Yes I Am On Twitter

Published by 35 Comments

You can follow me on Twitter here – http://twitter.com/yarostarak

Did you notice the tipping point? Twitter hit the tip somewhere in the last few months and it’s clearly gaining serious critical mass.

I’ve had a Twitter account for many months but largely ignored it because social media is such an attention suck and I already spend too long in front of the computer as it is. I’ve successfully ignored Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and I thought I’d do the same with Twitter, but alas, sometimes you can’t let things pass or you may miss out on opportunities.

I like to focus on one thing and become really good at it – in this case blogging and running my business – but you don’t want to get left behind either, and since Twitter isn’t too labor intensive to manage (compared to Facebook or MySpace), I’ve decided to bend to the will of the people and get active tweeting.

Twitter looks like a lot of fun and since it’s really like blogging but without massive wordcounts, it should be easy enough to maintain.

How Many Signs Do You Need Before You Take Action?

There have been a few signs lately that prompted the decision to become an active Twitterererer, for example…

  • Darren Rowse personally Skyped me to suggest that I use Twitter. I think Darren clearly has a Twitter addiction, but of course he knows when something has serious marketing potential too, so you can’t ignore such a blatant suggestion from a source like this.
  • Caroline Middlebrook’s blog rose to recent fame thanks in part to her Twitter Guide. This indicates the demand and interest in the topic is driving a lot of traffic.
  • Rich Schefren told everyone via a blog post to begin Twittering after Gary Vaynerchuk forced him to pay attention to the service.
  • Ed Dale, always on top of the latest social media trends, sent repeated messages to his list suggesting they join Twitter and even went so far as to create an introductory training video on how to sign-up for Twitter to make sure his audience figured it out.
  • John Chow could be considered a late adopter, but if there’s money to be made you know he will jump on the bandwagon eventually, so recently began recruiting followers to his twitter feed.
  • And let’s not forget over 100 people followed my Twitter profile before I even told anyone it existed and many people asked whether I had one directly through email too. So yep, everyone – I am on Twitter officially now and thanks for caring :) .

This is just a sample of the signs that Twitter has gone massive, at least from the perspective of my own little sphere of attention online. Shoemoney, Maki (aka DoshDosh) and Brian Clark (copyblogger) also tweet, so if you care about the Internet marketing, make money online and blogging worlds, you have no shortage of people to follow.

Oh yeah, did I mention my Twitter address? – http://twitter.com/yarostarak

What Is Twitter?

If you don’t know Twitter, it’s basically a micro-blogging platform that lets you post short sentences to update people on what you are doing. People follow you and you can follow others.

I’m not experienced at Twitter yet, but my assumption is those who already have a high profile online and channels to get in touch with a lot of people, will logically develop well followed Twitter accounts. Hence so many top bloggers recently prompted their readers to follow them on Twitter and yes, now I’m doing it too.

Presumably, as is the case when looking to use tools for marketing, the number of subscribers you have is what counts, so increasing your Twitter following is the goal (it’s like RSS for blogs). No doubt there are courses and products in the pipeline or already available that teach Twitter marketing.

For those with no means to establish a following thanks to existing celebrity status or traffic assets, you have to learn how to leverage other “assets” or tactics to build your Twitter following, for example -

  • Leverage your good looks to gain a following (i.e. your Twitter profile image matters – oh, and how err…presentable you are).
  • Be wildly interesting. Those who are opinionated and controversial can do well – though I wonder how easy it is to express your unique personality and strong opinion when you only have 140 characters to do so, in which case it’s more about your ability to link out to interesting content then use witty words within the twitter posts.
  • I presume the real power comes from using Twitter to network and connect with people. For the moment at least before overwhelm hits, people respond and take notice of tweets and by sending messages directly @ people you want to know, perhaps sharing interesting links, you can enter their sphere of attention.

Gaining attention in the attention age is always difficult to do, especially from the top experts in your market, so if they have a Twitter account, you have a means to bug them. This is a similar tactic to placing a few well thought out comments to a blog to grab the attention of the blogger, but of course like blogging, you will have to be gentle with your approach through Twitter if you want others to respond in kind, if at all.

