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Marketing lessons learned from a 104-year-old woman

The world’s oldest Twitter user, Ivy Bean, passed away this week at the age of 104. According to MSNBC, she got turned onto Twitter when she reached her friend limit on Facebook. She had around 60,000 followers on Twitter.

I mention Mrs. Bean for two reasons. She shows us all that it’s never too late to learn something new. And maybe just as important, Bean shows us that marketing yourself doesn’t always have to take the form of selling yourself. While she probably had no interests in marketing herself, Bean developed a massive following from simple gestures. And perhaps it is the very fact that she did not seek to sell herself that drew people to Mrs. Bean.

For a company, a Twitter account can be a great way to market yourself but, as Bean shows, the best way to market yourself on Twitter is by not marketing yourself. On Twitter and off, by taking a simple interest in people, you can develop relationships. By caring about your followers, your followers will care about you.

Bean made headlines from her nursing home by doing a simple thing, a practice that millions of other people did. She attracted a following because she her true interest was in connecting with people. And even at the age of 104, she wasn’t afraid to try out new technology that could provide an efficient means to the often evasive end of getting people to care.

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