Don’t Fear Twitter

Okay, I’m going to do it. I’m going to start tweeting. Do you tweet? Are you thinking about it? If you’re a newbie, don’t fear Twitter. That’s some of the advice I heard as part of a panel presented by Social Media Summit.

Who to Follow…

Brian Clark (@copyblogger) suggests following people “relevant to what you are about and what your business is about.” He also suggests sharing more than just the content you have on your blog. “Sharing is a sign of status on the web,” he says.

Chris Brogan (@ChrisBrogan) suggests listening for a bit before deciding who to follow. And he strongly recommends against sucking up to the big names, such as Ashton Kutcher. It’s not going to get you more followers.

Keeping up with Tweets…

Chris says you don’t have to read every tweet. (Halleluiah!) Even if you tried, he says there is no way to keep up with all the tweets.

He recommends using tools, such as TweetDeck, which is a personal real-time browser. You can also use Twellow, a directory of public Twitter accounts. And don’t forget TwitterSearch. 

Connecting…

Twitter is more than simply sending out 140 characters. Chris says it’s about building relationships and connecting. That’s why the @ replies are so important.

Says Darren Rouse (@Problogger), “Twitter is a relationship building tool.”

Are you ready to connect?

“Delete All” Is Not an Option

I’m fighting my emails and they’re winning. Some days I aspire to simply hit the “delete all” key and – problem solved! At least until an action that was required comes due.

It’s a real problem for me – and frankly, I hope for others as I don’t want to think I’m the only one who can’t control these pesky little entries. The other day I was so excited because I started the day around 450 and when I left I was at 247 – progress… And it’s not a case of reading and deleting, almost everyone required an action that took from 1 minute to 20 or more.

So why do I have so many? Part of it is that my job requires travel and when you average 100+ emails a day, a one-week trip puts you at 1,000 plus. I try to keep up through the BlackBerry but that doesn’t always work.

One thing that would help is clearly identified subject lines; I would then at least know the urgency of the item. Chris Brogan also recently commented on emails and he noted that subject lines matter. Here are a few of his suggestions for subject lines –

  • DECISION NEEDED: Picking the corporate logo today
  • SCHEDULING: Check Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday
  • PROMOTION HELP: Looking for some blog and Twitter love

He says that we should make every email definitive. If you’re planning a meeting, put out three or four days and dates. For the most part, emails should exist to inform, move ideas around, and then stop,” Chris wrote in a recent post.

I had a designer who urged me to send him copy and in the subject line list what the copy was and whether art was included. It made it easier for him when he was laying out the publication – he could identify the email he needed quickly. He trained me well.

Perhaps he could train everyone who is sending me emails before I hit the “delete all” key.