Twitter represents one of the simplest forms of online networking available today and helps people to “feel connected” with others, a natural human desire, which is definitely one of the key reasons it has taken off.

Twittering Influence

The predominate Twitter marketing strategy experts suggest, is to further extend your ability to influence people. Much like a well read blog or a well subscribed email list, with attention and engagement, you have the power to influence behavior. A well followed Twitter profile has the potential to do the same.

You might look at your Twitter profile as yet another way to build a channel of communication. Will it be as effective as an email list for direct response marketing? – No of course not, but this isn’t about comparing one technique with another, it’s realizing all the avenues you have available to you.

A well followed Twitter profile could become comparably effective to a blog with a good RSS readership. The way people interact with these communication mediums is similar, choosing to consume the content when they want to and unsubscribing when the source no longer satisfies.

I haven’t conducted any marketing campaigns with Twitter and it’s still very early days in Twitter’s lifecycle, but I imagine it is a great medium when used as part of a product launch. You could talk a lot about what’s going on behind the scenes in tweets, sending people to content as you release it and keep the flow of communication very organic.

Many bloggers use Twitter to send traffic directly to their blog posts (in fact some bloggers seem to use Twitter *just* for that!), which in a way, mirrors what I do with email marketing, sending traffic back to my blog through my email newsletter in some messages (not all of them though).

Twitter could prove to become similar to email marketing, bringing attention to content with quicker response times simply because of how people pay attention to their Twitter updates. With Twitter notifications (optionally) coming via email, the mediums are merging together and to me this points to a need to look to hybrid marketing, combining different channels to distribute the one message and reach as many people as possible (for example, RSS, Twitter, Email and Web).

As is the case with most Web 2.0 applications, the Twitter style is very personal and it’s difficult to clearly separate what is marketing and what is just communication between peers. Of course this is the ideal situation if you want to market anyway, so you can understand why so many people are raving about Twitter’s potential as a very natural sounding marketing tool.

If you are interested in using Twitter as a marketing channel, my friend Gideon and his friend Juho have released a video titled – The Amazing Power Of Using Twitter For Your Marketing Campaigns. You can watch the first 26 minutes below -

If you want the entire video including the third part, you have to opt-in here Web20MarketingElite.com

The Tool of Choice

Because Twitter has risen as the tool of choice for microblogging you have to go where the traffic is, at least if you want the advantages that the medium offers.

There is a mass audience already using Twitter and they commit a proportion of their attention to it every day. This in turn means you have to spend attention @ Twitter too, if you decide it is worth including as part of your online branding and marketing strategy.

Or of course, let’s not forget you can do this simply because it’s fun – not everything has to be about marketing. You can gain business benefits but use the tool primarily because you enjoy it, so it’s worth trying out just to see what all the fuss is about.

I’m Off To Twitter

I found a couple of interesting links that I’m going to stick in my Twitter account. If you want to follow my shenanigans, then please follow my Twitter:

http://twitter.com/yarostarak

Yaro Starak
Tweeting

About Yaro Starak

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35 Comments

  • I’m excited to see you get involved on Twitter since BlogMastesMind was my first exposure to blogging.

    Yes, Darren’s been doing good things on Twitter.

    • Sorry – BlogMasterMind.

      See what Twitter did, it allowed me to be the first commenter on this post. :)

  • Jason

    Twitter…hmmm.

    Are we really getting excited about this?

    Micro blogging? Oh, c’mon. Why must we give it some clever name to justify it — “to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?”

    Is this for real?

    Why don’t people just pick up the phone and let their friends know what they are doing? Maybe a visit to a relatives house? A lunch with a co-worker? Coffee … a game of street hockey… ski trip? Oh, I forgot we’re all too busy trying to keep up with technology that is meant to connect us and keep us closer to each other.

    Interesting.

    • Not all socializing takes the form of conversation. In the age of cell phones, the ability to be interrupted at all times means that picking up the phone for an extended talk may not be convenient for both parties at all times. Back in the day, picking up a landline ususally mean being off work, and you could reasonable assume that the person you were calling was available as well.

