For the longest time, I’d hear others opine about how much they loved Twitter and how it has enabled them to get to know others relatively quickly, but I’ve been on the outside looking in because I just didn’t “get it.” I’d curl my lip and say “what’s the point with that service?” or “who would want to share what they’re doing all the time so stalkers could easily stalk them?”
That all changed about two weeks ago when I decided to really invest of myself into Twitter to see what all the buzz was about and try to figure out how business clients could benefit from the service. It was as much self-education and mind expansion as it was figuring out the why behind all the buzz. It’s not like I HAD to like the experience, but I wanted to give it a shot instead of dismissing it at every turn out of ignorance.
Well, my education has grown into great affection for the service, and I’m regularly “tweeting” to those that follow me and vice versa. It really is a great way to get a glimpse into someone’s life without being nosy or prying into their space. Since you can control what you share with others, it’s not like you’re opening your diary for the whole world to see or compromising your own safety by sharing what you’re up to. Sharing just enough doesn’t equate to sharing intricate details. For instance, let’s say I’m heading to eat at Jersey Mike’s (one of my favorites)–I could share that I’m heading there, but I don’t have to share which Jersey Mike’s that might be.
On the flip side, I could see how this might benefit those interested in developing stronger relationships with their local following, and that has business implications worth pursuing. A lot of today’s business is conducted across great distances so this represents an opportunity to deepen relationships with people you may never physically encounter yet you can know as much about their lives, if not more, than their friends at home. It works equally well for local contacts, too. It’s much easier to “tweet” the entire following and encourage them to join you somewhere than it is to call or e-mail each person. If they’re open to meeting with you, they have the option of showing up without having to make a big to do about it. Hooray for that! As someone who hates the telephone, this is a very easy way for me to spread a brief message without requiring a lot of legwork and coordination. I’m all for minimizing hand holding opportunities.
You can also ask quick questions of your following and get short responses in fairly quick fashion. This can be especially helpful if your group is a particularly savvy one–good advice for free is never a bad thing.
Anyway, I encourage you to follow me on Twitter if you’re so inclined and jump into the fun when the mood hits you. The more you involve yourself, the more the service may appeal to you. Then again, you may be like me a month ago and think it’s a gigantic waste of time. I’ve been transformed since and see several benefits of being involved, but that doesn’t mean everyone will follow the same path as me.