12 Ways to Get Personal Using Twitter

This is a guest post by Michael Gass, whose Fuel Line blog has been ranked one of the top 100 marketing blogs in the world, according to Ad Age’s Power 150.

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Twitter allows me to open up and share my personal side to make an emotional connection with my audience.

Sharing personal information helps my audience get to know me beyond my profession. If all of my Tweets or Retweets were business oriented, my Twitter feed would be dry and robotic.

“People want to work with other people that they know, trust and like.”

A lot of people have difficulty with how to be personal on Twitter. Many tend to over-think their tweets. The truth is, The way you network offline is the same as the way you network online.”

I was just on the phone with one of the partners of a large agency in the midwest. He asked me if I could give him some examples. I came up with the following and thought I would share them in Fuel Lines for others who are having the same problem.

Here are some of the types of personal information that I have shared via Twitter:

1. Showing appreciation

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

When others are nice enough to retweet your posts, you should be willing to acknowledge them and “pay it forward”.

1 AMA

Another way to show appreciation is to have a “two-way” relationship. It shouldn’t be all about you. When people follow me, I reciprocate and follow them back. A couple of years ago, one of the early adopters of social media decided to dump thousands of people he followed. He had over 200,000 followers and unfollowed all but a few hundred. A number of others followed suit. I didn’t do that. I think it is respectful to treat others equally.

  • @RoxanneJoffe and her husband Sam Stern @mHealthMarketer , two of the nicest people I’ve ever met. A pleasure catching up w/ you both today!
  • @angelinestacy thanks for the #FF Angeline. I hope you had a great weekend!
  • @gfb3 thanks Frank. When I worked for Lewis Communications @Lewisideas I visited Mobile often. Hope you are having a great summer.
  • @mobstercreative very kind. Thank you!
  • @mnburgess thank you Mark. Very much appreciated. I hope you had a good weekend.

2. My Personal recommendations and opinions

Such as this recent Tweet: “If you are in retail you should follow @Ball_Brad, former CMO of McDonald’s, Warner Bros Pictures, Nascar Entertainment” or recommending a tool for new business: “I just subscribed to Job Change Alerts from @SalesLoft. 15 second signup here” http://jobchangealerts.com.

Another recommendation: @the_list_online thank you! And Congrats! The List was by far the most popular list service among the 300 agencies in this survey.

I share my likes and dislikes. For instance, I like Southwest Airlines and I greatly dislike US Airways.

A recent rant of mine via Twitter: “B’ham News keeps throwing these free papers onto our driveway. I’m saving them up so that I can dump them all on their doorstep!”

I choose not to share my political or religious views via Twitter. A good rule when sharing personal information in any social media network is to use some common sense. I only share what I would feel comfortable sharing in person when in a mixed setting such as a business meeting, trade show, seminar, etc.

3. Location information and travel

Some people are paranoid about sharing where they are. I’ve never been that way. Since I’m using Twitter as a networking tool for new business, I’ve found it beneficial to share where I am. For instance, I tweeted recently that I was on my way to Nashville. By the time I arrived, I had three additional meetings lined up with prospective clients.

Here is a sampling of my travel and location Tweets:

4. Inspirational quotes and stats

Great quotes and important statistics always create appeal and often become viral when shared in Twitter. Here are some that I’ve recently tweeted:

  • RT @GaryVee Guys once and for all – White wine is BETTER than Red Wine ..at least on my palate
  • Most agencies are in a perpetual state of re-branding or redesigning their websites or both!
  • By 2014, video as a total of Internet traffic will rise to 90% – souce CISCO
  • 80% of decision makers said they found their vendors not the other way around – MarketingSherpa
  • Love is more than flowers and a happy ending. True love is making another’s well-being more important than your own http://ow.ly/mCE7y
  • Advertising Wisdom @LeeClowsBeard No point setting up a client on Twitter if you can’t help them step it up on Twitter.
  • The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” — John Pierpont Morgan
  • Survey: Over 86% of respondents reported using bureaus for recommending and hiring professional speakers http://ow.ly/kTS9F

5. Emotional experiences

I occasionally share my emotions and how I’m feeling. For instance, I wasn’t real happy having to spend the weekend on some major yard work projects. I had a number of guys chime in with some of their own disgruntlements about their “Honey-Do Lists”. I guess it’s true, “Misery loves company!”

