Twitter Transparency: Inner Architect’s Strategy

For the sake of being transparent, honest, and forthright, I feel it is necessary, as the Business Director for Inner Architect, to state our Twitter.com strategy on Twitter. Over the course of the last month I have reviewed the Twitter strategies, or lack of strategy depending upon how you utilize Twitter, of the National Association of Realtors and Wachovia bank. Let’s take a look at what we are accomplishing here on Twitter:

Two Account Strategy: deansguide

deansguide-twitter-page

My Twitter.com deansguide has the following functions:

  1. Engage: Spend time investing in my Twitter relationships, my selected communities, conversations, individuals, and companies by following nearly everyone who follows me
  2. Communicate: Direct contact with people or companies
  3. Research: Gather content ideas, valuable links, and industry information for repurposing
  4. Go-To-Source: Try to be a go-to source and resource of valuable information by providing the best tweets as often as possible
  5. Recognize: Recognize great content, ideas, attitudes, and kindness by ReTweeting or writing about any person or company that is creating and giving value on a continuous basis
  6. Network: meet and network with people in Silicon Valley (near my home) and around the country

My goal here is to contribute to the twitter community as much as possible.

Two Account Strategy: Innerarchitect:

innerarchitect-twitter-page

Our Twitter.com Innerarchitect account has the following functions:

  1. Research: Find content that matches our business goals, provides fresh perspective, and helps us build our library of value
  2. Follow: The main focus of this account is to find content, research our industry. Consequently we are less active in following. We try to follow people specific to our industry, read, and listen more on this account.
  3. Recognition: We will not follow everyone that follows us as that is not the focus of this account. What we will do is recognize people and companies that inspire us and provide value on a ongoing basis
  4. Activity: We will produce less content (Tweets) on this account because our focus will be to listen to conversations and gather information

Conclusion

If you are a company or individual concerned with ratio of followers to those you follow, then consider deansguide as the place to be on Twitter. On deansguide, I provide value and follow most everyone to build their network numbers.

If you are interested in our company mission, information, and writing consider following or checking in with Innerarchitect. We will focus on companies interested in social media and

Banks’ Twitter Strategy: Lack of Strategy Hurting Brand

wachovia-bank-twitter

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 3-06-09

We’re here primarily to listen, to learn, to engage with the Twitter community and, occasionally, to share information about our company and services.”–Wachovia Bank

The Wachovia bank bio on Twitter explains their strategy in using Twitter. Unfortunately  they seem to be stuck in the same misunderstanding that many companies have wandered into blindly: they are missing their greatest opportunity to connect.

Wachovia’s Misunderstood Strategy:

According to Wachovia they are on Twitter to:

  • Listen
  • Learn
  • Engage with the Twitter community
  • Occasionally share information on their company and services

Wachovia’s Bio: Problematic

Listening, learning and engaging are exactly what works on Twitter. The first problem in this bio is the fact that you should never make the statement that you (company) “occasionally share information on our company and services.” The idea is to occasionally share company information and services  without stating that is your intention.

Step#1: One of the strategies that best suits businesses on Twitter is to be a go-to source of information by varying the content to include more “outside” information than sales pitches for your own products or services. The “Hard Sell” is dead and gone.

Mixed Signals: Challenge #1

Wachovia wants to “engage with the Twitter community” yet they only follow 204 out of a possible 1,793 people that follow them.

Step #2: If you want to engage your audience, possible customers, or networking partners on Twitter then you must acknowledge their existence and importance by following all 1,793 of your followers.

Perception Challenge: Understanding Strategy

Wachovia’s challenge is that they are trying to fit two divergent strategies into one Twitter account. They say they want to listen, learn, and engage with their audience. At the same time, it appears that they are trying to learn, from prominent Twitterers, information that they can leverage in their own social media efforts. This leads to an ineffective campaign.

Danger of Perception:

The danger is that Wachovia’s audience could perceive them as attempting to build “authority” by accumulating a large number of followers while keeping the number of people or companies they follow to a minimum. This ratio of large tribes of people following you (company) to you (company) following a select few is often perceived by people as:

  • The company or individual “must” be important and worthy of following for their brilliant content
  • The company or individual “must” be uncaring in their attempt to be perceived as important and a “player” in the Twitter community

Best Strategy:

Step #3  Wachovia’s Options

  • Keep the original account (we will call it #1) and make it your customer-audience engagement account
  • Account #1 immediately follow everyone of the 1,793 followers
  • Go to Tweetlater.com and set the “auto-follow” so that you automatically follow everyone that follows Wachovia
  • Set up Account #2 your Learn and Listen account. On this account Wachovia ONLY follows those individuals and companies that provide the most relevant information. If you wish to follow your competition, social media strategists, industry pundits, then do so on this account. Don’t worry about anything else except the research of learning and gathering recon information

Conclusion

By creating two accounts you are able to satisfy all your needs, create better perception for your brand, specifically and strategically target sources of information, and appear to care about the very customers who represent the life line to your business in this or any other economy.

