All Aboard the Twitter train. The car was the new horse, the train was the new car, the plane was the new train. From ‘around the mountain’ appears the Twittersphere. While there are a great number of people on Twitter already, there are still many who are understandably reluctant to join. Given the now nearly defunct MySpace, and its incredibly successful predecessor: FaceBook, who needs Twitter? Maybe you are of the opinion that you are just over the whole social networking thing because you could care less who is doing what with whom. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but just like 40 is the new 20, ready or not, Twitter is rapidly becoming ‘the new FaceBook’ in the Social Media realm. This is especially true for the Gen X, Y & Z crews (those born from 1966 to present.) These three generations account for a tremendous segment of the world’s population. Although for years, the BabyBoomers have been the proverbial upperclassmen, these ‘new kids on the block’ are fresh, young, up and coming, forward thinking, tech savvy, and most importantly, they are willing, able and ready to take over.
That said, for those who do not have a presence on Twitter, while there are many valid reasons to join, I’ll keep it short and simple. Contrary to popular belief, it is not just for the tweens, teens and 20 somethings and people in the entertainment industry to keep the rest of the world abreast of their every move. In all actuality, Twitter is a very useful and lucrative tool. Unless you have been living under a rock, you know, or have, at least, heard, that the buzz phrase for businesses, both big and small, is: “Enlarge your digital footprint.” It’s not enough, anymore, to simply have a brick and mortar establishment and/or send out advertisements via snail mail. While the BabyBoomers are still very face to face oriented, even they don’t read half of the propaganda sent their way. Social media advertising is the way to go because it is far reaching and non discriminating. So, where does Twitter come into the picture? Simply put, game recognizes game; which means that in the world of Twitter, it’s not just about how many people you follow, it’s about the type of people you follow. It’s all about strategy when choosing which direction you want to go. If you are successful in your execution phase, the same type of people you follow will inevitably follow you back.
Still not convinced? Now you know that Twitter is a good look for growing and established businesses, but what does that have to do with you? Let me break it down even further. Let’s say you want to know something and, customarily, you rely on Google. Well, Google is about as useful to people these days as encyclopedias were to people back in the day. Encyclopedias are chock full of generalized information for those who are completely ignorant regarding any particular subject. They are the literary equivalent of being a jack of all trades, but a master of none. Though Google is a huge improvement, it is still incapable of providing specific information. However, with Twitter, no matter what you need, it is represented, (either by an individual or an entity), and unlike FaceBook, even if you aren’t “friends” you have access to it. For example: Let’s say you are interested in Blogging. If you Google Blogging, you will get pages upon pages of information with regard to Blogging. How can you tell which one is the best fit for you? On Twitter, you can put Blogging in the search bar and, like Google, it will bring up a long list of relevant Tweeters. The beauty of it is that you can read their tweets to determine who is actually providing the information you want to know and follow them. That way, every time they Tweet an update you are in on it. It is important to note that often times, if you come across tweeters who have a broad audience (Have more than 1000 followers) and tweet consistently (Have double the number of tweets that they have followers) with regard to a particular subject matter, they are being paid to do so. Their objective is to put out valid information to drive their followers to other relevant sites they are being paid to promote. Find one of these gems and you have hit the mother load, a win win in that it is a social media one stop shop.
As your needs change, you can shift your focus by unfollowing people, or simply choosing new people/entities to follow regarding that particular interest. In the process of doing so, once Twitter catches on to whatever direction you happen to be leaning toward, they will make suggestions of people you may want to follow who also share your interests. Likewise, you will find that people you don’t even know, who have similar interests to yours, will begin to follow you as well. Unlike Google, the people that come up in your Twitter searches show up on their own merit, not due to having paid for the privilege of being ranked such that they come up in a particular order regardless of bona fide relevance, or whether or not they are the best in their field. When all is said and done, Twitter is ever evolving. Different people use it for different things, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The Twitterverse is big enough for everyone to have their own slice of heaven…figure out what piece you want and go after it. At the end of the day, there is not one person alive and above the age of 20 who wouldn’t benefit from something Twitter has to offer when it is used in an efficient and effective manner. Like it or not, Twitter is ‘coming around the mountain’ and when she comes, you better plan to get on board, or be prepared to get left! #TweetTweet