Dear Twitter . . . What I like about you.
July 16, 2009
Have you heard this one? “I just don’t get Twitter.”
Twitter is a free service that lets you micro-blog at whim using just 140 characters to say something really deep – or something terribly shallow, depending on your mood.
For months, my Twitter page said the same thing: “Trying to find out what’s in Twitter for me.” My picture was the generic Twitter icon. Every now and then, I would look at people’s tweets, shrug and do something else. Then something changed…
Last February, I attended the Northern Voice blogging and social media conference in Vancouver. Looking around the room, I noticed that about 85% of the attendees were either live-blogging or tweeting. It was amazing to me that what would otherwise be considered rude behaviour was actually encouraged! (It was a blogging conference, after all.) After listening to the presenters and learning more about Twitter, I decided to give it a fair shot.
In the next week, I devoted more time to Twitter and things started to gel. I soon discovered that I was looking forward to checking the tweets of those I followed. After a little while, I added a comment here and there. It got easier and easier, and now Twitter is a guilty pleasure for me.
What’s in Twitter for me (and you)?
I recently spoke at a Women in a Home Office meeting on the ways to send more traffic to one’s website. Among other social media channels, we discussed what is Twitter and how to use Twitter.
I outlined the many ways that Twitter has been useful to me:
- I have made connections with other writers, marketers and SEO experts around the world.
- My followers read my tweets, which often leads them to read my blog.
- I use Twitter to promote my new blog posts, and other people on Twitter retweet (RT) me, which creates a viral marketing effect.
- I found a tweet for a time-limited offer to download an excellent ebook called SEO Secrets.
- Donna Papacosta, a writer in Ontario, was looking for a video cameraman in Edmonton. I just happened to know of one.
- I found an easy recipe for Pesto Chicken – that’s right, a recipe in 140 characters!
- I follow WestJet on Twitter to learn about time-sensitive deals on flights.
- I find new blogs through Twitter on topics of interest. If I leave comments, they link back to my site, thus increasing my number of inbound links.
Twitter is immediate and emotional and quite captivating once you get the hang of it. Twitter is used by real people in real time to talk about things that affect them and, often, the rest of the world. The latest events (like the election in Iran) are captured by real people – not biased media reports.
What I like most about Twitter is that I can leverage this channel in bits and bites. Just a few minutes here and there can net good results.
If you’re not on Twitter, but you would like to be, don’t worry about being new to the channel. Just take birdie steps and pretty soon, it will come naturally.
How do you Twitter?
If you’re on Twitter, how have you found it helpful in your business or personal life?