Twitter – What the heck is it?

Twitter is a website where friends, family, colleagues – and strangers – can catch up – in real time – using one-liners to announce what they are doing ( i.e. writing a blog post, waiting for a plane, going for coffee), ask a  question, respond to someone else’s question…basically communicate through one-liners. Think of it as a very casual public instant messaging system.

One of the great features is that you can “follow” other people. This is advantageous for me because I follow people in my industry who give presentations. Following them, I not only learn more about them as human beings, I learn when they will be presenting next.

I have been Twittering for about two months, trying to understand the value of it from a business perspective. I mean, who has the time to log into the web (or watch your phone) all day? Oh yeh, there is a feature that works with your cell phone, and you can turn that on to be notified each time one of the people you follow adds a new “tweet”. You want to think about enabling that feature if you are following a good number of people.

Are people using it?
Presumably  so. I have tried to tweet over the past 2 weeks (even this morning at 8:15 a.m. EST). Each time I have logged in, I received the message that the system is “over capacity”. Either Twitter is having technical difficulties or it is true that this new tool has become more popular than creators had imagined.

Twittering with people you would like to meet is a good ice breaker
Another feature is that you can add a photo of yourself.  I didn’t necessarily see this as a positive, but, a marketing colleague of mine explained that your photo appears next to each “tweet” you make, and this enhances your personal branding. Over time, your photo becomes synonymous with your (Twitter) name. When you get the opportunity to meet the people that you follow in person, you are already familiar to them.  Approaching them is easier because you feel like you have a relationship, and they may/will recognize you from Twitter and instantly feel that there is rapport.  If they don’t recognize you, you have common ground (previous Twitter encounters) to refer to in order to help them recall and/or to launch into a comfortable conversation.

Testing out Twitter
My Twitter name is kcalkmc. I am currently following about 7 people, and about 6 people are following me. If you would like to follow me, go to Contact Adventures Online and click on the Do You Follow Me? at the bottom of the Twitter box.  That will bring you to my Twitter page. If you have an account, log in, then return to my page and click Follow. If you do not have an account, create one, then return to my page and click Follow. 

At the least, Twitter will give you an amusing break from your day.


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