      Messaging, in the form of Twitter or SMS, can be a better way of getting a thought across. If I want to ask someone in the early afternoon if she wants to have dinner tonight, I’d rather ask by text than couch the question in 10 minutes of smalltalk. Some messages honestly aren’t worthy of a long phone call, the same way that some handwritten messages for better expressed on postcards than complete letters.

      With or without ostentatious names like microblogging, Twitter’s just one socializing option that may or may not fit your lifestyle.

    • Oh yes, Twitter is for real! I have had *thousands* of visitors to my blog directly from my Twitter feed. But it does so much more than that as Yaro hints at. If you use it just to tell people about what you had for lunch then you wont see the benefit but ifyou use it properly it can be a hugely effective marketing tool.

      Read the first part of my Twitter guide (Yaro linked it above) – or even just the first paragraph, and see if that doesn’t convince you that Twitter is a serious tool in the modern era.

  • I just started using twitter and think its a great way to network first off, and second a way to get exposure to your blog that another user may want to see. DoshDosh wrote an interest article about maximizing your ROI with social networking you can read it at http://www.doshdosh.com/social-media-networking-and-roi/. Thanks for reading you can follow me at

    http://twitter.com/onemansgoal

  • The possibilities seem endless. Especially when you can auto connect with Pownce and other platforms by simply using Twhirl

  • Hi Yaro,

    You’ll make Twitter work for you because that’s who you are! I can’t say that much for me thus far. I’ve been off it the past week as I’ve been focused on other things. I’ll jump back in this week and see if it makes sense.

    Everything is not for everyone of course. I hate small talk! So, unless I figure out how to use to well, I’ll probably jump off the twit-mobile soon enough.

    For now, see you there! I hope your life/biz are going great.

    Kim, Colorado

  • PS – thanks for doing this great post about Twitter. When you’ve gotten into the groove of it, post again! I’ll listen to the video you have above later too.

    Thank Yaro! You rock! Kim

  • Tim

    For someone who has a 100% online business I had never even heard of Twitter. I must say I am over Facebook and the endless invitations to flush your time.

    I will definitely check out twitter though as it sounds, at least to this point in time, a little more focused and simplistic. Given my target market for online products are expecting or young mothers I believe they would love that kind of communication.

    Thanks for the tip. Great blog posts.

  • Hey Yaro

    Interesting comments so far…

    Here’s my 2c’s worth…

    I’m a bit like you…I’ve had a twitter account now for about a year, but have only really been using it in the last two weeks. I didn’t really get serious about it until I had an interview with my buddy Juho, from technology land, Finland.

    During the interview, he made it very clear to me that, if you’re not on twitter already, simply put, you’re missing out.

    You’re missing out on making new friends.

    You’re missing out on building a massive network at the speed of light.

    You’re missing out on getting your presence out there and getting known in your target market.

    And you’re missing out on getting lots of new business as a result.

    I basically use it to have fun with and to meet new people. It is just soooo easy to connect with people. And you guessed it, you can still connect with fairly high profile people, especially in the Internet Marketing world. Before twitter, these people were untouchable.

    As to the issue whether it’s actually making us less social as a human race, I’m sorry, I cant agree. I think one of the main reasons why things like twitter, facebook and myspace are exploding like they are, is because of our (ie humans) incredible need to feel connected. We seem to want to know that we are also part of the bigger picture and that other people are taking notice of us. So far, twitter does this the best in my view.

    But I suppose there is a balance to be kept as well. One might go nuts if one only spends time on twitter. But combining good regular social contact with twitter, can only be a good thing in my view.

    It’s certainly opened huge doors for both me and Juho, my buddy from Finland, as well as everyone else I know on twitter.

    Talk soon!

    Gideon Shalwick

    • You’re spot on Gideon.

      I think to benefit from Twitter the most, you NEED to get in quick and start using it. As with most social networks, the best time to get in, is when these networks are starting up – people let down their defenses and “follow” people because they’re just glad to have a friend. Wait a few months when this joint is old-hat and the laggards will be scratching for followers.

      I’ve been procrastinating about posting about Twitter on my blog, but now I think it’s time I hurried up and just did it.

