Listen to Twitter
As Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers hone their networking skills and secure footholds in the marketplace, more decision makers are looking to do business right out here in the open, in real time.
By broadening the use of new communication platforms, marketers and media professionals will have an opportunity to carve out an edge over their competitors while continuing to develop relationships in more traditional networking environments.
I don't update my Twitter feed every day. Nor do I spend an inordinate amount of time surfing social media sites. But I understand the value of building my brand while receiving short, timely updates from those whom I choose to follow. So I don't neglect the space. I gradually build up my presence online, just as I do in real life.
Lately, I’ve spent less time talking on Twitter and more time listening, which can be tough for sometimes, especially for somewhat loquacious individuals like me. I’ve set up Twitter searches with keywords such as “Business Record,” “IowaBiz,” “Des Moines,” and “Iowa.”
Trust me; I’m not looking for information overload. But I want to stay ahead of the curve on what others are saying about my employer, my community and the industries that I cover. Plus, I’m curious enough to find enjoyment in seeing people around the world mention my hometown or home state.
Finally, the searches allow me to consume – on demand – timely and relevant information, including links to interesting articles, press releases, videos and other media that I may have missed or may not have been published on the websites I tend to follow.
I share some of the relevant information I find with the broader community – adding value while bolstering my credibility in the space – and reserve some of the best finds for internal research, discussion and development at my company.
Some industry leaders – no, not Charlie Sheen – have barely begun to dip their toes into the Twittersphere as others, such as Ben Milne of Dwolla Corp., Christian Renaud of Startup City Des Moines LLC and Nathan Wright of Lava Row Inc. are working to expand their respective businesses while partnering with like-minded entrepreneurs to explore new opportunities in Greater Des Moines’ tight-knit and collaborative online-offline environment.
Each day, more decision makers are looking to Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites to make initial contacts in the business-to-business realms. They aren't going to your website to find the appropriate department. They aren't picking up the phone to call. They aren't even waiting until Monday.
When I listen to Twitter, I hear a constant stream of potential leads, local sources and timely information.
Twitter is talking. What do you hear?