On Twitter, even casual interactions can deliver business benefits

This week, I’m featuring personal case studies to demonstrate how the social web can provide tremendous business benefits … often when you least expect it!

Today’s example started when I tweeted “Go Steelers!” … and ended with the video about my business that you can view by clicking the image above.

I was watching a Monday night football game and tackling a little work at the same time. I flipped to Twitter and cheered for my favorite team. “I’m cheering for the Steelers, too” Michelle Chmielewski tweeted back.  And soon we were sharing our love for football, Pittsburgh (where she was a student), and blogging.

I had never connected with her before but Michelle had been reading {grow} and had just started to blog herself,  The Observing Participant.  As a new blogger, she asked me for some feedback on her own posts.  Over time I grew to really love the  quirky, funny video posts she featured. One day I had a brainstorm — one of these videos would be a great way to explain my business to potential customers!   Michelle agreed to do it, but on one condition — instead of pay, she needed a new high-definition camera to take her video blogging to a new level.  I was glad to oblige and provide her with a tool that could further her career.

I’m sure you’ll agree that Michelle’s video is awesome, and in a week or so I will be featuring it on my website.

Throughout the year, Michelle and I continued to learn from each other. She talked me into getting on to Skype and has looked to me as a mentor on career issues.  Best of all, Michelle is my friend, and that never would have happened without the social web.

So here’s the lesson of Twitter: You just never know!

Let’s check in again with my formula for creating business benefits on the social web and see how it relates to this case study:

Connections + Meaningful content + Authentic helpfulness = Business benefits

How this worked in the real world:

  • Michelle and I both actively created connections by engaging with people on Twitter.
  • Because of the meaningful content on my blog, Michelle became an interested follower.  Michelle’s video content created engagement with me and eventually resulted in a mutually-beneficial business benefit.
  • We continuously offer authentic helpfulness to each other without regard of any future “pay-back.”  This trusting friendship will continue to pay personal and business dividends.

This formula works.  What “unexpected” Twitter stories do you have?

This is the second installment of the unexpected benefits of the social web. You might enjoy these other articles:

Part 1: How to become a CMO in 10 tweets or less

Part 3: LinkedIn: A goldmine of business benefits

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  • Perhaps it’s you Mark :)…so two weeks ago I got on Twitter not knowing anything. Somehow I cam across your blog (I do not remember how) and liked the content. I started following you and saw something in a tweet you sent to others. Not understanding the language of Twitter I sent you a DM to ask what it meant. You answered and then generously offered to send me more info off Twitter about how to use the platform. I put to use what you provided and have since made 2 valuable business connections I would not have come across without having connected with you – so thank you!

  • This is AWESOME ! I so loved this clip, Mark and Michelle. I’ve do vlogs occasionally because sometimes clients ask for it to help promote a talk I’m giving, and sometimes because I truly believe in varying the way I deliver content. But this raises the bar. I love the genuine enthusiasm Michelle projects and thats infectious. Still, the low-fi feel of a vlog like this also makes me feel like “Hey, I could work with people like that”.

    Like I said: Awesome !

  • Mark

    @Marc See? You and I are a case study in the making!! So glad I was able to help and that things are starting to cook for you on the social web. An important lesson here — by commenting on my blog you are demonstrating a great way to actively build a connection with somebody, so that is very cool.

    I think “You just never know” is my new motto. : )

  • Mark

    I love your video blogs … in fact you inspire. me. I have not tilled that ground yet because so many I see from other bloggers seem self-involved to me. Yours are very natural and conversational and would be a model for my own attempts. Michelle is the gold standard. Her vlogs are works of art, entertaining and interesting. I was actually looking at cameras yesterday. Hey — does anybody want to buy ME a camera? Ha!

  • Jim LeBlanc

    This is really neat. Can Michelle tell me what kind of software she used to put this together?

  • Hi Jon and Jim, thanks! It was great fun to do this with Mark and to get to work with him. Like he pointed out, we have been in touch for a while now and this was a great way to tap into the power of social media.
    I use Final Cut for the videos on my Mac, it is really the best tool (I think) for putting together videos. Like you said, Jon, it is still a low-fi feel which I think goes nicely with the spirit of social media.

    Best,
    Michelle
    @MiChmski

  • Mark, it’s nice that you go out of your way to connect with your readers and like what you did above for Marc there. It’s nice to learn by example.

    There’s also nothing like sports to connect with people. Unfortunately, I’m an Arizona guy and last year still hurts.

  • Mark

    @Johnny Can’t we all just get along? Look at it this way, your star receiver came from Pitt. Michelle and I lived in Pittsburgh. See? We’re all connected. Feel the love, brother. I’m glad you’re here. : )

  • Ah, now I’m inspired to get Final Cut. I’ve been surviving with iMovie thus far. Thanks for sharing Michelle.

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  • You were responsible for one of my great twitter stories. When you Retweeted about my birthday fundraiser campaign, a couple of your followers came to my blog and subsequently donated to my campaign. One in fact set up a matching donation for all other agencies to elicit additional donations! (@billymitchell1) Did not expect that by any means. Really helped the campaign.

  • Mark and Michelle the dynamic duo! The video’s just great. Michelle, how long did production take? Recording vs. editing?
    I’ve done a couple webcam versions for meetings I couldn’t attend, knowing if someone else delivered the message it would lose some resonance. But I haven’t posted any to my blog.

  • Jenn Whinnem

    Great video! It’s really fun!
    Love the story too about how Twitter spawned a friendship & business relationship. Can’t wait to check out Michelle’s blog.

  • Mark

    @Kacy — Glad I could help a very worthy cause. BTW, the charity Kacy mentions here is buidling fresh water wells in developing countries.

    @Carla — Look forward to your first vlogs!

    @Jenn — You’ll become a fan : )

  • @Jon – it’s definitely the way to go, it’s far more precise than iMovie

    @Carla – I would say total production probably took about 20-25 hours. I actually started off by filming 2 different versions and we went from there, working on the feedback Mark was giving me. The longest part is definitely the editing, I would say I spent about 80% of the time on editing. Can’t wait to see your vids

    @Jenn – 🙂

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  • A year late to the discussion, but I have to say that I love the video @ca74fec4ba4bfacd710488b9e6b3fbd7:disqus ! Super clever and very effective. I’m a new video afficianado and use it often on my blog…so I totally get the incredible amount of work it must have taken to pull this one together. Mine are shot usually in one take, with minor edits and then thrown up on the youtube channel and blog to get the content out there. Even that process can take upwards of 2-3 hours, depending on the edits, the copy I write to go with the post and production time. Hat’s off to you! And to Mark for the idea! :0

  • Remains one of my favorite Twitter stories!

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