Thursday, June 25, 2009

Now I understand Twitter

Like many people, I've been trying many different things in the New Media world, trying to understand how, and why, they work. And there is a easy comparison to make between the worlds of social media and alternative fuels in cars. If we could look forward 5 or 10 years from now, we'd understand which technology, or technologies, would win through, and we'd all be backing that horse. However, for now, we haven't yet invented the time machine so we are all stuck trying to work out which road to take.

And one of those avenues is Twitter. I've been Tweating for some time now, but never really understood why. Why would anybody care about what I'm doing now. Yes, in a personal context, your friends might be interested but in a broader, work-based environment, who cares? I have enough trouble keeping up with my own life rather than worrying about what's going on in the minute-by-minute minutiae of their lives.

But the eureka moment arrived this week. Social Media guru Carolyn Watt from Volvo's Social Media agency, Mindshare suggested I don't think about it as an insight into follower's lives, more like an alternative, and more democratic, version of Google.

And in those few intervening days, it's become an invaluable assset. Ask Twitter a question, and all of your followers respond with the answer. Not a computer-generated answer from Google who's supporters in the background have paid a bob or two for Google to provide the answer, but an answer from friends or colleagues who's input you truly value. Now I get it.

1 comment:

  1. Two other reasons to Twitter:
    1. Brand management. I was recently grumbling about Vodafone's service (while I was trying to upgrade). Vodafone's twitter, picked up on this, got in touch, and offered to help. And now I think Vodafone are a switched on modern company.
    2. Click-rate boost. BusinessCar has been tweeting for a few months and for some time I'd not been sure why either. Then a tweet (with a link to a story on our website) was retweeted and it spread very quickly and traffic was boosted on our site. And by that I mean, due to Twitter we did more hits on one story in one day than we normally do for the whole of in a week.


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