AIA NATIONAL Tweet Up Follow Up

Friday, May 25th, 2012

The following is a summary (& expansion) of my comments during the AIA National Tweet Up last week during the national convention. I was “interviewed” during the gathering to just give some quick thoughts on Twitter. I just wanted to get it out there for a bit of posterity. It was so great to meet everyone and I was very honored to be invited by the National Component to participate in this manner. This may not be exactly as I  stated during the event, but it is the best I could recall and a little extra for each…

AIA 2012 Tweet Up Crowd

AIA 2012 Tweet Up Crowd

1. What do you have to say to Twitter Naysayers? 

Twitter is not about your ROI. It’s about growth both personal and professional. It is not a place to get projects. But you can find a place and position yourself to be aware. It’s a great place to gain knowledge that can help you get a project. It is a valuable way to gain knowledge and increase your professional network. It does take effort and time. It should be a conversation. It’s not a broadcast, especially in the beginning. You have to participate. Not just blurt out sales pitch. That is not how it works or what it is about. Twitter is personal AND professional. It is one big conversation. Actually it is hundreds of thousands of ongoing conversations. And you can join them as you please. And the ones you want to join. But you have to join.

2. How do you use Twitter for business? 

I mainly use it for thought development and knowledge aggregation. It is a wonderful resource to learn about your desired markets. It allows you to keep up with the markets that you may want to move into or grow your presence. It provides a great deal of relevance. Also I cultivate a vast network of counterparts. And not just architects. Consultants, products manufacturers and market leaders for other areas that I am interested in like public schools and higher education.  There is also the ability to share my knowledge and perspectives. Twitter creates a level playing field. Big or small you&/or your from has a voice. And it can even be larger than the biggest in the industry.

3. What is Value of Twitter? 

Currently it is immeasurable. I feel the amount of personal/professional growth that you can accomplish is unparalleled. I have a much larger network of thought leaders and experts because of twitter than I could via traditional offline methods. I mean I would not be here talking. Also as a very small firm it provides me a much larger platform for my ideas and perspectives. My voice is much larger and reaches much farther than it could otherwise. That is an outstanding benefit that spans across business and personal growth. It just allows my audience to get larger.  The other great value is the networking. I have numerous virtual friends that I can rely on for all types of information and input. Just here at convention I have met up with about 20 virtual friends and made them reality. So the virtual becomes reality. And I instantly feel like I know them even though we are just meeting face to face. Because of our Twitter interactions I kinda know them as a person already. That is still real.

Me chatting in front of the Twitter stream

Me chatting in front of the Twitter stream

Questions from the attendees:

How do you or what are your thoughts on the line between personal and business when tweeting from your account?

I have a separate personal account.(among others) But the line is one that is easily blurred. But that is one of the best parts abut twitter, it is personal. And business is personal. People like doing business with people they enjoy. So it may not be great to have your business tweets be personal, but they should convey your personality. They should have some life to them.  But I agree it’s a hard line not to cross, but I try to keep it to a minimum when I can, just for business.

How/what are your tactics to increase followers and influence?

I think that valuable content is the best way. Finding interesting content to tweet, creating your own content, or retweeting others great content are all best practices. I also think that participating in Twitter Chats is a solid way to increase your growth. It usually brings new people to your network. If you share good information, your network will grow without effort. I must say this, which I did not mention then… you should not worry about the number of followers you have. You should concentrate on creating a strong and meaningful network. That is truly the goal. There are too many metrics around and most of them do not really “measure” your efforts correctly. Many of them try, but it’s not exactly something that can easily be quantified, especially for service industries. If we were selling products, it would be easier. But we are in a business of people and relationships which are difficult to portray in a numerical formula.

 

AIA 2012 Tweet Up: More of the Crowd

AIA 2012 Tweet Up: More of the Crowd

 

 

 

Still Chatting about Twitter

Still Chatting about Twitter