Note: this has been re-posted from the Inc. 5000 conference blog.
Despite the fact that 39% of the Inc. 500 are blogging, I found only a tiny handful* of folks at the Inc. 5000 conference (speakers or entrepreneur-attendees) who are actively engaged in using social media. And when I say "actively," I mean more than the occasional blog post.
If you're wondering how I "met" Greg on Twitter, let me briefly explain. This may also explain why microblogging works as a marketing strategy. I tweeted about choosing a new email service provider. (Yes, "tweet" is a made-up word that explains what you do when you type a short entry, up to 140 characters, into your Twitter account.)
I mentioned @BlueSkyFactory (the company's twitter handle) as one vendor I am considering. Greg saw it and tweeted me back, saying: "Hey, let one of our sales reps give you a demo."
By checking his Twitter profile, I quickly determined that he was CEO of the company. I was impressed. A CEO who would take the time to contact me directly?
I chatted with Greg by phone today to find out why he's spending time, as a CEO, on Twitter.
"I'm one of the converted CEOs that gets it," he told me. "And my sales force does too." He's convinced that business development is a by-product of participating in conversations. "All these tools (the company also has a blog and a Facebook page) are ways for us to amplify our signal."
Even more effective, he explained, is when a third party recommends your company via Twitter or in the blogosphere. When social media guru Chris Brogan mentions Blue Sky Factory, "we get a flood of inquiries," Greg said. Chris has nearly 15,000 followers - people who have signed up to follow or read his every tweet. (Anything over 1,000 followers is considered an impressive following.)
*Inc. 5000 Twitterers - #inc500
I found your tweets after the fact but thanks anyway to attendees @lizaK , @prospectMX , @ryanbuch, @emikubota and others (?) for your live twittering of this year's Inc. 5000 conference in Washington DC.
How did I miss you guys?!