Jumping in the Twitter Pool – How you can participate

I couldn’t stand it any longer – I needed to find out what all the buzz was regarding Twitter, so I decided to join up and start learning.

For those that don’t know, Twitter is a ‘micro-blogging’ platform that limits you to 140 characters per post (or Tweet).

What’s the point?

Well that’s the interesting thing – I have no idea how planned this product was and there are a lot of opinions out there, but I think the forced brevity encourages more of a true conversation format.  You can leave short posts on what you’re doing, you can share sites that you found interesting or you can engage people.

There are a lot of ways to participate in Twitter – here’s a few that I’ve noticed so far:

1.  Follow ‘thought leaders’, industry lights, movers and shakers.

If they’re active posters, you can get a real sense of what they do, how they think, how they interact and how genuine (or not) they are.  It’s kind of like being behind someone on the escalator as they’re talking to who ever they’re walking with.

2.  Meet people, participate, mix it up.

Twitter is about as democratic platform as you’re going to find.  People are generally interested in activity and I get the sense that you could build up a respectable ‘following’ in a short period of time.  I have a friend that has really leveraged Twitter and Brightkite to meet a lot of new people and solidify existing relationships.

3.  Solidify existing relationships

The way the tool is set up, it’s easy to reinforce activities and ties with people that you like or work with.  With minimal time, you can reach out and share ideas, things you find on the web or just reminders in a real time, non-obtrusive way.  It’s actually pretty cool.

4.  Promote yourself

Like most Social Networking applications, you have the potential to get in front of people and share what you’re doing, what’s important to you and give people an opportunity to Know, Like and Trust you (which is the precursor to doing business or partnering with you…).  It’s easy to set up an announcement of blog posts or to highlight other things you might be up to.

A couple of resources:

A couple of weeks ago, John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing put together and shared a great getting started resource in his blog post on Twitter for Business.  Easy to read and will give you some background and ideas.

You might have noticed the stylish avatar picture above (it’s supposed to be me, but I’m not sure I succeeded).  A few days ago I ran across the Twitting Point post on Mashable about an application that lets you create your own Manga style avatar – it’s a lot like the Mii editor on the Wii – a lot of fun to play with.

You can find me on Twitter at Twitter.com/Aspire_Shawn – when you sign up, let me know and I can follow you.

Share your thoughts on twitter here!

Shawn Kinkade Kansas City Business Coach

4 thoughts on “Jumping in the Twitter Pool – How you can participate”

  1. Promote Me says:

    I thought it was supposed to be a tool for when you’re bored and surfing, something to just mention to your friends even easier than using msn.
    If they predicted how useful and big it was to become then brilliant play by the creators.

  2. I don’t know the history, but I imagine you’re right. It started out because it was fun to play with and different and now it’s taking off!

    Shawn

  3. Deb Frawley says:

    I’ve been using Twitter for both business and personal updates. I like the idea that people can follow you and get a basic sense of the type of person you are. Another idea is to link it to your Facebook profile so that all your Twitter updates are seen there too. You can also find alot of good information from what others are posting. I’ve just started following you Shawn, I’m sure you’ll give us some good marketing tips 🙂 You can find me on Twitter here http://twitter.com/DebFrawley

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