It’s 2011. Why aren’t you on Twitter yet?
Well, here we are in 2011 and despite what you might have thought in 2008, 2009 or 2010, Twitter is still around. In fact, Twitter seems to be gaining in popularity not just by what you see on the web, but by what we see at the end of TV commercials, hear on the radio and catch (surprisingly) even on the back of mail-order catalogs.
Last year was a terrific year for Twitter, according to Sysomos, provider of social media monitoring and analytics technology. From January 2010 until mid-August 2010, 44% of Twitter’s total population consisted of new users. (See Twitter Statistics for 2010 on Sysomos’ blog.)
I signed on with Twitter in 2008, but didn’t do too much with it until last year. I’ll admit … it takes a while to understand and even longer to figure out how you, personally, might use it. Nevertheless, once you “get” it, I’m betting you’ll find it useful and fun. Below are five reasons why I really fell in love with Twitter in 2010.
1. Twitter enables you to connect with people you would never meet otherwise.
Whether they’re down the street or around the world, you can follow whomever you like on Twitter to learn more about them and/or from them.
For example, I love using Twitter to connect with people whom I’d like to meet at an upcoming conference. We can connect on Twitter, find out about each other via our tweets and decide to set aside a few minutes at the conference to talk face-to-face.
(In this example, I could perhaps meet the person without the advance Twitter connection, but it would be a lot more difficult and our conversation would be a lot more superficial than if we’ve already spent a few minutes learning about each other via our Twitter profiles.)
2. You can be who you want to be.
Don’t get me wrong. Be real, be who you are, but in the 160-character Bio section, list things that interest you, things that you want to learn more about, things that you want to discuss specifically on Twitter.
I make this point specifically for job seekers. I was a job seeker when I started on Twitter. It struck me that while LinkedIn is great a great place for outlining what I had done in previous jobs, Twitter is a more exciting place to talk about what I am doing and what I hope to be doing in the future.
3. Twitter search is fun!
The web is a crowded place, getting more and more crowded every day. Google helps navigate it, but Twitter’s real-time search results can make your journey a little more interesting. Looking up a topic on Twitter can lead you to someone who is tweeting about that topic right at that moment. That person might not be the authoritative figure with the answers that you really need (or he might!), but it is still pretty cool to find someone, somewhere tweeting about that same topic.
4. You can build a community.
You can build your own Twitter community focused on topics, industries, people, locations, etc. that you like. As a member of that community, you should share links to news articles or blogs that you like, re-tweet posts by others and work your way up to taking part in Twitter conversations. The people you follow will be doing the same. As a result, each time you log into Twitter, chances are good that you’ll find a tweet, a news article, blog post or dialogue that “speaks” to you.
5. Twitter empowers you as a consumer.
If you’ve ever been frustrated with black-hole customer service e-mails or hour-long customer service phone calls, you’ll be excited about the change Twitter is forcing upon companies’ customer service departments. It might be a while before all companies are on Twitter, but the smart ones are getting on it quickly and they’re listening. More importantly, they are responding…quickly. You can read all kinds of case studies, but when you experience it yourself (as I did a couple of times last year), you’ll be jumping up and down with tremendous customer satisfaction … and singing Twitter’s praises like me.
If you’re still a Twitter skeptic, now in 2011, what’s holding you back? If you’re a Twitter lover (like me), what’s your favorite way to use it?
Filed under: Twitter