Why Would I Tell Others What I Am Doing?
This article is about making Twitter pay in your business or life. Twitter is very new in the bigger world of communicating. It is still in the adoption phase, and that makes Twitter a moving target with regard to how best to you use it. Personally, "tweeting" is fine, if my time is unlimited and my interests are diverse. However to many of us, we need to make our Twitter time pay off. Below I give you the 3 top uses of Twitter so that immediately you put it to its absolutely best use.
Twitter as the latest social web networking gizmo, is intended to allow others of your choice to know what you do all day. You may ask yourself, "why should I spend my time telling other people what I am doing?" That is a very good question. Twitter is designed to generate social and business value out of answering that question. On the face of it, Twitter looks like a monumental instant messaging system. And some people use it that way. But that is not what it is about. At least, that is not what where its true power resides.
What Is The Unique Value of Twitter
Here is the answer. In short, Twitter is immediate, it is searchable, and it allows you access to contacts that can be of further use to you. On top of this, everything about Twitter is free. If you believe in what you do, what you do all day will be in line with your interests and beliefs. So if I am reading a blog, writing an article or filming a video, then that stuff will be of interest to my followers. You might say that that is nobody's business if you are from the old school. In the old days, your family or the people that live in your neighborhood and work in your office or place of work are the only people that need to know. Well, the neighborhood just got much bigger due to the web. Your community is defined across geography and the people that you see everyday. And more and more, the way that you make yourself known to others that share a mutual interest, is through the web. Use Twitter to find, communicate with and promote to them.
The best way to utilize this article is to bring to mind now the things that are important to you:
1) your market niche,
2) a personal interest or hobby
3) a cause that you are committed to.
When you read this brief article, use your interest to put this information to work immediately by trying it out. Here are the three ways to use Twitter:
1. The Twitter Search
There are at least three ways of searching Twitter to find out things of importance to you. Here are the ones that I find most useful:
- What is the most popular URL of interest to you being discussed now on Twitter? Remember content is on websites, not usually on 2.0 sites. Therefore, in order to answer this question, you should go to Twitter(url)y. Twitter(url)y provides a sort of voting system based on the number of times that a URL is used (either in TinyURL, Snipurl (snurl) or full URL) by people using Twitter. URL's are ranked from top 100 highest voted URL's based on this voting system.
- Most popular topic of interest to you . Use http://search.twitter.com to find specific term(s) that is(are) of interest to you. Are you interested in bee farming....type it in the search bar, and find out what's buzzing. And seriously, bee farming does have results in this search.
- Others in your geographical area with similar interests on Twitter. Use http://www.twitterlocal.net/. Are your interests local? Now you can connect with people in your area that Twitter in areas of interest to you. TwitterLocal allows you to receive tweets specifically from people of specified distances from a zip code of your choice. This is great if you have social interests (schools, organizations, government) that you want to be updated about. It also provides the top 40 worldwide locations with the highest Twitter activity if you want to connect with the hottest geographies. If you are opening a hot dog stand in your area, this would be a good way to get the word out for free.
2. Contacts - New and Existing Twitter is about finding out what is being discussed. But more importantly, Twitter is about who is discussing it. How do you find out about high impact people now? In the virtual world, probably you search on Google and read and comment on their blogs or you get involved in on-line communities. In the real world, you have real communities or maybe Meet-Up groups.
After you find out Twitter people that are talking about the things that are important to you via one of the methods above, follow them by clicking on their link. In the beginning, you may be tempted to follow everybody. Resist the temptation. Choose carefully who you follow. I find a good way to decide who I will follow, is to look at some of the content that they have created (not just re-tweeted) and find out if they appear to be opinion leaders and not just re-distributing other peoples' material all of the time. The opinion leaders are important because they will give you access to quality material and they can in turn be useful for getting behind your opinions.
When you create quality material, you will quickly become known for that and people will begin to follow you very quickly.
3. Promoting Content
Most likely, you will have some content that you have or will create that merits some distribution to a deserving audience. Your content could be anything - a grand opening of a physical store, a website or blog, or a YouTube video (or Facebook Page or Linked-In page). You name it. Twitter gives you 140 characters per tweet to get your word out. Additionally for long URL's, it will automatically provide a shortened version (TinyURL). You need to think very compact and creative to get your word out in 140 characters. Twhirl is a user interface that can be downloaded for free and can reside on the desktop of your computer for ongoing access to Twitter.
When promoting anything, remember that you are doing people a favor in communicating to them via Twitter. In so doing, ensure that you include followers that are open and willing participants in mutual interests. Make your content relevant to your followers. Also if you have found something of interest, re-tweet that content that would be of mutual interest to your followers. Influencing other people to your way of thinking is also a good use of your time on Twitter. After all, if you believe in what you do, it will be reflected in what you do all day. So, when you are tweeting something that you are doing presently it should be something that is at least, expectantly entertaining, or at the least content-rich. Be respectful of others' eye-time.
Twitter has its focused use. If you are looking for the latest, searchable news and who is in on "the conversation", this is the medium for you. I heard a quote that says "the community defines the channel, the channel does not define the community." Twitter is the channel, the community is yours. The Twitter channel is a fast-paced one that provides vital signs to some conversations that are or will be important to you. It is not the answer to every communication need, but it is valuable. Use the information right now to put this to work for you.
Follow me on Twitter - http://twitter.com/frank_dobner
© Copyright - 2008 Frank Dobner