My "Conversations" series continues with travels to the Rio Grande Valley, where I met Shaine Mata. Shaine has an interesting story to tell and vision to share. From being a migrant farm worker to blogging, to State Government work in Austin and back to his home the Valley, Shaine sees using Social Media tools like Twitter to create an Twitterland without borders between the U.S. and its neighbors in Mexico.
Twitter is a great tool for networking, seeing what's on the minds of people that I follow, and a wealth of information and data specific to PR and Social Media. You can find me on Twitter here.
Here's how I am using Twitter:
1. Engaging and listening to people where I live in San Antonio. I've made new "real" friends who are not just into the craft of communications but are really interesting and nice people. That is benefit #1.
2. Self promotion. OK.... so I do have to self-promote myself and my business. Since I blog here and over at 3Screens.net, I can tweet to the world about a post that I think is not only self promotional, but helpful to others.
3. And speaking of being helpful, that is something I am really focusing on with Twitter. I figure if I am helpful to others, others will be helpful to me and so on and so on. Sort of a version of Pay it Forward, if you will.
4. Sharing my human side. Yup, I am human and real. This weekend I was in Galveston, Texas and was Tweeting my impressions of the destruction of the hurricane that you still see present. The during Thanksgiving shopfest known as Black Friday, I shared my impressions of people shopping vs. buying in San Antonio, Houston and Galveston. The week before, I went to see BB King and Tweeted my video that I shot at the concert.
5. Direct conversation. You can direct conversation with other members... sort of like SMS on your cell, but via your computer. Very efficient and direct.
So where can you start?
1. Think of an objective or two? Make new friends. Expand your network. Learn about a new social media and communications platform. Promote a cause.
4. Start a conversation or two. Tweet something interesting and helpful to others who are liked minded. You'll be amazed at the responses and the followers you will attract.
5. Don't spam others. A huge no-no.
6. Broadcast news or your insights on the major news events. If you are live where something is happening, Tweet about it.
7. Tweet at least once day. I am finding Twitter to being sort of addictive, particularly on my iPhone where I use Twitterific. It's a great way to check in several times a day, in between meetings, just to scan and when appropriate chime in on conversation.
8. Find people with similar interests. They could be where you live or around the world. I still go back to one of the greatest benefits of Twitter is that I have made new real friends right where I live.
9. Go offline from Twitter. Sometimes, I don't want to have a conversation with someone on Twitter. I will share my cell or a secondary email address to engage further.
10. Traveling? Meet up with Tweet-Ups with other like minded Twitter people when you travel. I've done it and it's great to meet like minded people in other cities.
Here is my seventh in a series of interviews with members of our Social Media community in San Antonio. Meet Luis Sandival, who's just joined Advantage Rent A Car as a member of their marketing department to help improve and increase their online presence.
Debbie Weil Debbie Weil, aka the MonaLisaOfBlogging.com, is a corporate blogging and online communications consultant and the author of the forthcoming "The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get It Right" for Penguin Portfolio (2006).