Yes, I really mean that statement. Twitter, when used by audience/consumers/etc is the greatest real-time feedback tool this world has ever seen. Nothing comes close to it. It’s better than Facebook, better than blogs, better than G+ , and certainly better than asking our friends, “How’d I do?”
Although this topic has been circling my head for quite a few months now, recent weeks have reaffirmed this message loud and clear.
What a Difference Twitter Makes
Earlier this month I spoke to about 150 swimming pool and hot tub companies at the National Pool/Spa convention about the powers of inbound and content marketing. For 3 hours, we had tremendous conversation as to how their business could see an utter facelift if they would but only embrace a new paradigm of marketing.
And how did I do?
Unfortunately, I have no idea. Well, let me restate that—I’ve been told by many folks the seminar was excellent, but I’ve still not received one single written feedback form. Other than a handful of emails from companies wanting help with their web marketing, I’ve got zilch. Nothing. Nada. Furthermore, because they were your typical blue collar business owners and not very focused on social media tools, not a single tweet was made by anyone in the session in 3 hours of discussion.
On the opposite end of this spectrum, last week I had the absolute pleasure of flying to Toronto and speaking at the energy-packed Meshmarketing conference (represented as #MM11 on Twitter). And if there is one thing I learned about folks in Toronto during my short stay was the fact that they love their Twitter. Check that, they REALLY love their twitter.
I had two opportunities to speak at Mesh—a panel discussion in the morning and a solo workshop in the afternoon. Despite the fact that I spoke less than a total of two hours, those incredible Canadians sent out hundreds of @thesaleslion tweets throughout the day. In fact, as I stepped off the stage from my first panel, I was able to look at my twitter stream and immediately know all the thoughts, comments, and observations from audience members.
Some tweets were funny. Others were serious. But every tweet truly made for noteworthy feedback. To help you understand exactly what I’m talking about, let’s take a look at just a few ways in which Twitter taught me new lessons at this recent event.
Twitter Will Show You Your Mistakes
During my panel discussion, I was asked about ‘engagement vs. traffic’, and which was the truer measure of success for a blog. My response to this (or at least the response I thought I gave) was ‘it depends on your goals’. In other words, just because a site gets a lot of comments doesn’t mean the site is profitable or reaching its goals. Engagement comes in many forms, and we just have to be aware of that.
Notwithstanding, when I saw this tweet from Jeff, and the subsequent partial disagreement from Matt, I realized I hadn’t explained myself very well, and thus needed to make sure I corrected the mistake. In order to do this I sent out a response to the tweet and also re-answered the question in my afternoon session. Without twitter, I never would have known of the misunderstanding.
Twitter will tell you if you look Dorky
Ahh yes, my friend Natalie did just say I was rocking a Forest Gump hair cut. I literally laughed out loud when I read this tweet, as it was a truly powerful observational statement, with a load of humor behind it. Later on that day, Natalie told me she was actually being complimentary of my ‘military look’, but I still think it will go down as a classic.
Twitter will tell you if you’re not so Dorky
Twitter will tell you when you’ve made a cultural blunder
During the panel, I made a typical analogy I always say when describing the value of a blog article: “Each blog article you write is like an extra bullet in your gun, ammo to use later on…”
Boy did this little statement get a reaction! It was tweeted multiple times. As you can see, some thought it was funny. Others probably not so much. Either way, in hindsight I now realize it got so much reaction because I was in Toronto Canada, a place where guns are few and far between, and not so much viewed in a positive light.
Twitter will show you your most powerful statements
Every good presenter and speaker needs to have an array of strong statements that audiences can remember. But the problem with coming up with these statements is the fact that it’s almost impossible to know what those ‘hot button’ statements are after the fact. Again, this is why Twitter is so amazing. For example, I was asked during my panel discussion by an audience member whether or not it was OK to talk about/pitch one’s products in one’s company blog. As you can see from the tweets above, many of which I’ve not included, a blog should be about education whereas the rest of your website should be more ‘self-promotional’.
Had I not seen all of these tweets though, I never would have known that statement would have such a memorable impact on listeners.
Twitter will tell you what words you abuse/use too much of/or simply sound funny to other people
Twitter will tell you just how well you’ve done
Twitter will tell you how much attention you’re getting
I wasn’t kidding when I said Canadians were passionate about their Twitter. Heck, I’ve never trended in a country before and I don’t know if I’ll ever do it again, but this tweet certainly gave me quite the smile.
I could literally go on and one about the value of Twitter as a feedback tool. The fact is, if you use this medium to your advantage you’ll never need a ‘feedback form’ again when delivering a talk or presentation (assuming the audience uses Social Media). But this principles goes much further than talks and presentations, as it applies to a vast amount of other activities, like TV shows, commercials, events, blog posts, new advertising campaigns, etc.
If one really looks at this, the possibilities are endless. But the bottom line is this: Are you using this feedback tool to truly help you and your company get better at what you do?
I’d love to hear some of your thoughts on Twitter as a feedback tool. Have you used it in this manner and what have been the results? Has anyone on Twitter ever made observations of you or your company and helped you improve a problem you weren’t previously aware of? Also, as individuals and businesses learn to leverage the power of Twitter as a feedback device, how to you think this unique medium will be further utilized in the future?
Download your FREE copy of my 230 Page Inbound and Content Marketing Made Easy eBook now and start reading in 60 seconds!