I got on Twitter a while back and chose to go for it and see what it was all about.
Since then, I’ve been super-impressed.
Not with the technology. For crying out loud, it only really does one thing, and for so long it couldn’t even do that (google “fail whale” and you’ll wonder how a company can survive that).
In my social media/marketing/job-search presentations I talk about social tools, and “why” I participate in them. Specifically, I share three reasons:
- To grow your network. Not because you are out to be the biggest networker in the world, or because you want to brag about the thousands of (meaningless) connections you have, but for other reasons. In LinkedIn, the bigger your network is the richer your search results could be. In Facebook, the more Friends you have the more chances of benefiting from the viral goodness of using Facebook.
- To nurture relationships. I want to learn about people, and figure out how I can help them, and I want the same from them. We need to go beyond 30 second pitches and tag lines and get to know people at a more intimate level (“intimate relationships” comes from Never Eat Alone – required reading). I don’t build intimate relationships by viewing LinkedIn profiles… I need more social interaction or functionality.
- To ________ my (personal) brand. I still don’t know what word best fills in the blank… share, enhance, grow, etc. But the more you can learn about me, assuming my message is on-brand, the more you understand my brand. This applies to my personal brand AND my corporate brand.
I participate in various online environments, although not as much as you might think. And I have to say, Twitter hits each of these three purposes spot-on.
The benefits I’ve seen from Twitter are huge, and my involvement has been so rewarding. I’ll post more about that later, but for now, here are two things you can do:
- Read Guy Kawasaki’s post on Twitter, written from a business/entrepreneur perspective. This post is the best post I’ve read on Twitter, and why it can help you. I agree with most everything that Guy says in this post.
- Follow me on Twitter. Ugh, I feel a little dirty even saying that, and have never wanted to even solicit connections on LinkedIn, or Friends on Facebook, etc. But here’s why I finally am inviting you to follow me on Twitter. First, if you aren’t using Twitter, you can simply go to my page without logging in or doing anything and get a feel for WHAT I tweet… just to see how it works. Second, I tweet about 5ish times a day… news about my new baby and personal stuff like that, industry news, interesting finds online that I think are worth sharing, JibberJobber news, etc. Stuff that helps you get to know me better, peak inside my head, and begin to understand me enough to help you develop an “intimate relationship.”
Okay, that did feel a little dirty… if you don’t follow me, there are others to follow, and learn from. Go find someone interesting and see how they are using Twitter.
If you want to follow me, login to your account, then go to this page: http://twitter.com/jasonalba, then click the “follow” button right under my picture.
Oh yeah, one quick warning… if you get on Twitter today, you’ll probably think it’s the lamest thing in the world and leave it after a few days… I’ve seen this time after time. And then, 4 – 6 months later, the person comes back. It’s weird, and I can’t explain it… but Twitter is powerful!