Working a Twitter Party, Take 2

by Larry Chiang on December 13, 2009

Larry Chiang offers a window into how business works. If you liked “10 Things They Don’t Teach You at Business School “, “Raise Your FICO While You’re An MBA Student“, and “How to Work a Cocktail Party“, you’ll like his newest submission: “Working a Twitter Party, Take 2″.


Larry’s book releases 09-09-09

Before he’s done, you’ll have a cell phone packed with contacts you can text message for superstar advice without having $30k/year in tuition debt.

By Larry Chiang

Twitter is something I do really, really well.

The new website setting the world afire answers the question, “What are you doing?”. The appeal is the simplicity: you do it in under 140 characters.  Katheryn Boehret talks about “How Birds of a Feather Twitter Together“. My town loves, loves, loves Twitter. Yes, I live in Northern California.

Twitter is too new to be taught in business school but understanding and leveraging micro-blogging is important NOW. The Twitter Party is virtual and real.  Here is over a year of my Twitter knowledge boiled down into my patented Top Ten Tips format.

(1) Build Your Brand.

Brian Solis writes about PR 2.0 where traditional media is getting outflanked by social media. Build your brand by picking a Twitter focus and sticking to a theme. Me?! I am the FICO credit dude that blogs about entrepreneurship and “What They Don’t Teach at Business School”.

(2) Amplify and Publicize.

Cut and paste material you are a fan of by “at-ing” people.
For example, I’ll be your BFF if you tweeted (i.e. posted a Twitter message), “@larryChiang, loved your article on Business Week about Twitter http://tinyurl.com/twitter20

(3) Kiss Professor Butt.

Amplify and publicize your reach school’s professors to angle in for the inside track. It might possibly help you get into a better business school, but I would not know first hand about b-school admission because I am zero for three.

(4) Get Behind a Parade.

Summize.com will list out the top ten phrases. They have a hash tag (“#”) before them sometimes. #bwe08 was for BlogWorld Expo, #ventureSummit08 was for the VC Conference in Half Moon Bay, and #larryChiang sounds like a girls gone wild party (get it, ‘pound Larry Chiang’).

Anyway, starting parades are hard but identifying trends and getting behind momentum is easy, fun and slightly diabolical.
(5) Crazy Ivan Works for Me.

Aboard a submarine, a “Crazy Ivan” is where the sub captain comes to a full stop to check to see if anyone is following them in the baffles. Baffles are water turbulence caused by the propeller. Water turbulences renders sonar to be useless so sub captains crazy ivan to see what is in their wake.

Twitter’s equivalent is to check for people who follow you and possibly follow them back. I watch my ratio of “Friends” to “Followers” like a hawk because I wanna keep 1:1 or better.

(6) Run a Twitter Contest.

I love contests to generate interest for the topic I am trying to educate people on. For money, I credit educate people and bribe them with pizza and contests where everyone wins something. On Twitter, I reward those who follow and read my tweets with easy to win contests.

For example, I was at TechCrunch50 and tweeted, “First person to tweet one of my GigaOm blog posts (about Twitter Party) gets a Nordstrom’s gift card”. @puhala won it.

(7) Import the Real World Into Twitter.

Twitter Parties are starting to pop up in the real world. These tweetups used to be nerdy computer folk but now are beginning to be mainstream.  I have met great friends such as @jowyang@ec and @flackette.

Practice normal Twitter etiquette by following those who follow you. I use my PDA on the spot. For example, I was at Rick Calvert’s BlogWorldExpo where the majority of the conference twittered and I input Twitter handles directly into my Sidekick. When I was doing my post conference write-up, I could easily list out my favorite Twitter peeps.

Recently, these twitter folks made great impressions on me: @michaelCummings @lmclean @cloud8 @whitneyM @mucheazy @appley @lmclean @prRobin @cynk and @jjToothman


My mentor, Mark McCormack, who wrote the book, “What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School“.

(8) Get Mentored and Find Mentors.

I hone in on a handful of topics I search via Summize.com. I am interested in FICO, credit scores and “SF + Parties”. Other people have found me when I tweet about entrepreneurship. Summize.com also has an iPhone application that pulls your searches together.

People who share interests can get mentored by pure strangers connected only by similar interests via Twitter.

(9) Fortune Cookie Flavor.

I have an unfair Twitter advantage because I love fortune cookie wisdom (because I am Chinese). Adding to my momentum is I read and regurgitate a lot (see Mark McCormack’s book). This translates into good tweets. If you want good tweets, make them feel fortune cookie-worthy.

Check me out on Twitter… I am kind of a big deal 😉
P.S. I took fortune cookie flavored text messages one step further: I started a company that sends people text messages to raise their FICO.

(10) Avoid Twitter Pitfalls.

(a) Don’t add 100 people before you reach 100 tweets.
Starting slow is OK. Unfollowing those that don’t follow you back within a week is ok too.
(b) Don’t use a weird name people won’t remember
I use LarryChiang because if someone wants to stalk/kill me, they’d spend a dollar to run my credit report which lists EVERYTHING.
(c) Don’t tweet about the overly mundane but try to share something real and confessional.

Good luck out there and text me during my office hours: 11:11am/pm give or take 15 minutes. This article is at http://tinyurl.com/twitter20 so tweet it!!! Thx @tylerWillis. I am also on Facebook in the Austin TX network… why Texas?! It is because I started ‘Austin Secret Society of Entrepreneurs’ (#asse9). If you see a typo or grammatical error, email me with your cell in the subject line! larry@larrychiang.com :-) If you host a tweetUp like #svTweetUp, post it in the comments BELOW.


Larry’s book release 09-09-09 and BIO: http://tinyurl.com/AmazonBio


Larry Chiang is the founder of Duck9, which educates college students on how to establish and maintain a FICO score over 750. He has testified before Congress and World Bank on credit.

He is a frequent contributor to Business Week’s blog on “What They Don’t Teach You at Business School“. For fun, he crashes dorm cafeterias, eats at sorority houses and plays basketball on college campuses across the USA.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: