Lately I’ve had several opportunities to speak to groups of people about their social media activity.
When I’m testing where people are with social – and asking which channels they’re using – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and LinkedIn are always commonplace. So what about Twitter?
Twitter always seems to be the one that most people have the biggest challenge with. In fact when I dig around a little, it appears that for those that have never ventured onto Twitter – there’s genuine ‘fear’ of doing so.
I’ve been a huge Twitter fan for about 7 years now. For me – it’s just got better and better. Sure – you still get people talking about their lunch, cats and other potentially irrelevant stuff. But if you can see past the noise – let me showcase just 5 things that may tempt you to give it a go. (I could give you many more reasons than 5 – but I try to keep my blogs short ;)).
Why I love Twitter
1) It’s a brilliant network
Twitter is an incredibly useful platform to connect with people. When I was writing my first book – I needed to get permissions from a significant number of people and organisations.
Faced with the task – I immediately took to Twitter. Using Google search and Twitter’s search, it was a relatively simple task to locate the people I needed to speak to and tweet them. Before I knew it – I had made relevant connections, was able to grab further contact details and continue our conversations in a far more effective way.
I remember being really surprised at just how many people responded to questions and requests I was making. People that really ‘get’ Twitter – understand that it’s about building relationships – it’s a two way conversation. Of course there’s a whole load of people, brands and businesses on Twitter simply using it as a publishing platform. Pushing out noise about themselves to irrelevant audiences and never listening or engaging – but, that’s not using Twitter smartly.
If you set out to build relationships and have authentic and useful conversations – then Twitter is a highly effective platform. Checkout the regular Thursday chat #TwitterSmarter – where conversations happen each week about the best use of Twitter.
2) It’s real time
Twitter is the place where you can find out about pretty much anything – in real time and immediately see what other people think too. News tends to break on Twitter first. You can see topics that are trending and join in conversations.
3) Search function is ace
Just as 59 million of us in the UK are dependent on Google search – I am equally dependent on Twitter search. The search function on Twitter enables you to type in any keyword or string of keywords to see what’s going on in the Twittersphere – right now. There are of course more sophisticated ways of using Twitter search – in much the same way as Boolean search for Google. Where you can be specific about location, person, words etc. Take a look here for more if you’re keen to do some smart digging around..
4) I can tune in to exactly what I want
Twitter connects me to the people, publishers, brands and influencers I want to hear from. I have total choice as to what I tune into. It’s interesting that more than 40% of people on Twitter have never even sent a tweet. They’re not on the platform to talk or network – but rather just to tune in to the newsfeeds they’re interesting in.
When you want to tune into your favourite celeb, footballer, artist, author – or want to be entertained by the latest tweets from comedians or writers – it’s highly likely they’re on Twitter sharing their news by the minute.
From a business perspective, you can tune into what’s happening in your landscape, trade press, influencers – even competitors – and of course, your clients / customers too.
The beauty of Twitter is that you can tune in – by following someone – and if what they’re saying doesn’t fit for you – then you simply tune out – by unfollowing them. The choice is yours.
5. It’s short, simple and to the point
When I first encountered Twitter all those years ago – I do remember thinking – huh – what nonsense. How can people have conversations in 140 characters. But those clever silicon valley boys knew what they were doing. The fact that Twitter is so succinct and to the point – is one of it’s finest qualities. The feed is easily scannable – and if you’re interested in something and there’s a link – you can easily go off piste for a bit – explore and then come back.
And if you don’t have time to read the bigger picture – then you can simply – favourite it and come back to it when you do have time.
So that’s it – just 5 of the reasons why I love Twitter. If you haven’t explore Twitter yet – then perhaps start by simply tuning in to the stuff you’re interested in. And if you’re on there but not quite sure it’s working for you – check out the many Twitter articles on this blog – to optimise your presence.
Michelle Carvill, best selling business author, speaker, founder and Director at Carvill - the social media marketing agency. For information about how the team at Carvill can help you - simply get in touch or visit our website for more information.