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The New Stuff

Is Twitter for Business or Personal Use? Depends

There are debates about how to use Twitter. Whole books have been written on the subject by actual users like Joel Comm and Warren Whitlockand Deborah Micek.

The debate is whether Twitter is for relationship building or business. Put simply, it is for both. We all know that for the most part we could care less if someone is eating a grilled cheese sandwich, but maybe that is how a conversation gets started. It is sometimes the "little" things that make way for other things. Maybe that person needs to feel heard at that moment. It can be intimidating to see alot of replies to other people, and no one is talking to them. At least, that was my experience in the beginning.

By engaging in the small conversations you do build up a certain credibility. If they need advice on writing articles, joining a mastermind, or whatever. They are going to go to the people they trust. That is the key word. Credibility is built with trust. Trust that concerns are taken seriously, judgment is withheld when a boneheaded thing is done, and that a person is going to send them to someone that is going to help not try to sell to them.

Twitter runs the board on the types of people on it, so it stands to reason that it also runs the board in terms of purpose. For many, it could just be about making friends or networking and for others it could be just to get business. The conversations and expectations will be different.

I tend to have both on Twitter. Though I am not trying to sell a product or service, I still like to have readers for articles or viewers of videos. There is also a virtual mentoring thing for me. I read the tweets, get the newsletters,listen to calls and look at the Websites of people who have done what I want to do. They have something to teach me, and I am willing to learn from them. People like Carrie Wilkerson, barefoot_exec, who I have adopted as a mentor because I like what she contributes to women, her honesty and straight Texas wisdom tempered with compassion. Who would not want to emulate someone like that?

In dealing with people in a business way, I find that it also includes relationship building. People want to know who you are before they put money or time on the table. The tweets that are sent tell people about the type of person that is coming across to them. An example, is one person that I follow, her tweets seemed to be negative all the time. She may be good at what she does, but I don't trust her business sense, because of her personal. That might seem judgmental, but character speaks volumes.

On the friends side, there are people I chat with, argue with, and get giddy with. No sales pitch. There are a couple of reasons for that.
1. They are not my target audience.
2. I just like meeting people.

Here is what I do on Twitter:
1. Retweet wisdom: When someone gives an idea or resource, I send it to my followers.
2. Talk to people: I might respond to a post or just say hello to people that I normally speak to.
3. Inspirational words: I do this because people need to hear that they CAN do something, especially when there are all the negative voices around trying to tell them they can't or shouldn't.
4. Introduce other people on twitter: If I think that two people might be good for each other, are in the same thing, or going through the same thing, then I try to introduce them.
5. Promote articles and videos: I go by the standard that you are not a writer if you keep it hidden in a drawer. My articles tend to run into political opinion or something similar, so I am mindful of that, but it is also a conversation starter.

The key to Twitter is to engage with people. You can't build relationships just reading tweets or sending out sales pitches. Think of it like the real world. You never know who you might meet.