Making Twitter Work for You – Michael Gray WebProNews Pubcon

by admin on March 17, 2009

Making Twitter Work for You

Michael Gray Atlas Web Service WebProNews Pubcon with Abby Johnson Austin Texas 2009

Abby Johnson: This is Abby Johnson with WebProNews and we’re at Pubcon South in Austin, Texas. Joining me right now is Michael Gray of Atlas Web Services. How are you?
Michael Gray: I’m good. How are you?
Abby Johnson: Great. We’re going to talk about Twitter, social media, different things like that. First of all you just spoke on a Twitter session. And talk to us about what not to do with Twitter first of all and then following up with what to do.
Michael Gray: I think a lot of people they obsess too much about the rules on Twitter. The big thing is find what’s working for you. Determine what your goals are. You want to do on Twitter what’s helping you meet that. There are a lot of people who come and say you shouldn’t be tweeting commercial links, you shouldn’t be tweeting product links. If that’s your goal you’ve got to try and find a way to make that work. Maybe you don’t want to do that your know 8 or 9 or 10 times a day. Maybe that’s not all you want to do but you want to try to find a way to make that work. Other than just your basic common sense stuff. Be a good person in the community and be polite you’re pretty much open game.
Abby Johnson: You also threw out examples of company’s brands that, you know, typical rule of thumb, people shouldn’t talk about themselves all the time. But there are people who do, and it works
Michael Gray: Yeah, this is kind of the way it works in bigger business too. The bigger your business is, the more you can get a way with. If you’re a big fortune 500 company, you can get away with being a lot more shamelessly self-promotional, as oppose to someone who’s a small mom and pop or even a mid-sized company so you’ve got to kind of figure out where you fit into the ecosystem how big a fish you are in the pond and that’s directly proportional to how much you can get away with. I don’t know that I’d recommend saying let’s see what I can get away with first. I’d kind of say let’s start pushing stuff and see where I start losing people and where they start getting annoyed. Again, but that’s up to you to decide where you’re going.
Abby Johnson: Okay then. Well earlier this week you wrote an intriguing blog post in which you said, “Social media should not be used to waste time and money on awareness and branding exercises broadcasting messages that are unremarkable to the uninterested masses.” So explain your thoughts here and how it is easy to fall into these practices and there are so many people doing this.
Michael Gray: The big thing is a lot of companies they just approach it as we’re just trying to get exposure. There’s no conversion in there. It’s like what are you trying to get them to do? An example is Skittles. Skittles was in the news recently and you’ll say, Skittles got mentioned a lot. What was Skittles’ goal? Did they want people to go out and buy candy? Was that their goal? Were they just trying to engage people and say hey we’re trying something new? Were they just trying to get links? I don’t know that that helped them sell any candy. Maybe it got them on the radar screen and it got them a lot press and if that was their goal, that’s fine. But I think you have to kind of determine what you want to get out of something and go and find about what the ways to do that are. If you’re just sitting on Twitter saying this is what I had for breakfast and my cat rolled over, and that kind of stuff, occasionally that stuff is fine and it lets you know there’s a real person behind the account. But if you’ve got to kind of work with your goals to say what am I trying to do and how can I create an interesting Twitter profile that people want to follow and how can I get from where I am now to where I want to be.
Abby Johnson: And ultimately, that will better engage with your other followers and help produce productivity.
Michael Gray: Right. Again, you want to talk to the people who are doing what it is your doing. If you’re selling wedding dresses, you’re probably not interested in guys who are talking about sports all day because they’re not your customer and they’re probably not going to be sending it to their fiancée. It’s not something that’s interesting to them. So target the people who you’re interested in. Find the people who are going to get you the most value. And that’s where you get the most out of Twitter. Having fifty thousand people is great but if only five thousand of them are interested in you, that’s really what your metric is so find the people who are talking about what it is you want to be talking about.
Abby Johnson: Michael Gray, thanks so much. This is Abby Johnson with WebProNews covering Pubcon South in Austin, Texas.

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