For social media junkies, they already know the answer to this question, but for many, they know that they should know the answer, but they don’t know.
So here’s my twitter 101 discussion, just to get you started. The concept of Twitter was originally that participants answer, in 140 characters or less, one question: what are you doing right now? Your answer (called a “tweet”) is intended to spark short messaging conversations and deeper engagements with those who share your interests.
It’s a fledgling media, one that is changing and growing day by day. However, I don’t think it’s going away anytime soon, so I suggest you get to know it. Now, that doesn’t mean that you may be somebody who spends their life on Twitter. As a matter of fact, most people don’t. The only people that I know that do are those who are engaged in the social media world. However, I have found it to be useful.
In May, I am giving a talk to the financial services industry on New Media Marketing. I wanted to research who was engaged in new media marketing in the insurance world. I put a tweet out on Twitter and Facebook, asking for ideas and information. Many people got back to me, giving reference material, lists of those engaged in social media, as well as connecting me to people relevant to the topic. As a matter of fact, I got hooked up with a director of social media at one of the major insurance companies and was able to get enough information for a case study. If you need to do some research or find the right person, chances are you’ll find it by crashing around on Twitter.
Now most people don’t actually answer the question posed, “What are you doing right now?” They simply comment on interesting things that they found around the worldwide web. Twitter becomes, then, a type of human search engine, pointing out interesting or relevant information to a particular group of people that you have decided to associate with or “follow. “
In addition search.twitter.com can help you find the conversations and the people engaged in activities that are of interest to you. I suggest you spend a little time getting on Twitter and trying it now. Just listen. That’s what everyone else is doing too. If you’re old enough to be puzzled by Twitter, you may be old enough to remember life before e-mail or voice mail, and look how helpful those tools are. This is just another technological tool to be used to communicate and engage with your clients and your customers, your friends, your family and your neighbors.