EJM Designs Limited Blog

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Is Twitter Worth a Damn? Hint: Yes

Twitter: Leggo my Tweets!

Whether it's a social media "expert" shouting down from his cloud that Twitter is foolishness or an early-adopter eschewing the micro-blogging site because it's too mainstream and polluted, there are thousands of Twitter naysayers out there, some of which spread their message via Twitter, which is interestingly, simultaneously ironic and hypocritical.

I currently operate a quality Twitter account based on EJM Designs Limited that, at last count, had me following 184, 166 following me, and 216 updates.

I've already addressed the size considerations of a custom Twitter background, and I'll post about the intricacies of Twitter usage and all the side-apps and my own induction in a later post, but the point of this gem is whether Twitter does anything for business other than waste your time.

It depends on how you look at it, how you approach Twitter usage. I recently saw a comment somewhere that stuck with me and rang to the effect of "After 4 days and following 2000 people I can say Twitter sucks." This is the wrong way to approach Twitter usage.

The value of Twitter is the value that can be found in any social network. Technology is by definition sterile: auto-responders, auto-dialers, and auto-direct-messages. If you inject the humanity into it, it can become valuable. But if you jump in without that thought, that ideal, in your head, you end up following 2000 people in a couple days and whining "Where's my money?"

Here's how Twitter can be valuable for a business:
  • Open your account
  • Tweet at least 20 times about your industry over a couple days
  • Follow people in your field locally
  • Follow local businesses not necessarily in your field
  • Follow people in your business nationally
  • If you are followed and the person is relevant to your business or locale, don't be a jerk: follow back
  • Be involved in the conversation; reply to others; help those in need.

Now, if you've been paying attention to those you're following, you've set yourself up for information pertaining to real-world meets. If you don't notice any, ask! That's what people are there for. If there is no local meet? Create one! That's what you're apparently there for. Then you meet people in person. Then you trade cards. Then you sign contracts.

The effort you put forth online might amount to a couple hours of work a week, but if you participate and refine those tweets into actual, physical interaction and make yourself available, that's where the magic happens.

So yes, Virginia, there is a purpose for Twitter. But without a little work and a little humanity - like with anything - you probably won't find it.

No comments:

Post a Comment