There is no doubt about it, Twitter has become the darling of the Social Media revolution that is currently going on, this is despite the fact that the vast majority of people (even those who use it) acknowledge that they have no idea how it can help them to achieve their goals. It is very much on the leading edge of social interaction online and although it can be likened to many other applications, such as blogging (it is termed ‘micro-blogging’) or the familiar status updates from LinkedIn and Facebook, it is actually something quite unique.
There have been many similarities drawn between social networking and physical activities and Twitter is being recognised as the virtual ‘water cooler’, a place where you can stop by briefly, say hello, grab the gossip and go. Because it is almost always based in ‘real time’ it means that it has even more of a conversational flavour to it than networks like Facebook even. However, it does have constraints. You are limited to 140 characters per tweet, so sometimes you need to think carefully about the message you are sending out and it can be addictive so time management is crucial and personally I’d never have it sending update messages on my phone, just because my phone (and phone bill) would go through the roof.
But it does carry a lot of potential for the entrepreneur who works alone and you can use it to0:
- Encourage others to come and read what you are writing about online
- Meet new people who have the same or similar interests that you have
- Promote you events, activities, products and services – Dell uses it to shift vast numbers of ‘refurbished’ pc’s for instance
- Research what’s new and what’s hot in your industry sector or marketplace
- Keep up to date with others attending the same events you’re at
- Find people who happen to be in your local vicinity
- Ask questions of the people who are following you and who you are following
- Use it as a way to build traffic back to your website – but only if you have something relevant to say
Although Twitter still has to find it’s feet, so to speak, and find a way to leverage the economic power of the platform, it definitely isn’t going away, and is something we will all have to contend with, one way or another in the future. So get in now, while it’s still new and have a play with the global conversation.