I never fancied myself a great writer, nor have I suffered from a need to hear myself talk. What I am, though, is a gatherer of knowledge: I LOVE to read. I love reading anything and everything. So Twitter, for me, is an ever-flowing fountain of information---fresh, new, piping-hot information, instantly.
Unlike Facebook, where the main goal is to connect with friends, family, co-workers, and your best friend from grade 4, Twitter is about connecting with people who share your interests, or better still for business folks, are interested in consuming what you are creating, be it words or links to stuff.
There are two sides to Twitter: Following and Followers. For many Twitter users, the goal is to gather as many followers as possible. Ashton Kutcher has 795,000 people following him at the time of this writing. Then there is Travis Greenlee, someone I doubt anyone really knows, but he has 22,000 people following him. Apparently, to have as many people as possible following your Twitter "tweets" means you are interesting. Gulp! No pressure, huh? How about following instead.
Yes, I admit it, I love to follow. Following on Twitter means you subscribe to another person's tweets. So every time that person utters something on Twitter, you'll see it on your Twitter page. And yes, I find the people and businesses I follow interesting.
I am currently following fashion magazines, designers, bloggers, as well as the marketing types. Suddenly I am connected with all the information I find gloriously interesting. Sample Sale Online 80% Off ... and they ship to Canada? Hello! Or, 5 Editor's Secrets to Help you Write Like a Pro...yes! This is the world of Twitter.
After two weeks of following and gaining followers (yes I do have followers even though I am not that interesting), I highly recommend Twitter. If you have a product to sell, I can not think of a faster way to get the word out, instant feedback back in, and at $0 cost to drive people to your site.
So how does one do this? There are hundreds of guides to using Twitter on the web. Here are a few links to some very useful articles:
- Guy Kawasaki: How to Use Twitter
- Twitter.com: Getting Started With Twitter
- MultiSocialMedia.com: Twitter Survival Guide
Or, if you are exhausted from reading this blog post, just get a Twitter account and start Twittering yourself.
Next Week: Part II - The Good and Evil of Twitter.