Do you remember when you first started using instant messaging tools? Once you realized how easy it was to have an immediate one-on-one conversation with someone you were hooked. It was instant gratification. You could even have a private conversation with someone while you were in a group meeting. After using instant messaging, you wondered how you ever lived without it, right?
When cellphones were able to handle data, text messaging became the new trend. In fact, many of us choose text over voice because it can be done quietly and asynchronously. And we wonder how we ever lived without it.
And now there’s twitter.
Now you can have a conversation with anyone, even perfect strangers. Correction – now you can have a conversation with everyone. The big difference between standard text messaging and tweeting is that all of our messages go out for the world to see.
Do I really need to know that @(name) finally had a bowel movement, or that @(another-name) rescued her kitten from a tree? No, I really don’t.
Yes, an argument can be made that twitter is a colossal waste of time.
For a long time I thought twitter was just noise. Clutter. One more time drain. Call me slow, but I have to say that I finally get it.
I now understand the magic of twitter.
Sure, there’s a lot of garbage out there. And no, I don’t need to read most of it. But there’s also a goldmine of free market data on twitter. It’s an essential tool for companies looking for information about their products, or their customers’ needs, or their competitor’s products.
If you think nobody is tweeting about your products or services, think again. Even a topic that some might consider old-fashioned like “mainframe” gets discussed on twitter.
If you’re not tweeting about your business someone else is. If you’re not setting your own business message on twitter someone else is. But more importantly, if you’re not listening to what your customers (and potential customers) are saying on twitter someone else is.
Think you can’t afford to tweet? Yes, it does take time – which is why I predict that most successful businesses will hire social media marketing managers over the next few years to cover this essential space. Even with tools like Tweetdeck and HootSuite that help you manage your searches and hashtags, it takes time and skill to sift through and mine the data. But, the real question is: Can you afford not to tweet?
If you want to join me on twitter you can follow me @cfmjewels.