What is it that people do these days? If you are to believe the headlines twitter is all the rage. What defines a good twitter profile? What defines a good online profile? Is it the fact that one may have 2000 followers. Is it the fact they have almost twittered over 10,000 tweets. What characteristics would define someone that you follow?
If you’re a famous off-line celebrity say for example Schwarzenegger or Stephen Fry then without much ado it easy to be successful online. An example of this is Oprah Winfrey who set up an online Twitter profile only three days ago and already has over 10,000 followers. This is all probably very predictable.
What about from a personal point of view those of us who work every day and do not suffer from celebrity status. Is there really any benefit to using twitter. I am amazed at just how many companies and people use twitter try to sell me things most of them don’t understand the first thing about permission marketing. Can one really build a relationship in just 140 characters. It is not easy and like any relationship takes time and mutual interest. To put it in perspective this idea I suggest that you are only as successful on-line as you are offline. Some of my best relationships that I have online also exist in the real world when I go to a restaurant or the cafe. I think that I am just staying in touch. As it is not always possible to see people on a regular basis.
What about the business development and customer care opportunities. Out of experience I will never follow anyone unless I have a particular interest. Ones that use a company name I will not follow. In my experience the company never offers or interacts in the way an individual would. There is always a feeling that they are protecting or selling something. A company that could break this mould could achieve a significant amount of followers and would have a real story to tell to the media. Plus this would certainly gain a lot of extra free publicity. It is conceivable that a company could employ a group of people just to respond to people’s questions on twitter.
If you are going to stay the distance it is about quality. It is better to have 10 followers that are really interested in what you got to say then 10,000 who are not. An example of this is the Velvet Underground whose first record only sold a couple of hundred copies. Their influence though is felt by just about every major rock band that has ever made music. Although comparatively they are still not that well known.
So in summing up if you are genuine and have a genuine interest to interact. Then it is possible to build a quality network a word of warning though when I survey the number of people that follow me 90% are not interested in a two-way conversation and significant less amount are operating highly queastionable/fruadelent activities.