Your business operates among a web of networks within and without the organization. Your internal web consists of various departments, a system of reporting and accountability, and employees with varying degrees of experience, knowledge and education. Your external web is made up of vendors, shareholders and consumers who also may interact with your competitors and other related enterprises. As you become more intimate and connected to the entire web you begin to sense the slightest changes within your field of relationships. According to author Mary Beth O’Neil,
When anything comes in contact with a spider web, anywhere on its surface, the whole web moves… so it is with an interactional force field established between two or more people. It has its own anchor points, resiliency, and breaking point, and it is most often invisible to the members within it. When anyone in the field moves, all members feel the effect, though differently based on their positions.”
When you become more familiar with your internal and external business webs you become more sensitive to slight movements, and their effects upon your business.
In the opening story in this article at what point should Bob have felt change in his environment? Could it have been the moment he sensed the missing river? Remember he had been there several times before with his father. At this point he should have stopped and asked himself, “Something isn’t right here. Let’s regroup.”
Back to Bob
If Bob had detected and thought through the changes in his environment early and learned to use this information, he probably would have made better decisions and avoided an embarrassing trip. Some environments do not stay the same within time; they change, while others stay the same. Therefore, we must remain on constant vigil or else learn life’s lessons the hard way. What could Bob and his companions have done differently? It’s easier to gain insight from hindsight but it’s even better to develop foresight; insight fostered by perception and knowledge. Therefore, learning how to learn is the key to increasing intelligence capacity, which must become a priority for every organization. A “winging it” approach simply won’t help you survive through the unexpected changes in your business environment.
Latino Townhall had only been active on Twitter for three months and acquired over 1,200 followers. This was done without all the gimmicks to acquire new friends fast. For me, if you are going to build a meaningful community this the right kind of growth. Twitter, like any other social media tool, can become addictive. Therefore, it is important to adopt some basic guidelines to keep your sanity without spending hours every evening on social media sites. When I log onto Twitter I try to keep in mind the “5 Twitter Touchpoints”:
Touch Point #1 – Post 5 Substantive Posts
Twitter is a social media phenomenon used for many reasons; one of those reasons is to pass on Tweets that inform others and can potentially draw clients. Also, Twitter is a social network where you can follow and update your friends. When you log on try to post five substantive posts that will inform and draw a loyal audience.
Touch Point #2 – Retweet 5 People
I have learned that retweeting likeminded and interesting information not only affirms others; it reveals your values. Retweets garner you appreciation from the source of that Tweet, and helps you build a stronger relationship with that person.
Touch Point #3 – Reply to 5 Tweets
The “Reply” link is next to the “Retweet” link. Try to reply to at least 5 Tweets that draw your attention; it is fun as long as you keep it friendly. This creates a friendly dialogue with your followers. If you dare to challenge someone’s thinking do it in a friendly, non-combative way.
Touch Point #4 – Follow 5 New Friends
I try not to follow “just anyone” but only those who I think can benefit from my information, services and friendship, and likewise I can benefit from their posts. So when I log on, I tend to follow at least 5 other Twitterers.
Touch Point #5 – Direct Message 5 Twitter Friends
Direct Messaging (DM) is a private conversation with your friends. It’s a good place to pass on information to your followers that you may not want all over Twitterland. My DM’s tend to be more personal exchanges such as phone numbers, emails, job information, and potential business “meet ups”, etc.
These Touch Points limit me to @ 30 to 40 minutes on Twitter, and my wife doesn’t have to play Bejeweled for the rest of the evening on Facebook – LOL! This information maybe conventional wisdom by now, nevertheless, these insights are derived from my personal experience on Twitter.
Do you have another Twitter Touch Point you would like to share with others?