To Tweet or Not to Tweet

As read in Seeds of Success … Social media is transforming how people do business and make connections. But experts say social media has to be planned out and executed well to be successful.

Be passionate.
“Passion always beats skill. Realize that it’s the passion in your subject matter that will engage,” says Gary Vaynerchuk, an entrepreneur and social media devotee whose video blog is called Wine Library TV.

“It’s hard to convey passion in 140 characters on Twitter,” says Jeffrey Hayzlett, chief marketing officer for Kodak. “But if you are consistent, people begin to see that you are deep, not shallow. That’s what small businesses have to do as well.”

Be real.
“Authenticity and transparency are critical in social media,” says Mari Smith, president of the International Social Media Association. For example, she says the robust culture that successful online entrepreneur Tony Hsieh has developed at Zappos includes the following Twitter training message for employees, who each have their own Twitter accounts: Be authentic and use your best judgment.

Forget the old hard sales pitch.
“Nobody on the Web wants to hear it, and people will tune you out,” Vaynerchuk says. “Listen; don’t pitch. If you’re selling flowers and are chatting about them to a potential client, instead of saying, ‘Hey, buy my flowers,’ listen to one of those looking for advice about a specific flower and help her out. Your knowledge and honesty are what will give you an audience.”

Don’t overthink.
“People just want you to communicate with them. They’re not necessarily obsessed with grammar or sentence structure,” Vaynerchuk says.

Read more expert tips about using social media.

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