The Beauty and Power of Twitter

[Re-post from March 30, 2009]

I signed up for a Twitter account sometime last year for my business primarily because I wanted to reserve the name before someone else did. I didn’t see much value in using Twitter, so I didn’t post any tweets or even sign up to follow anyone else. Then, within just a few days, I started receiving requests from other people to follow me. And, what really surprised me was that most of the requests were from people I did not know but who were in a related field and thus were people I should know. I was intrigued, but still did not truly understand the beauty or power of Twitter, so my account remained dormant – until last week.

Last Thursday, I went to a workshop on using Twitter that a colleague of mine at Full Sail University conducted (his Twitter handle is “dangorgone”). He showed us how he uses Twitter for conducting research for his courses, reaching out to others in his field (web usability), and in general just posting his thoughts and links to articles he finds interesting.

He also showed us TweetDeck – an incredibly useful application that you download and install on your computer. It organizes your Twitter streams and allows you to easily tweet, re-tweet, and reply.

Best of all, you can put in a search term (such as “business model” or “website usability”) and every time anyone in the Twitter universe posts a message with that term in it, you will see it in your TweetDeck. Now, take a moment and think about that. Here is a real-time search engine that will inform you at the very instant when someone anywhere in the world is thinking about that topic or is asking for recommendations for companies that supply a particular product or service. How much would you, as a company, pay for these types of leads? Well, you don’t have to pay anything because they are completely free. Just be sure not to abuse the system. Here is a good article on Twitter etiquette that I highly recommend reading before you get started.

Twitter is also a great resource for seeing what is on the minds of the leaders and influencers in your industry, so look them up and start following them!

You can follow me on Twitter under my handle “CivicLink”.

Happy tweeting!

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