Market to the Moment

How I Rock the Web on John Haydon’s Blog

john twitter avatar 120x120 How I Rock the Web on John Haydons Blog John Haydon, owner of JohnHaydon.com, invited me to write a guest post on his blog. Please feel free to visit, comment and share: “How I Use Social Media for Business.”

It’s warm and fuzzy. I promise.

Thanks, John!

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The Value of Twitter

Lately, it seems as though I’m spending too much time bouncing around the internet. In order to stay up to date, I frequent a lot blogs and read the latest news about social media. In my recent ventures, I’ve notice that everyone, at some point in time, has been involved in a discussion about Twitter .

For those of you who don’t know:

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send “updates” (or “tweets”; text-based posts, up to 140 characters long) to the Twitter website, via short message service (e.g. on a cell phone), instant messaging, or a third-party application such as Twitterrific or Facebook. (Wikipedia )

The topic of this ongoing discussion seems to be whether Twitter is truly a valuable social marketing tool, or a colossal waste of time.

If you watch this video you can see why most nay-sayers find it more frustrating than useful:

For my business, I use many different types of social media. A lot of them are much better at wasting time than Twitter. Personally, I can’t stand getting caught “Online” with MSN Messenger. My status is permanently set to “Offline”. And as far as I can tell, Facebook is a perpetual “poking” machine. I can easily spend the first four or five minutes of my visit just poking everyone back.

For me, Twitter creates value by allowing easy interaction with people who pique my interest with their random, witty updates. By following the right people on Twitter, I get instant updates on their posts, services and events. I’m also offered Twitterverse (as it is dubbed by frequent users) specials and giveaways just for being a member and following the right people. I can interact with other marketers and writers to see what they are talking about and discuss the most recent issues that effect the industry.

I can follow people like Seth Godin and Wil Wheaton. It’s always interesting to find new people to follow. You can follow people who grab your attention through the feed on the main page, or you can link to the profiles of people who are engaged in conversations with users you are already following. Everyone brings their own perspective to the conversation.

As a bonus, there are many Twitter client applications that you can download to your Mac or PC that allow you to interact more easily with your peers. I prefer Twhirl , which functions similar to MSN Messenger and tucks nicely away into the corner of my laptop workspace and I don’t have to stay logged into Twitter’s website and hit refresh every 10 seconds. The updates of people I’m following automatically generate toolbar pop-ups. When I see an interesting update, I can instantly click on the pop-up notice and respond. Some of the other applications are Tweet-r, Spaz , and Twitterific .

I’m fairly new to this particular social networking tool, but I find it extremely valuable and fun. Although updates are short, the service allows you to insert URLs and participate in new viral marketing techniques. No one is shy about sharing links to great website content or blogs. The best people to follow are the ones who share links to insightful information.

Other than the occasional spammers, who are quickly identified and blacklisted, I think it can be a great means of socializing with the right people and spreading your message. And if I don’t like someone, I can simply unfollow or block them.

The great thing about Twitter is the ability to interact with people you admire, and have the chance to observe or participate in some great conversations, 140 characters at a time.

Pamela Weir is a Marketing Copywriter. If you are looking for a Marketing Professional to assist you with social media, and social networking for your company, please visit her Services page for more information.

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