Monday, August 04, 2008

Twitter as a networking/marketing tool

There's been quite a bit of buzz lately around twitter's use as a networking and marketing tool, and in some ways, I buy it. But like all social media, I tend to find that twitter has its own special syntax, a way of using it that works best for this application - and really doesn't work the way that some people use it.

For me, twitter is more of a conversation starter than anything, and it's really a *social* media, rather than a marketing platform. Whereas with sites like LinkedIn or Facebook allow you to just sort of have a profile and leave it there, to get the most out of twitter, you really have to use it.

And it's not about just plugging yourself, either - sure, tweeting about some specific thing you're working on can get you some attention, and it's totally fine to plug the occasional blog post/project/etc., but tricks like throwing your business's name into every tweet (a.k.a. twitter post) or making EVERY tweet a link to your latest blog post or project is a quick way to lose followers.

Where I've seen twitter really work is in the sense of community you can build through creating a balance of personal and professional. Since many of the folks I'm following are fellow telecommuters, it's an easy way to share little things and laughs that you wouldn't be able to otherwise, or chat with someone like you would if you were in an office. When combined with the occasional "hey, just finished this project" or "hey, just put this post online - check it out!" you can get some interesting results; I was able to connect with one of my followers (a.k.a. people who read your tweets) recently and point out my work to her after she made a tweet lamenting the lack of good Wordpress themes (the new zen kitchen website is done completely in Wordpress).

So what's the deal here? Why are there so many folks who just use twitter to mention their business 800 times, or to share a link to every blog post they've ever posted? What's the big deal about sharing a personal guffaw now and again?

1 comment:

christine said...


Thanks for the details on twitter. I will need to check it out. Keep those zen notes coming. :)

Christine Tetreault