I’m just going to come right out and say that some People of A Certain Age don’t “get” Twitter. Shockingly, that Certain Age seems to be 30 and older.
If you just rolled your eyes when I said “Twitter,” and especially if you’re a consultant, then I’m talking to you.
Social media has changed rapidly. The first tweet was sent just seven years ago, and at that time Twitter was envisioned as a place where people could share the minutiae of their lives with other like-minded people. (The name “Twitter,” was chosen by its founders precisely because it describes “inconsequential chatter.”)
And if you’ve seen a Twitter feed recently, you’ll see Twitter is still used that way, and people with actual lives feel they don’t want any part of it. This attitude was best expressed in Time by NBC News Anchor Brian Williams in 2010, when he explained why he didn’t have a Twitter account yet:
“I’m going to go ahead and assume that people buy awesome sweatpants every day and that I don’t need to know them by name.”
And that’s where People of a Certain Age stopped paying attention to Twitter. Because who has time for that?
But things have changed, and if you run a business, or a consulting practice, or a creative services agency, you should pay attention.
Because even though these “old” attitudes about it persist, Twitter has evolved. It has carved out a place in modern society not just as a way to share pictures of your food, but something much more than that. Now, Twitter is a tool for filtering the vast Internet to peoples’ personal tastes.
Did you catch that? Twitter is a tool your potential and current clients use to filter the Internet to their personal tastes.
Twitter is used by people who read what those they follow are saying, and linking to. For you it’s a channel you can use to become an intimate part of your audience’s day. When businesses do it right, their followers on Twitter feel they have a real relationship with their brand (because they do!). Small businesses and solo practitioners can benefit especially because it gives you the chance to qualify and interact with new leads who you may have never met otherwise.
The Clever Consultant has started using Twitter more robustly in the last few months, and a few things have happened:
1) We’ve received new leads from unexpected places
2) We’ve deepened relationships with clients, and started relationships that could lead to referrals
3) Traffic to our website has increased significantly
We’ll have more to say about Twitter in particular and social media in general throughout the summer. But, meanwhile, is anyone with me out there? What experience have you had in your consulting practice with Twitter?
And, of course, you can follow us on Twitter right here.