Admit it. The first time you got over the hump and signed up for Twitter, you freaked out. All you could think about were those four seemingly invasive, yet all too vague words:
What are you doing?
The thought process then may have gone something like this…
What am I doing?! Me?!!
Well, I’m typing for starters. Now I’m eating my sandwich for lunch. Now I’m watching TV. Umm, why did I sign up for this stupid site? Twitter, you’re done, so long.
Just before tossing Twitter to the social media graveyard you had the big Ah-Ha moment.
You realized that Twitter is really only partially about you and instead discovered that it’s all about connecting to others through meaningful interactions and conversations. Unfortunately, many others (whether they be clients, your friends, boss, etc.) never make it to the Ah-Ha moment and here’s why.
Twitter Starts You Off Alone
Nobody likes to be the loner at the party talking to themselves in the corner. Unfortunately, like most social networking sites, you need to do a bit of work to connect and meet others. That’s called relationship-building and it entails the exact same communication principals required to make offline friends.
Twitter Makes You Study
Yup, I said it. I don’t care if you’re currently in college, already have an MBA, Ph.D. or SMM (that’s a Social Media Masters degree, what you haven’t heard of it?). If you join Twitter, it’s back to school. As with any social media tool or platform, there is established etiquette and social rules for interacting.
Remember how you raised your hand to ask a question in class? Learn the rules so you’re not standing out for the wrong reasons.
Twitter is Viewed As a Popularity Contest
Despite what some may think, I promise you it’s not. Don’t be intimidated by users that have thousands of followers! There is a reason they have thousands of followers and it’s likely because they A) have been on Twitter since its inception B) get how to use the site effectively for its intended purpose and are viewed as a valuable contact/resource by other users.
The important point being that you focus on Quality over Quantity. Dave Fleet did a good post on this topic and given how the Web continues to tailor towards niche communities and interests, it’s key that you follow and engage with other users that share your similar interests. It’s all about the quality of content and engagement that another user provides.
Twitter is a Real-Time Stream
Correct, which makes it valuable in so many different ways. Does that mean that your eyes need to be glued to the site all day? Nope. Check out this previous post (which will lead you to a collective three posts) on using the site effectively and efficiently. Desktop applications keep monitoring easy and checking in/engaging a few times throughout the day is plenty sufficient.
I Can Barely Spell My Name With 140 Characters
Which is why Twitter is known as micro-blogging. Brevity is king and it forces you to be creative in using the site. Lucky for you, there is an incredible blogger named Darren Rowse over at TwiTip that provides free insight to help answer the big “how” and “why” Twitter questions swirling in your head.
Twitter is Just ANOTHER Social Media Site
I imagine someone once said this about Facebook, which now boasts 150 million users. Twitter isn’t quite there, but it encompasses so many key components that have helped open new doors and propel online communications for PR/Marketing pros. Sure, another new site or Twitter 2.0 may pop up but as I noted in my ‘08 trends recap, I anticipate 2009 to be a big growth year for the site.
Feel free to add any additional reasons you feel Twitter is intimidating to others below.
Hopefully you’ve already reached your Ah-Ha moment and are heading into a tweet’n good year.