Twitter: The Single-Greatest Relationship and Branding Tool
Last night while enjoying my third Samba Juice cocktail @SushiSambaChi in Chicago, I had a moment of social media clarity: Twitter is the single-greatest social media tool (yeah, I said it).
I was sitting at a table at with seven amazing women I had never met before: architects, designers, producers, entrepreneurs, professors — and all of us were sharing tales from the trenches and some serious laughs.
There was no hidden agenda, no crazy self-promotion, just a bunch of powerful women looking to meet other powerful women. #Success.
These ladies are now firmly cemented in my trusted social media and IRL networks. I immediately created a list for them (WINC) and they will be added to my personal group of go-to Chicagoans, when someone asks for a referral that matches their skill sets.
I’ve done this before; “tweeting up” with a group of strangers in a bar. And every time it happens, both my network and friend base grows exponentially.
Who knows how we came to follow each other and, admittedly, I wasn’t following everyone that I met up with, but it didn’t matter. I was invited to this tweetup, I went, and I walked away with seven new friends. That is powerful.
As social media evolves and changes the DNA of how we do everything, many predict that it will dilute real relationships, alienate people and make it more difficult for people to genuinely connect.
I could not disagree more.
I likely never would have crossed paths with the women I met up with last night; different fields, different friends, different hobbies — there was little that would have caused us to meet. We met because of two things:
- Our role as women leaders
Why Twittter Works Better Than Facebook
The sort of thing I’m talking about would never happen on Facebook. We are far more guarded on Facebook because we are able to put so much personal information out there, and you carefully select whom you connect with.
I have an unwritten rule that if I have not met you in person, I will not accept a friend request. This necessary safety measure all but ensures that I will never meet anyone new via Facebook. Privacy is at a much higher premium, as it should be.
Twitter is the hidden gem of the social media world. Only 8 percent of American adults who use the Internet are Twitter users. Twitter scares the crap out of people (thank you, @NBCTheVoice) — that’s what is so great about it!
Everyone is on Facebook and, let’s face it, there are A LOT of people who drive us nuts with their over-posting, negative rants and useless updates.
Twitter is the platform for the social media elite. It has a highly developed etiquette system that must be followed. Break the unwritten rules and say goodbye to your followers.
You must learn an entirely new language in order to play in the Twittersphere. You need to really understand the Twitter community in order to understand how to live within it effectively and to use it to create relationships that matter.
Twitter is the definition of new and different, and that’s scary to 92 percent of the American population.
The Power of Twitter
Twitter users know the power of Twitter. That is why brands that understand how to fold seamlessly into the community reap the rewards.
Consider our tweetup last night; a few weeks ago I tweeted about needing a great location for a large party for dinner, @SushiSambaChi tweeted back immediately to offer assistance.
While it didn’t work out that night, that was something I remembered and was certainly impressed by. When we tweeted them that our group was coming in last night, they sent us the name of someone who would take care of us when we arrived — and boy did they!
A flight of their delicious drinks awaited us. Their manager, hostess and chef all checked in on us regularly, and they followed up with thank-you tweets from both their Chicago and national accounts.
You can rest assured that SUSHISAMBA cemented themselves as a favored brand worth frequenting because of that experience.
Additionally, we all made sure to tweet photos and other positive messages about our experience. Together, those messages went out to more than 15,500 direct followers.
Our group spent about $200 in the two-hour time span, and we have scheduled another tweetup there next month. And, here I am writing about it!
If that’s not powerful enough, to further understand the power of Twitter through stats, consider the following infographic:
Twitter users understand the game and we want to reward people and brands who play by the rules and go above and beyond. Check out these statistics from ExactTarget:
- 17 percent of Facebook users are more likely to purchase from a brand after “liking” it.
- 21 percent of Facebook users are more likely to recommend a brand after “liking” their page.
- 37 percent of Twitter users are more likely to purchase from a brand after becoming a follower.
- 33 percent of Twitter users are more likely to recommend a brand after becoming a follower.
So, as professionals and brands consider their options in the ever-changing landscape of social networking, Twitter is the secret club worth joining (just learn the oath and secret handshake first).
About Shannon Downey
She also sits on the board of directors for Woman Made Gallery and the Firebelly Foundation.