|By William Arruda||
|August 2, 2009 06:44 PM EDT||
A recent Sprint commercial about the “Now Network” noted that 26% of viewers had no idea what “twittering on Twitter” means. Yet, it’s clear that Twitter awareness is growing by leaps and bounds. Of course, this doesn’t mean opinions about Twitter are all positive.
Many still hold the view expressed in this Twouble with Twitters video. As well, as Steven Johnson stated in his favorable Time magazine piece, “The one thing you can say for certain about Twitter is that it makes a terrible first impression… It's not as if we were all… saying, ‘If only there were a technology that would allow me to send a message to my 50 friends, alerting them in real time about my choice of breakfast cereal.’" In fact, when I first started using Twitter, I wondered, to borrow words from Andy Warhol, if Twitter was not just a way to become more “deeply superficial.”
All that is changing.
Google “Twitter” and you’ll find more than six hundred million results – with more than 100 million of them pertaining to using Twitter in your career. Explore business use of Twitter and you’ll find this online social networking tool is rapidly being adapted by all kinds of businesses for marketing, promotion, and customer service. Finally, if that’s not enough, you may want to check out the forthcoming book by Shel Israel, Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods. If you want an early peek, read the introduction to Shel’s book at his blog; there, you’ll also find his Twitterville Notebook entries.
Frankly, while I’d recognized early the career value of Twitter, I had not been actively promoting it to people in career transition. Now, I do. Here are three reasons why:
Career/Business Intelligence: Twitter is a great way to find and follow companies to learn how they interact with others and what matters to them. You’ll find that many people also post links to useful industry information published elsewhere on the web. More importantly, you can begin learning about and interacting with thought leaders in your industry.
Networking: Clearly, Twitter offers a way to interact with people. If they’re not already there, you can invite people you know to connect and interact on Twitter. Even better, you can interact with anyone – either indirctly via a tweet using their Twitter name, or via Direct Message, if they follow you. And just as in life, in this “brave new world of digital intimacy,” the more you interact with others the better chance you have of building real relationships.
Professional Visibility and Crediblity: While it’s a good idea to use multiple approaches to establish your professional online identity, Twitter is a powerful addition to your suite of social media tools. In a real way, by posting your professional perspectives, exchanging views with others, and linking to helpful information (including your own blog posts), Twitter can be the backbone of your personal brand online.
Cross-posted at Threshold Consulting
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