What is “twittering”?

Recently, my Facebook profile status started saying Jeff is twittering:…

No–I’m not a twit.

I’m using Twitter, the trendy service attempting to fill the void of personal, daily updates about a person. If you haven’t heard of it, this Commoncraft video provides an intuitive explanation.


Why have I started Twittering?

  1. To understand the medium–I’ve observed that those who don’t regularly use Facebook don’t understand how it can be useful to a busy person. Since I started using Facebook, I tell marketers they can’t afford to not use it–not for the social side, but to understand consumer mindsets. This is also true of Twitter: many bloggers and early adopters are jumping on the band wagon, so I hopped on too.
  2. It’s platform independent–Twitter has taken off because it’s so portable! I use Twitter Tools on my blog, and it allows visitors to see that I’m active online, despite posting irregularly to my blog. I use the Twitter Facebook widget to tie my Facebook status into my Twitter status.
  3. Build broader relationships–So often I know people online in a single dimension–business, hobbies, etc. Following them on Twitter allows me to see a broader slice of their life, and vice-versa.


Things to keep in mind for Twittering:

  • All public tweets are searchable–this is good/bad. Setup alerts to be notified whenever someone writes a tweet that includes specific words. (Like your name.)
  • It isn’t useful unless you post regularly–get a tool/widget that provides easy accessibility for Twittering.
  • Post too regularly and you’ll overwhelm your followers. This is why I stopped following Scoble.
  • Put your audience first. Post content useful to them–whether friends, business acquaintances, or online followers. Ben Casnocha does a great job of posting useful content for both his friends and his online followers.
  • Don’t forget the personal nature of Twitter. Even more than a blog, people expect (and want) a personal voice.
  • Many find Twitter addictive–control it, or it will control you. (It distracts more effectively than e-mail!)
  • The technology is easy; however, there’s a content learning curve–the what, why, and when you’ll post may take a little time. Commit to it for two weeks, and then re-evaluate.


Interested? Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jeffwidman

Want to learn more?

Check out Michael Hyatt’s take on Twittering. He’s the CEO of a Thomas Nelson, a major book publisher… if anyone is too busy to Twitter, it should be him.

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