A Twitter Conversation
I had an interview with the Trinidad Guardian newspapers this week; they wanted my take on the social media phenom, Twitter. Here’s the transcript.
You twitter a lot? Do you love crafting messages in 140 characters or less?
Well, yes. But then I love everything social media. Twitter. Facebook. Blogging. Flickr. Squidoo. I am very active on all platforms but mostly proud of my blog (mangomediacaribbean.com/blog) where I write on PR, media and communication issues.
With regard to Twitter, there are really two aspects above my love affair with Twitter
On the business side, Mango Media Caribbean’s twitter interactions allow me to build the reputation of my 11-year strategic Public relations one tweet at a time, in ways I could not have imagined even three years ago. New Web 2.0 phenomena like Twitter provide marketers with the potential to gain rich insights into consumer behaviour and attitudes. Twitter for me is like a perpetual focus group on steroids.
I was reading just yesterday that firms who use and engage with social media have seen their profits grow by 25 per cent more than those firms who have not, and the reason takes them right back to their participation on the various social media platforms.
Twitter is a great and effective way to reach an audience, build a corporate image and in the end even generate sales. On the business side we connect with other global professionals in PR, we swap stories (of course in 140 words or less); we share links, our knowledge and promote the work we do. On Twitter you’ve got to be consistent, if you’re concerned about having real connections.
How would you describe Twitter?
It’s like a CB radio and having different channels on, all at once. The best thing is that you get to select the channels that are meaningful. On some channels are your friends, family, and on others business acquaintances, people who you find interesting micro blogging about their lives, interests and sharing news and information. My reliance on Google to find out what’s happening in the world or even to search for
information has decreased since my participation on Twitter.
For instance when we lost power this week, I tweeted and asked my POS network if they too were without power, within seconds I found out from other Tweeters that the entire city was without electricity.
Are there any pros & cons?
Does it get too loud and too noisy sometimes with all the chatter going on? You bet, but you can always turn down the noise. I have interviewed candidates for jobs who first made contact with me on Twitter. Someone once tweeted their key points of the CV to me. More importantly I have a band of interesting ‘friends" whose lives I participate in all on Twitter.
What works for me of course won’t work for everyone. I tweet every day but much less on the weekends. I love to go on twitter when I get in the office and catch everyone’s “Good-mornings". Other tweeters chime in with their greetings. The camaraderie is fantastic.
Sure, it gets distracting. Really there are two kinds of tweeters, those who are focused and disciplined and offer so much great content like Georgia Popplewell and Basant, two local Tweeters who I admire very much.
And then there are those who use it as a defence mechanism, an opportunity to stay busy while neglecting the things in real life. When I observe them going at it all day, I wonder if that’s a good choice. Whatever, it is their personal choice and that’s alright by me but I tend to be slice and serve my tweets very precisely. I run a successful PR firm so I’ve got to be focused. I do offer this disclaimer though I have a social media assistant who’s responsible for building our corporate side.
Any more advice for would be Tweeters?
Jump in and get involved. One reason I encourage people to just do it is that the act of doing it stretches your voice, hones it almost. It also narrows and broadens your focus (all at the same time) on the things and people you find interesting. It’s easy just to sit back and observe or follow people like all the celebrities but I think that gives you a false sense of intimacy.
To the people who say to me that they didn’t think they have anything interesting to say, I say to them: "What! Are you really that boring? Boring at dinner? Boring on a date? Boring as a parent? Boring as a student? Boring on your vacation? Boring at a football match? That boring? Really? When you position the question like that their answer is always, no.
You can find me on Twitter at judettepuglisi.