      Fantastic post by the way, Yaro…

  • Yea! It’s about time Yaro! This is spooky actually because just yesterday I was toying with the idea of emailing you to ask if you were on Twitter but I figured you probably weren’t so I didn’t bother lol!

    Thanks for the link also. I’ve really seen all the big names take Twitter on board recently so something has definitely changed to make people change their minds. I am a huge fan of Twitter as you probably know and I sing its praises all the time :)

    Welcome aboard – see you in the Twittersphere!

  • Yaro, great to see you’re on Twitter.

    I did a short post about Twitter, titled “Oh, Twitter” – with my ‘take’ on the tool – http://www.MoneyPowerWisdom.com/oh-twitter/

    I might be wrong, but I remember following your tweet-stream early on when I joined Twitter – but then UNfollowed because there was nothing happening on your end.

    Have re-joined, looking to share some thoughts on Twitter!

    All success
    Dr.Mani

  • Twitter has certainly been on the lips or finger tips of a lot of bloggers over the past week. I think it’s about the most talked about tool I have seen in a long while.

    Even people, like myself, that didn’t really care for Twitter a few months ago are getting excited and active.

    Twitter rocks

  • Welcome to the party. I held out for a long time, but it really is a useful platform (as long as you don’t go crazy with it).

  • This Web 2.0 stuff makes my head spin. I thought I was pretty up on new technologies by Twitter is something I just don’t get. I guess if I was tied to a compute all day long it might make more sense to me.

  • Chris

    Yaro,

    Great post. I’ve wondered what the true benefits of twitter could be for bloggers, aside from just keeping up with friends and what they’re doing every second of the day.

    I have sort of an off the track question. I looked at your series on building niche sites. I want to know where a good place is to buy an old domain–I have heard that the older a domain is, the quicker it will get ranked. Do you suggest a service?

  • Nice to see that twitter is doing well. I guess ill start since i need t get sum publicity for my new blog:D

    Thanks for the post!

  • You mention Twitter being a new marketing medium, and I agree.

    It seems that the marketing of Twitter accounts has begun on eBay:

    http://tinyurl.com/6zgjfm

    (I shortened the link due to eBay’s size of the link)

    Last time I looked, this Twitter account was up to $1,500 U.S.!

    Wow!

  • Yaro,

    I for once thought that Twitter is useless in term of self-promoting, and wondered why people twitting and put a Twitter widget in their blogs.

    Now, I reconsider Twitter – thanks to this blog post. I already envision what you explain about Twitter – and consider starting to have an image of myself to be put in thousands of directories and blogging platform :)

    Cheers!

    Ivanpw
    http://www.noobpreneur.com – resources for entrepreneur
    http://www.englishfair.com – bidding web directory

  • Okay, I’m not sure what to make of this Twitter thing…First, I think it’s ludicrious for someone to actually sell his or her account on Ebay, and what’s worse is that there are people who are actually placing a monetary value on this drival! I have to agree with the comment made by Jason earliar. I already have more than enough to do just working my blog, I don’t want to have to actually start another ” Microblog ” just to let others know what I am doing, I mean isn’t that the purpose of my blog in the first place?

    Well, just for ha ha’s, I will keep track of this ” Twitter Ebay Sale ” just to see the actual winning bid….it’ll also be interesting to know if this person actually receives his cash after the auction ends from the winning bidder…and as far as having a twitter blog, I think I’ll pass, as my life is already way to busy and I have to make the most of my valuable blogging time on my site and the things devoted to grow my audience.

  • Twitter, like blogging, is more of a pull, it feels lightweight, if you write something and there’s no reaction, you don’t feel bad. I think this makes it very easy to interact socially with people, because you don’t have to worry that you’re imposing an unreasonable burden upon them. Twitter is a bit crap some days when all you get is people bragging about who they’ve met and where they’ve eaten and how many iPhones they snatched after queuing for three days. But then again, you can just ignore that or unsubscribe from receiving their updates. Twitter is about groups that are created, morphed and created anew, as people collect around events and ideas.

