Twitter: a quick why do it.

tw-icon-pgTwitter can be endless streams of people telling us they just brushed their teeth. And in those (majority) instances, it’s worthless.

However, it is a good informational tool. I’d suggest following MichaelHyatt and jowyang. Michael is the CEO of Thomas Nelson, and he treats twitter with care. Jeremiah Owyang is a research guy for Forrester, and his feed has a lot of useful information, often dealing with trends.

It also can be used as a good marketing tool. You can “push” messages to your followers. Those messages are ephemeral — only appearing once — but they should be fast and easy to produce. You never know what may result. A word of caution there, though — if a user’s outgoing messages are all push, they will soon be ignored. There needs to be a healthy mix of featuring others’ sites or information and a bit of personality.

If you have a significant list of followers (which I do not), Twitter can be used as a free instant polling mechanism.

Twitter search is a great tool for finding way more up-to-date results for almost anything, compared to what Google can yield.

Finally, you do not have to follow those who follow you. Further, if you are following someone who writes endless drivel, you can just un-follow and be done with that.

I’d suggest you claim your name right away, as it may not be available tomorrow. I see Twitter as a growing phenomena — at least in the short term.

3 Replies to “Twitter: a quick why do it.”

  1. Harvard business study: http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/cs/2009/06/new_twitter_research_men_follo.html
    Most notably the median number of lifetime posts: 1. And 10% or the user base contributes 90% of the content.

    And here’s a correction:
    “Twitter search is an great tool for finding sometimes up-to-date results or 140 characters or less for anything that has a twitter account, and is a different and incomparable to what Google can yield.”

    1. twitter search searches twitter… nothing shocking there, but that in and of itself significantly limits what you can and will find.
    2. the median total number of posts for users is 1… which means that if you find the person/group/whatever you want info from, there’s a high chance that they don’t make updates frequently or at all.
    3. 140 character limit, so any results you do find probably doesn’t contain significant information, although the good ones typically link off to something more substantial (maybe a blog post, etc).

    Indeed, twitter can be used as a good marketing tool, but it depends on what, how and to whom you’re marketing. The same can be said of television and radio marketing… or any media.

    1. Thanks for your addition here, Jason. That’s helpful.

      Since I wrote this post, Twitter really took off. There are some new ways of using it too, though I’m too lazy to detail them here.

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