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Celebrity Branding You: Tweeting … and Why it’s Not Just for the Birds

You’ve probably heard the buzz-terms “social media” and “social networking” more times than you care to count; although if you’re like most people, you still haven’t figured out what it means or how you can use it to increase your celebrity status, and, most importantly, your profits. You’ve also probably seen kids wandering around aimlessly with their cell phones, tapping away at their keys as they wander through the world -- clueless about what is going on around them because they are so entrenched in their own little world of text messages.

Well, the good news is, it’s not that hard. The entire concept of Celebrity Branding® revolves around creating a relationship with your fan base, and continuing the conversation you want to have with them via multiple forms of media that allow you to control your message. The old standard method of doing this is with a hard copy newsletter sent to your prospects and clients; which is still one of my favorite methods. I would challenge you to find a better form of media, but we’ll debate that another day.

Social media allows you to take that same concept you can capitalize on with a newsletter, the concept of building a relationship and continuing your conversation with your fan base, but it takes out the constraints of physically publishing your thoughts (which is a double-edged sword, as it sometimes allows you to be a bit more sloppy about crafting your message. There is a mental barrier we have when writing something that is going to be put in print; we often spend more time crafting this type of message than we do when we draft an email or other communication that we perceive as having less value than printed material).

Wikipedia.com defines Social Media as:
…the use of electronic and Internet tools for the purpose of sharing and discussing information and experiences with other human beings. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends on the varied perspectives and "building" of shared meaning among communities, as people share their stories and experiences.

It’s really not that scary, I promise. You’ve probably even seen a MySpace, Facebook or YouTube page in the past. These are great, but I want to take you a little further down the path to one of my favorite tools that hasn’t been around quite as long, and that makes use of some newer technology.

Twitter.com – Twitter is a “micro blog,” which means that it is intended for publishing short messages, not longer messages like you might see in a traditional blog, and was created to answer the question “What are you doing?” (Note: If you aren’t familiar with what a blog is, that’s okay too, but we don’t have space to cover it in this article. Go to Google, and type in “what is a blog” and you’ll find all you need to know. )

Twitter allows its users to send and read other users’ messages that are up to 140 characters in length (otherwise known as “tweets”). Users “follow” each other and can opt to receive updates from other users on their cell phones, or can just check in online to see what those in their network are doing. Users can also “Tweet” by texting messages to a phone number, or they can update their messages online at Twitter.com. While it sounds very narcissistic and shallow, and it certainly is for some users, savvy marketers have started using Twitter to expand and further entrench their fan bases in their way of thinking.

Tweets can contain something as simple as what you had for lunch or that you’re heading to the gym; or you can opt to tweet a link to a great article you read, to announce some great news or even to announce a contest you are holding. It sounds like it would be pretty silly, but give it a try and you’ll find out pretty quickly how addictive and productive it can be.

Twitter allows you to connect with your audience in short bursts. Some of the people who are worth following to learn a bit more are (I’m going to give you their usernames so you can find them on Twitter):

craigballantyne – Craig is a health and fitness expert based out of Toronto, Canada and is the founder of the Turbulence Training™ fitness system. Craig shows individuals how to get and stay in shape without having to go to the gym. He tweets about every meal he eats to give you some insight into how you can eat to stay healthy and also posts links to some of his workouts to you can follow along at home.

barefoot_exec – Carrie Wilkerson, The Barefoot Executive, offers tips and resources for working at home. Carrie shows you why working at home can be much more fulfilling than holding a regular job, and also shows you how to be as productive and profitable as possible.

skydiver – Peter Shankman is a PR Guru and founder of HelpAReporterOut.com, which is a resource to help you get cited as a source in major media outlets. He is one of the few people I know who can be funny in text, and he has some pretty amusing things happening in his life. He’s fun to watch and he sends out urgent queries from journalists via Twitter as well.

zappos – Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.com, an internet-based shoe retailer who has built an online shoe store into a billion dollar franchise, based on his savvy marketing and his ability to give online shoppers what they want. Tony is always on the move and posts some pretty unique stuff. Recently Venus Williams was coming in for a tour of the Zappos headquarters and he let everyone tweet in messages to her that he read to her aloud.

nicknanton – I couldn’t help including just a touch of self promotion! I keep you up to date with the latest and greatest articles I’ve read, tips and tricks on Celebrity Branding®, and I also give you glimpses into my hectic everyday life. Sometimes I’m hanging out with rock stars, other times I’m trying to bathe my two kids and keep my iPhone out of the bathtub … you just never know, but that’s what makes it interesting!

There you have it -- a few great resources to get you started using Twitter. As I said before, it sounds a bit strange, but once you start using it you’ll see how others are using it to continue the conversation with their fan base, breed loyalty, increase profits and meet new prospects.

So what are you waiting for? Go sign up right now at www.Twitter.com and send me a message so I can start following you too!