Have you seen the Sprint commercial that uses statistics? I love the part where it gets to Twitter and shows all the little blue twitter birds – instead of Tweeting they’re saying “Me Me Me Me”. Then it goes on to say that 26% of the people watching have no idea what Twitter means.
In a previous post I mentioned that I thought Twitter was Facebook with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). This week I attended a 2 hour seminar on Social Media (e.g. blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and many many others). I have a better idea now of how Twitter can actually be of value. For use on a personal level, I’m still not entirely converted – I’d rather write in this blog where I’m only limited by my time – not by the 140 character Twitter post limit. (But then again, none of my friends and only one relative are on Twitter. I have found it enjoyable to see my co-workers posts [did I mention I have the best co-workers in the world?]).
The seminar really helped me see the professional advantages of Twitter. I’m not a fan of hard sell and I can now see how Twitter and Facebook can be used by business to build relationships – the cornerstone of selling services or products. It also is a great way to know what your clients and potential consumers are saying about your company.
I joined Twitter that same evening. I don’t expect to spend much personal time on it, but as someone who works in the technology field it was a good learning to set up my account and do enough tweeting to get a handle on it.
As I was setting up the account though it really struck me that the popularity of Twitter harkens back to about the mid-twentieth century when the party telephone line was still in use. More than one household shared a telephone line, and another party could eavesdrop just by picking up the phone and listening. When you first go into Twitter is might seem confusing because you’re only hearing one side of the conversation if it’s part of a thread. Clicking back and forth between the linked users though you can “listen in” to the conversation. The only difference is on Twitter everyone using it KNOWS you’re listening in. This makes for a good way to get out a message you want delivered, or listen to what others are saying about a subject.
This also got me thinking about the value of different skills and their use in different jobs. (More on this in a future post). Twitter, Facebook, etc. can take up a lot of time, and perhaps not the best use of time for someone doing production work. But there is indeed a strong call for companies to make use of these avenues to understand their market, promote the positive aspects of the company, and be aware of any negative so that it can be addressed.