Twitter: The Quick and Dirty on the Birdy

It’s 6:40 a.m. The alarm on my iPhone 3GS is singing and it’s time to drag myself out of bed to face the world. What is happening out there, anyway? I tap open my Twitter application – Twittelator for iPhone – and within seconds, I am flooded with a sea of intelligence. Before my feet hit the ground, I’ve already read about the daily forecast, the latest political debacle, the sale at Nordstrom, the state of the housing industry, the latest Golden Girl to pass away, and every CNN breaking news story is on my radar. It only took me around 5 minutes… less than the average “snooze” setting. I’m ready to start my day on the cutting edge!

Is it really THAT quick and easy? Absolutely. Twitter is a microblogging service; a tool that allows the user to broadcast brief messages (140 characters) to a diverse community that has grown to nearly 100 million users since its birth in 2007. You pick and choose who you follow… and you have the option to sort them into manageable lists (i.e. Friends, Media, Business, etc). Imagine the success that business owners alone can achieve through being active on this site. How? By directing traffic to your website, building your brand, obtaining constructive feedback, sourcing information, or simply networking with like-minded folks! Better yet, there is no cost to use the service. Yes… we’re talking about FREE (and incredibly effective) advertising. Not only are you proving that you have an innovative marketing plan… but you’re putting yourself directly in front of your sphere of influence. Did I mention that Twitter is approaching 100 million users…? “I’m out there, Jerry, and I’m lovin’ every minute of it!” -Kramer, Seinfeld.

The most common objection to Twitter is predictable, “Do people really care what I’m doing right now?” While the original rollout was arguably self-indulgent (I’m eating lasagna – I’m playing video games – I’m washing my car), let’s fast-forward to 2010. The perception and value of Twitter has transformed immensely. While personal touch is certainly important (who wants to read article after article, anyhow?), it’s no longer a platform to continuously applaud yourself. Today’s casual user will post links to their favorite websites, share recipes, contribute to polls, network with potential employers, dispense advice, whatever… Gone are the days of “I’m petting my cat” and other useless announcements.

Want tips on how to utilize this great tool for your biz… or how to manage your feed and understand the lingo? Do not hesitate to get in touch with me… I’d be glad to point you in the right direction. I would also recommend taking a peek at the ultimate Twitter guide book.

“It will be hard to wait out Twitter because it is lightweight, endlessly useful and gets better as more people use it. Brands are using it, institutions are using it, and it is becoming a place where a lot of important conversations are being held.” –Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody, a book about social media.

Tweet, tweet!