Your Twitter Questions Answered on a Plane: Volume II

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Welcome to Volume 2 of “Your Twitter Questions Answered on a Plane! This trip finds me going from EWR to St. Louis, for a Keynote at the River Casino on Tuesday. Remember, you can ask me any question you want, anytime, at

Jumping right in, @rosemarierung wants to know what I think to be the biggest waste as far as social media goes. Rosemarie, I’d say anything you’re using to try and generate revenue without finding out if your audience uses it first, is probably your biggest waste. If you’re Tweeting all over the place, but have neglected to find that your audience is primarily on Facebook and linked-in, you’re probably wasting your time.

@kateeidam asks “What if the hokey pokey really is what it’s all about?” You know, there was an interesting story out of this – The guy who wrote the song died several years ago. His funeral, while an elaborate affair, actually wound up being pretty awful – They had a ton of logistical problems – See, every time they tried to put the body in the casket, well, they’d put his right foot in, and well, you get the idea.

@avwriter asks a great one – How do you cope with the haters? I’ll tell you, I used to hate having haters. Gave me that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, you know? Now, I just look at it like this – The majority of all haters are anonymous. They post bullshit online, hiding behind a Twitter handle or anonymous comment login. That tells me two things: They’re jealous, and if I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t be working hard enough. Fact: Haters fear change. If you don’t have haters, you’re not doing enough to change the status quo.

@tommytrc wants to know what separates a great angel investment opportunity from a good one. For me, it’s about the passion. Give me two companies with the same business plan and the same ideas, but one is run by a founder with much more animated passion about the ideas, category, value, and product, and that’s the one to whom I’ll give my money.

@lauraitgeek wants to know the cheapest way to gain new followers on Twitter. Well, Laura, (love the name, btw…) I’ve always said that the number of followers we have is really nothing more than the new penis envy, but I’ll indulge you – Simply, post interesting content. The more interesting content you post, the more you’ll be retweeted by your current followers, and the more new followers will join from that. It costs zero, and increases your value and worth. Additionally, the value of Twitter has always lay in the retweet. So work that, and move from there.

@spartans20 asks what kind of startup deals I look to invest in. Well, I’m currently invested in Pixability, SnapGoods, and sit on the advisory boards of the ScotteVest, FitID, and a bunch of others. For me, it comes down to what I told Tommy (@tommytrc) above. Show me something exciting that fills a need and doesn’t exist yet.

@tommytrc also asks me to describe my day on September 11th, 2001. For that, I ask you to read this post I wrote on 9/12/01. – Search the page for the word “Shankman.” Essentially, I was on a plane, 3rd for takeoff at Newark Airport, on a United flight, watching the first building get hit.

@TheCareerClinic asks if I’d be a guest on their show again. Sure. Email my assistant Meagan, she can set it up.

@theflaggagency asks if I ever see the sunrise with all my travels. Gotta tell you, red-eye flights are awesome for that. On Wednesday evening, I’ll be flying a red-eye to Germany. I’ll make sure I’m up early enough to see it. There’s nothing cooler than seeing the sun light the earth from the sky.

@hatchingchicks asks if I’m ever going to do another Ironman. The answer is yes – much to the chagrin of those who love me – But yeah, most probably. I’m thinking 2013.

@ryanmcshane asks if I prefer window or aisle seating on a plane. Depends on the plane, Ryan. For International, on CO 777s or 767s, there’s usually a middle row in business class that has two seats, so they’re both aisles. If I’m in coach on a domestic flight, I’ll usually grab an emergency exit row window – I can go to sleep and lean up against the wall.

@gary_gilmore asks how my health/workout regimen has affected my business. Good question! I definitely have more time in the AM when I get back from my workout. It’s taken a bit out of my “go out for drinks when you land” type lifestyle, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. You meet very interesting and powerful people in the hotel gym at 5am, no doubt.

@shellterd wants to know if I’ll be their mentor. Thanks for asking, Shellterd – I’m currently mentoring two people, and I think that’s my limit to where I can still provide value to them, you know?

@jackiestone1 wants to know when she and I can catch up. We used to hang out a lot, and don’t anymore, because of both our schedules. You’re right, Jackie. I promise – This summer, a fun night shall be had. Deal?

@KateMEastman wants to know my thoughts on using social media to create internal employee engagement. I’m actually a big fan of doing it, but again, it can’t be forced, it must be real. Forced social media for employee engagement is like “wacky tie day.” No one wants to do it, and everyone hates you for making them. But offering people the tools to engage themselves is worth it. I’ve seen companies deviate entire wikis to what people do on their off time, allowing them to create groups, newsletters, etc. Turns out, a lot of people have similar interests, be it softball, shuffleboard, volunteering, etc. Put those together, and you’re fostering employee engagement naturally, in an organic way, the way it should be.

@jaedc wants to know my favorite part of being my own boss. I’d have to say the constant knowledge that I can make as much or as little happen as I want to, every day. Also, those rare meetings I can hold on a beach somewhere. 🙂

@mkraft wants to know what’s been the easiest part of my “Year to Ten Percent” effort, and also what’s harder than I thought it would be? Easy. Easiest part: The lifting. Turns out, I really love lifting weights. I never thought I would. Hardest: Strangely, keeping up with my cardio. When all I was doing was cardio, it was simple – That was my workout. Now, it’s about finding another time during my day to get my cardio in, as well.

@pathofintention asks if I love running. I think I do, to a certain degree. Not like Dean Karnazes loves running, but I do enjoy it, yes.

@jusbytheclown asks if I’d be willing to accept his 1,000th pie in the face. How can I turn that down? Of course, as long as we can video it and share it with the world. 🙂

@tomhoebbel asks how one best takes advantage of twitter and Facebook when focused on a local market. I think Facebook is easier than Twitter for this – You can completely configure any ad buys on Facebook down to zip codes – On Twitter, you can post local things with local hashtags and follow other local Tweeters, which should help a bit. But yeah, I’d probably stick more to FB on the local end.

@Nwozniak wants to know what kind of free content they  could offer in exchange for people signing up on their mailing list. I always say that free stuff usually just gets people who want free stuff, and not quality fans/followers. What about just explaining that you put out quality information, and the people following you will get that and appreciate it? Then, ask those already on your list for testimonials that you could use for those not already on your list.

@MartinShawLLC asks for tips for an event he’s planning, where people will have to find something hidden on your website. I recommend two things: “Tweet this” buttons on every page of your site where people can tell that they’ve either found it or haven’t found it, and also, rent “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.” Similar plot. 🙂

That’s it for this round – Plane’s about to land. Stay tuned – I’ve got my Germany trip coming up on Wednesday, I’ll have plenty of time to answer!


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