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How Well Are You Served by Those You Decided to Follow on Twitter?

Who we follow on Twitter can expand our awareness of the world.

I started tweeting only a few months ago. In the beginning I thought it would be a waste of time, since half of the information is trivial. But the other half is vital. Here is how I get the best information from the greatest minds who share their insights on Twitter. Every time I want to learn something new, I search for the leading experts in the field, and I follow them.

For example, Tom Peters or Jack Welch are great to follow if you want to know more about leadership. If you want to increase your motivation, you may want to follow Zig Ziglar or Tony Robbins. If you get tired of their tweets, no problem; just click "unfollow." Twitter delivers wisdom on demand in real time.

Follow a mastermind group of experts

If you want to increase your social media IQ, here is a list of my top 25 Social Media gurus that you can follow on Twitter.

If you want to increase your understanding of Sales 2.0, here is my list of the top Sales 2.0 experts part I to follow. Since I've published that list, I've received a number of calls from people who I have not included, which prompted me to create the top Sales 2.0 experts part II. Check it out now and decide whom you want to follow.

Jill Konrath recently created a group of her favorite sales authors. Here is a blogger who created a list of the top 100 Social Media books ever created. Here is a list of analysts you may want to follow on Twitter. You can create your own mastermind group at www.tweepml.org and share it on Twitter. The benefit: Many of the people you add to the list will likely retweet your list, and this will likely increase the number of people who will follow you.

Social Media vs. the Old Media

As the number of social media tools increase, we will see a rising tide of more useful information spreading across the Internet. What is the impact on the old media? How will that influence newspapers, broadcast media and magazines?

Here is an interesting report: Unity's 2009 Layoff Tracker Report shows that journalism jobs have been hit three times harder in this recession than other job categories. Newspapers and broadcast and digital news media have shed more than 35,800 jobs since September 15, 2008. The great majority of jobs lost were in newspaper production and other print journalism. The Internet is slowly picking out the middle man. People want to get the news they want instantly, in short bursts, online.

What has more impact on our success, print or online?

As the publisher of Selling Power magazine I still see a large number of people who prefer to get their information from a printed page. For every person who says, "Print is dead," I hear three people saying, "I love the magazine. I learned so much from it. I take it with me when I travel." Reading print has a different feel. Opening a book or a magazine creates a certain intimacy and mental focus that stimulates the imagination. Print has always been the medium of reflection. It opens doors to our inner universe, and what we read enriches us.

The magic of online is that it opens doors to worlds we didn't know existed. Online is the medium of action. With each click our focus moves forward. In a way, the pleasure of discovery goes hand in hand with the faint feeling that there is no closure.

We always know when a book or a magazine is finished, but the Internet has no back cover. There is no stop sign that says, "You've come to the end of what we know."

In the end, what counts is the question, How well are we served by what we read in print or online? Does it lead us where we want to go?

Question: Please share how much time you invest per week reading print media vs. social media. (blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)

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trish bertuzzi

Great post and thanks for the lists. Also thanks for including me on the Sales 2.0 expert list!

I have to tell you that although I am a lover of all things online, there is something special about holding the printed word in your hand. For me it comes to this...online I scan...in print I read, take notes, save for future reference and ponder more. Just MHO.

Dennis Hall

Thanks for your perspective on making Twitter more relevant for business. Following my prospects - both companies and people - has served me well by helping me understand what's important while differentiating me from my competition. I continue to struggle with Twitter users who are bound and determined to sign me up for a multi-level marketing or other Ponzi scheme. I need to figure out a way to separate the "wheat from the chaffe" in a productive, accurate fashion. It's possible that in the near future we'll be "judged for the company we Tweet." Keep up the great work and thanks. -@Salesgrok

Bruce Colwin

Great piece, Gerhard, and some valuable resources. I particularly liked the comment ...

We always know when a book or a magazine is finished, but the Internet has no back cover. There is no stop sign that says, "you've come to the end of what we know."

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