Thursday, July 31, 2008

Branding Or Waste of Time

Each of us have one commodity that we can't renew called time. For each additional task we add to our lives, we have to remove or let go of something else. I understand that's not very profound but I have people ask me these questions about whether to launch a website or not. Or they wonder if they should blog or not. Some of them have tried a blog and given up after a short amount of time.

Into this sphere of thinking comes something called Twitter. You have 140 characters to answer the simple question, "What are you doing now?" And you may wonder, "Does anyone care?" The answer may surprise you.

I've been reading about Twitter for several months. Mike Hyatt at Thomas Nelson wrote an excellent post, The Beginner's Guide to Twitter. Earlier he wrote 12 reasons to Start Twittering. Also notice what he wrote in this post about experiencing a social media that almost a million people are using and it's free. Admittedly it is down from time to time but that's what happens when you are using these free tools (so be aware of it and while you can complain, it does little good).

In the last week, I've started to use Twitter and here's my profile. I'm still learning how to use it (and I'm spending minimal amount of time on it).

Like blogging and other public forums, you have to use Twitter with an intention. For example, if you look at my profile, you will notice that I've changed the settings and template to highlight my Book Proposals That Sell. It was simple to change. I've been following several people and the people who are using it effectively have "branded" their appearance. These same people are using twitter as a way to inform people about something specific.

I do not have it figured out and it might be something to experiment with for a season then let go--like some people have let go of their blog. I do not have a large following on Twitter but I have a growing following and it's been fun to watch.

I was fascinated with the response of Internet Marketing Expert Joel Comm. When I started to "follow" Joel (something you do in Twitter), he wrote that because I was following him, he would follow me. His twitter posts have been interesting to read.

I've been following Michael Hyatt on Twitter and it was fascinating that he went through airport security this week with Vice President Al Gore. Mike introduced himself to the former Vice President. It was an exchange that I would not have been able to know about except through Mike's Twitters.

While many people think that I'm high tech, I do not read my email on my cell phone or have it connected to the Internet. It means if I'm going to Twitter, it will have to be when I am sitting at my computer--and no other time.

Here's a couple of other links to read about Twitter. David Hobson suggests that one of the ways you build a following on Twitter is to consistently deliver good content. That makes sense. Here's an analysis of the people on Twitter with large followings and they have built their following other places. Here's another good post about growing a Twitter following--and once again they are building value in their content.

I suggest you try Twitter and see what you can learn from it as another communication tool. Follow a few people and see how they use twitter and note what you can learn from it. Twitter can be one more tool in your marketing arsenal so you extend your brand or it could be a complete waste of time. The use and control is in your hands.

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