Here are a couple of other Tweets of articles that I wrote sharing some very emotional experiences:

6. Articles and books that I recommend

Most people rely on word of mouth from trusted friends when it comes to finding good content. I’m often asked to recommend reading for business development, social media or agency presentations. I write a good number of book reviews and share them through Twitter. I recommend and even help promote resources that I feel will be helpful to my target audience.

  • I just bought: ‘How To Deliver A TED Talk: Secrets Of The World’s Most Inspiring Presentations’ http://ow.ly/kJnLQ
  • Why Is Facebook Blue? The Science Behind Colors In Marketing By @LeoWid
  • You have to check out the video trailer for @jaybaer new book, #Youtility. Very cool! http://ar.gy/YoutilityTrailer
  • The All Business “No Bull Crap” Guide to Social Media Marketing http://dld.bz/aymEZ
  • Free ebook for you: A Field Guide to the Four Types of Content Marketing Metrics. Download it here: http://ar.gy/4AK0
  • John Jantsch always provides such helpful content “How I Podcast and Why I Think You Should” http://ow.ly/kP0sC via @ducttape
  • Reading the The Insider’s Guide to Boat Cleaning and Detailing

7. Personal interviews

Interviews are a tremendous tool for personal branding. It builds credibility with your audience and allows you to showcase your specialty. Sharing them through Twitter allow’s your target audience to see, hear and get to know you.

8. Hobbies and projects

All of your communications through Twitter do not have to revolve around business. It’s a place to enlist conversations, helps and resources when you are engaged in a project or want to nurture a hobby.

9. Photos and videos of family, pets, travel, vacations, etc.

Photos and videos are powerful because people are visual. They can help to quickly create an emotional connection with your Twitter audience. Here’s a sampling of photos and videos I’ve shared:

10. Contests and Polls

Conducting polls and engaging in contests provide lots of opportunities for engaging with others and real time feedback via Twitter. Here are some examples:

  • @bhammag Best Pets Photo Contest – Please vote for my daughter’s pup Brady by clicking “Like” http://ow.ly/ldxLQ Thank you!
  • Should people be given the freedom to work from home? http://twtpoll.com/glrwjj via @michaelgass (this poll generated over 200 responses)
  • Are you a Mac or PC person? http://twtpoll.com/1s5hx5 via @michaelgass
  • Fuel Lines’s ‘Ad Agency Blog of the Year’. Vote for your favorite from among these ‘Blog the Month’ winners: http://twtpoll.com/ifkezk via @michaelgass (Over 3000 responses)
  • Should Ad Agency Pitches and RFPs Be a Thing of the Past? http://twtpoll.com/3n6yo7 via @michaelgass

11. Causes

47% of Americans learn about causes via social media and online channels.

Liz Strauss is a well known social media strategist who has been battling throat cancer. To fight the cancer, it required extensive chemo and radiation. On top of her treatments, Liz also suffered a fall that broke her hip and shoulder. As a result, Liz was confined to the hospital from December through March. Her friends created an auction fundraiser with all proceeds from the fundraiser going to Liz. Tweets like the following helped spread the word quickly:

12. Events, TV Shows and Movies

I’ve tweeted television events such as the Oscars and shared my opinions of the Super Bowl ads. I’ve engaged with others via Twitter while watching programs such as AMC’s Mad Men and The Pitch.

Additional Twitter articles that may be of interest:

About Michael Gass

mike-gass-caricatureMichael Gass is an international new business consultant to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies. Since 2007 he has led in the use of social media and content marketing strategies to make agency new business EASIER.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines, which has been rated among the top 100 marketing blogs in the world, according to Ad Age’s Power 150.  You can reach Michael at michael@michaelgass.com.

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