There was a time not so long ago when we were dependent on the major media outlets for all of our news and information. Those days are over. For good. Twitter is the world’s best real-time tool. Imagine a cocktail party where you could listen in on any conversation on any topic that you wanted. That’s just one of the many uses of Twitter. I call Twitter global text messaging. You can send a tweet (a 140 character maximum message on Twitter) to an individual or you can send it out to the world, kind of.
Now, let me say up front that Twitter used effectively is one of the most valuable tools you will ever use and used ineffectively it’s one of the worst spam tools ever invented. Obviously, I’m suggesting that you use it effectively. My MO is that it’s all about relationships. Using Twitter correctly leads to stronger relationships with friends, family, networking partners, clients, prospects and just about anyone else you’d like to connect with.
Prior to Social Media, we had limited options regarding ways to identify people that we saw value in connecting with. Twitter is like a global Yellow Pages. As an example, if I wanted to figure out what CFO’s in London are talking about, I could very easily do so. I could go to sites like Twellow and select CFO’s from a huge number of occupations and then select London. This search would show me the people who have self-identified themselves as CFO’s in the London area. On Twitter, you “follow” people and people follow you. I would then follow some of these CFO’s and be kept aware of their tweets whenever I log into my Twitter account or choose to have their tweets sent to my cell phone.
If you think about this example for a minute you come to realize that you can do the same thing with any occupation, competitor, hobby, sport, interest, keyword…anything. My “Twitter is the world’s best real-time tool” comment should be making more sense now. Talk about keeping your finger on the pulse of whatever or whoever you have an interest in. There has never been a tool like this before. There are some folks who still think that Twitter is just about 15 year olds talking about what they had for lunch. And yes, if you’d like to know that you’ll be able to keep tabs on teenagers eating habits, go for it. I’m suggesting that you be more strategic about who you follow. I will dig into this in greater detail in future posts. In the meantime, tweet away.