National Association of Realtors’ Twitter Strategy: Update

A few weeks ago, I wrote an open letter to NAR asking them what their Twitter strategy delivers to their constituency. My point was to highlight the fact that NAR dubs itself “The Voice of Real Estate” yet they did not give Realtors a voice when on the social media site Twitter.com.My original post “National Association of Realtors’ Twitter Strategy” shows the following screen shot of NAR’s Twitter account:

nar-twitter-account

The date of this shot above was February 17, 2009 and it shows that NAR was follow 0 as in zero Realtors on Twitter.

Strategy for NAR:

The best strategy for NAR would be to follow what well known pundits like Guy Kawasaki and companies like Starbucks do with their Twitter strategy: follow everyone. On Twitter the best method to recognize your audience, and that is the main focus or should be for NAR, is to follow them when they follow you. Here is an example provided by Starbucks Coffee:

starbucks-twitter-page

Starbucks follows all the people and companies that follow them. They engage their audience and provide their audience, consumers, and evangelists the opportunity to directly communicate with them.

3 Benefits For Following Everyone Who Follows You on Twitter:

You can’t receive DM aka direct messages from your audience of Realtors UNLESS you follow them back. Simply put when a Realtor follows you, the ettiquette and strategy of following them back immediately opens the lines of communication. This allows you 3 advantages:

  1. You can receive feedback on your products and services
  2. You can measure your marketing and social media campaigns
  3. You can open a direct dialogue with the audience you claim to serve

Update on the “New Strategy” at NAR

Apparently somebody is listening but not really understanding. Whoever is in charge of the NAR Twitter strategy decided to follow roughly 6% of the Realtors and professionals who follow them. Here is the NAR Twitter page as of March 3, 2009:

nar-twitter-page-march-09

A Step in the Right Direction

Although this is a step toward the strategy they should consider, following 42 out of the 743 followers that are your direct audience and constituency seems a tepid effort at best. At least NAR is making progress in the right direction.

National Association of Realtors’ Twitter Strategy

The National Association of Realtors is one of the most, if not the most, powerful associations in the real estate industry.The people at NAR are often helpful, very pleasant, and professional in their approach. They take their jobs seriously; and that is why I am puzzled.

The NAR’s mission is to support Realtors, educate the masses, and provide a touch point for an industry that is quickly changing. The biggest change is the utilization of social media tools and blogs, by Realtors and brokerages, for branding, marketing, and lead generation. One of the most prominent of these new tools is the microblogging phenomenon called Twitter.com.

“The Voice for Real Estate”

If the NAR is setting the tone by being “The Voice for Real Estate” and leading by example then what is their Twitter strategy? My point is why don’t the people running the NAR twitter account give a voice to Realtors on Twitter?

Follow Strategy for Twitter

Many major brands or entrepreneurs that utilize Twitter want to initiate conversations with their targeted audience. The strategy most often used supports an open follow process on Twitter. Simply put if you follow Guy Kawasaki he follows you back-each and everyone of you.

The question I would like the NAR to answer: Why don’t you follow any of your constituents who follow you? If the NAR is the “Voice of Real Estate” why not give voice to Realtors, brokers, and affiliate service providers in the industry by following each one of these people back? As of this date, February 15, 2009 the NAR strategy:

Fact: 539 Realtors, brokers, industry affiliates follow NAR on Twitter
Fact: NAR follows “0” as in zero as in none as in nobody

The following is a snapshot of the NAR Twitter page:

nar-twitter-account2

Does Twitter Really Help You Build Your Business: Ask Amazon.com

Reuters.com published this deansguide article 11-25-08

Twitter.com is fast becoming the go-to source for small and big business marketing. For me, Twitter represents my greatest content resource, broadcasting opportunity, and a fantastic networking opportunity with industry leaders. One of those leaders, Guy Kawasaki, dropped a “tweet”, aka mini message, about the power of Twitter in growing your business.

The following is a comment, on MotleyFool.com, answering the question: “Does Twitter Help You Build Your Business?”:

  • On November 24, 2008, at 3:56 PM, j2xl wrote: I work at Amazon. During a lunch break last March I wrote a simple bot that posts Amazon’s deal of the day to Twitter. Since then I’ve added Lightning Deals throughout the day. The bot now has close to 3,000 bargain-hunting followers and drives all sorts of orders every day. Add it to the list of Twitter success stories. Check it out at http://twitter.com/amazondeals .

Analysis:

Big corporations like Amazon, small firms like Innerarchitect.com, and entrepreneurs like Adam Helweh of Secret Sushi Creative are building their businesses, creating opportunities, and connecting with industry leaders on Twitter. The next time you are looking for a method and strategy to increase your business, make new connections, find opportunities, look for a job, or broadcast news about you–look no further than Twitter.com. It is your “mini PR release-sound bite broadcasting” tool.

Adam Helweh

guykawasaki