    Twitter is also making it easier to be connected. The netvibes module allows you to twit from your netvibes page. Twitter is for staying in touch and keeping up with friends no matter where you are or what you’re doing. For some friends you might want instant mobile updates—for others, you can just check the web. Twitter is a site that asks one simple question – “What are you doing right now?” It’s most often used by college-age people to keep up with one another.

    Twitter doesn’t bring innovation to the table so much as new interaction with innovation. What’s causing Twitter’s astronomical growth must have something to do with the uses people are coming up with for it. Twitter is also a great forum for research, if you have the right kind of friends. More and more people are using it for quick polls, and to recruit, source topics for stories, and hunt for PR stories.

    Twitter is designed to work on a mobile phone as well as a computer. All Twitter messages are limited to 140 characters, so each message can be sent as a single SMS alert. Twitter also makes a great career tool: ‘Follow’ the leaders in your profession, or subscribe to a free headline service (Reuters, The New York Times and other sites offer breaking-news updates via Twitter.). Twitter is either a pub or a cafe – depending on your preference and/or the time of day.

    Twitter is a great communication companion and allows you to communicate FAST. Twitterverse is the latest mashup of the increasingly popular Twitter. It takes information from “tweets” coming from a certain period of time, and then analyzes them to see which words are being typed the most.

    What is twitter you ask? Well, some refer to it as “micro-blogging”. What is twitter to you? To me it’s just a fun little app that lets me keep up with some of my friends.

  • Hey, I’ve been using twitter more and more lately – it’s cool – but kind of a pain to remember to keep updating it!

    MysteryCEO.com

  • Thanks for some great information on Twitter. I’ve been using Twitter for a while now, socially and hadn’t thought of using it to promote my blog. I sure will now! See you on Twitter.

  • yep.. I miss out the opportunity for Social media, Now I’m really excited on twitter it’s already growing up at my Country. beside of that the lack of Friendster is still the number one.

    I taught If we want to drive traffic from Social Media ike Myspace,Friendster, or any kind of, we need to behave a really unique design to attract the attentions..

  • [...] traffic which using an miss opportunity stuff for a few back season. Look the report at here and here. They are using the social networking tools to drive the traffic, It’s look the potential [...]

  • Hi – I saw your blog on Technorati and noticed the post about Twitter – I’d like to know why you decided to go ahead and get a Twitter account? What was it that changed your mind? I’m just a starter with blogs and online commerce, but it’s through reading about people like you and the advice you share that helps. If you ever get a free moment, and it sure sounds like you are one busy person, I’d sure like to know what you think of my blog.

  • NextInstinct

    Yaro! I tested Twitter 18 months ago (it was spelled twittr, twitr), and
    called it that it was here to stay.

    A brillaint blogger like you is the perfect user.
    Actually, we all are, (minus the spammers).

    In one sentence, we really can convey relevant notes ♪
    that are worthwhile!

    I will stop by with tips.
    Enjoy.

    Tip#1 If you’re well known, and have security concerns,
    don’t Tweet:
    “Daughter Michelle is babysitting for me while I run to the Mall…her first time” <- From a public figure!!
    Here’s another:
    “Damn! I forgot my Rolex at thome and we’re already here, oh well” <-from a traceable figure!

    You get the point.

    Twitter is excellent. Is your use of it?

  • [...] recently seems to have reached a tipping point as other online marketers have noticed and now every man and his dog is tweeting (look, you can [...]

  • Thanks for the very helpful resource. I think I’ll link to it for all my friends who still don’t really get “Twitter.” I have it integrated into Facebook and have found followers through that connection already.

  • [...] Some of you guys are on Twitter and several who have not have been asking me about what it. Here is an article that talks about it from an internet marketing angle. [...]

  • Ya buddy i am your great follower i follow you every where i followed you on twitter and on mybloglog also. I love you updates.

  • I’ve been a holdout on all the social networking sites, but I love Twitter because:

    1. It doesn’t take much time. I can skim through updates while I’m taking a break from real work.

    2. It connects me with people I otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to know and like–and whom I certainly wouldn’t take the time to call

    3. It allows me to build my personal brand by being who I am, in front of more people

    4. I’m using it now, in conjunction with other techniques, to “market” my weight loss campaign–to myself. The more public it is, the more likely I am to follow through.

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