Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: Twitter...Everyone Else is Doing It, So Will I

Friday, May 15, 2009

Twitter...Everyone Else is Doing It, So Will I

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Twitter. What is Twitter? Why is everyone jumping on the Twitter bandwagon? What exactly is a "Tweet?"

Before we go any futher, I want to clarify ONE thing, I am not a social media expert, I am a practicing student. This is the story one girl's journey and how she has benefitted from Twitter. I am that girl. I am @leyla_a

I am not going to tell you what Twitter IS or what it does. There are plenty of blogs on the web where you can obtain that information. The only thing I will tell you is what exactly a "tweet" is - it is what is commonly known as a "post," or for you Facebook lovers, most similar to a "status update." This entry is to tell you more about how Twitter has benefitted me as a marketing professional and my clients. Maybe I will throw a little bit in there about how Twitter has also helped my social life.

I opened my Twitter account a little over a year ago when a friend invited me by promoting an event she was hosting. I signed up but didn't "get" it because I rarely used it. I was drawn to the fact that I could tell everyone what I was doing exactly at that moment, particularly because I am a bit of a narcissist. After months of stagnation, and observing my colleagues doing the whole @ thing, my curiosity peaked. I started to "Follow" other marketing professionals to listen to what they were saying.

Education. When I first started my business, I had some idea how to promote myself and I had limited funds. I started to follow various online marketing professionals to learn everything I could about online marketing and social media. Through Twitter, I have read close to a million blog entries, joined in valuable webinars and Tweet-ups on various communication and marketing practices. I used this blog as practice until I was ready to move forward. More about how I used Twitter as an educational tool later. I intend to write, "How I Learned a New Career in 7 Months on Twitter." That is a post to come...

Connections. After several months on Twitter, I developed relationships that I would not normally be able to cultivate. Previous to Twitter, I attempted to "Link" to a certain VP of Communications on a professional networking site, but because I didn't have the paid subscription, I wasn't able to connect with this person. I started to "follow" the VP on Twitter, and join in various conversations the VP was having with others. Soon after, the VP started to "follow" me back on Twitter. Thus began a dialog and eventually we met in person at a "Tweet up". That is one example of many connections and relationships I developed solely on Twitter.

I prefer to keep my circle relatively smaller and engage in conversation with Tweeple that I view as "valuable" for various purposes. "Valuable" can mean many different things: people whose Tweets I find entertaining, many times it is for business networking purposes, perhaps someone posts great travel deals, another may be a fellow foodie. We each weigh "value" in our own ways by what is meaningful to us.

Link Building. I manage more than one blog and I have more than one Twitter account, for me, Twitter is a great place for link building. Fellow bloggers have reached out for link exchanges. When appropriate, I have graciously accepted their requests and continue to build relationships with fellow bloggers and site owners via Twitter.

Promotion. If you are a small business owner, there is no better place to promote your deals. If I post something for a client that is viewed as "re-tweet" worthy, I find my tweet (or post) being re-tweeted multiple times like a domino effect. By "re-tweet" worthy, I mean that my promotion has value to others. This also helps me gain more followers, which helps me spread the good word.

Driving traffic to my sites. When looking at the analytics for the sites I manage, I've noticed that Twitter is quickly becoming the of the top sites from which I receive referrals. This blog, in particular, receives more hits when I am more "controversial."

Friendships and my Social Life on Twitter. I have made a few friends on Twitter. Mainly, they are people in my field or other people who share my hobbies. We meet in person only after we realize that we will be at the same event and manage to find each other using Twitterberry or some other Twitter app on our mobile device. It's awesome.

P.S. you can follow me by clicking on the Twitter link I have on the right hand column. I am @leyla_a

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