in the last 30 days my blog tweets have been clicked on in 98 countries by 34,264 people.
I have had face to face meetings initiated by a Tweet. Next week I am meeting a Social Media contact on his trip downunder from the United Kingdom arrangde via Twitter and have been invited to speak on panels and boardrooms because I tweet (and blog).
If I want to get intimate, close and personal then I change channels and communicate via DM followed by an exchange of phone numbers or email adresses.
Next a meeting could be set up by telephone or email, followed by a face to face meeting.
If I want to write something that really engages with my audience, then it’s my blog. 140 characters is cheap and cheerful (and efficient) and points people in the right direction but at the end of the day if I want to get intimate and provide in depth communication I change channels.
When H&R Block launched an ambitious social-media outreach campaign in 2008, it followed some textbook advice: fish where the fish are. So it went on Twitter looking for frustrated taxpayers, offering them help. Instead, the company found reticence among potential customers who didn’t want to air their problems on Twitter.
The next step was that they realized that they had to change, abandoning one-on-one Twitter contact in favor of building a Q&A community site, Get It Right (an enhanced blog), which replaced a more standard blog the company did last year. The Get It Right site required H&R Block’s social-media team to recruit and train 1,000 tax pros to answer questions. It looked to local managers to nominate tax preparers to participate. Early results are promising: Get It Right has signed up 65,000 members and answered 50,000 questions.
Zena Weist ..the Social Media Director for the Company said that they are using Twitter and Facebook mostly as broadcast vehicles, hoping customers who have come to Get It Right, then tell their networks they were helped.
So if you want to be intimate, Twitter is good for the first date but you need to have a bit more substance, like a blog to go the distance.
So are you all a Twitter or is a blog in your asset portfolio planning?