Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Twitter My Way

If you believe twitter is for telling others you are “sitting on the patio,” get ready to learn something. These are 4 ways I use my 140 characters.

We all love to consume information and the internet provides a most awesome buffet. By following authors, columnists, bloggers, public figures, etc – the content comes to you and is always updating in real time. In short, twitter can be your personal library or newsstand. All this data is difficult to manage: utilize hashtags and lists to search and sort information quickly. Dashboards like Hootsuite and TweetDeck allow you to digest the data by sorting it into multiple columns. Your dashboard gives you a snapshot of data: who is talking about you, who is talking about your company, what are the latest news stories, etc – all continuously and immediately updated.  

It is as easy to share data as it is to consume it via twitter; don’t keep all the good stuff to yourself. If you read a tweet you find interesting, retweet so your followers can enjoy it too. Maybe you visit a website or wish to share your latest blog, take the URL and tweet it. Tools like bitly shorten that URL so it can fit within the 140 character limit and help you track the activity on your link. Seesmic’s dashboard will shorten the link for you.  

This is the best part of Social – engagement. The days of pushing information without conversation are gone. Twitter gives your customers an in-road to you, don’t be afraid of it: listen to what they say and respond. A TweetChat allows you to engage and listen to many people at once while documenting the conversations. Idea-share, focus groups, and feedback sessions: it’s all about conversation. This blog by one of my Social mentors, Janet Fouts, shows you how to set up your own TweetChat.  

Sharing information or engaging others promotes yourself and your organization. People can see who shares what and the twitterverse responds favorably to those they like; if your followers find your content interesting, they may also research what company employs such an interesting person.

I hope you were able to take away something new – I look forward to your comments & feedback. Cheers Toby