Monday, January 5, 2009

Twitter, Twitter, not so bitter about you anymore: Plus, a Twitter testimony from writer Melissa Oyler

I shrugged off Twitter this summer because I didn’t understand it. One, I couldn’t figure out how to find other public relations people on this social networking site to follow and two, why would anyone care “What I’m doing”? After messaging a few people and stealing some of their people to follow, I got it. You can keep up with friends and share information and interesting articles with your e-colleagues on Twitter. I think you should check it out, too.

I follow 62 people who are friends, other PR people or my newest favorite friends: social media experts. Some people follow a 1,000 people or plus, but I like to only follow a few people that know the most about PR and social media. Otherwise, the conversation gets too noisy for me. But you can connect with me here, if you like. ☺

Here’s what I learned during those first few months:
- Try not to tweet much more than providing an interesting link or a light-hearted note of what news is breaking or something funny heard in the office. And something encouraging to others is also very nice.
- It’s also very important to be quiet and listen first. Just like joining a new real person group or starting a new job, no one really likes a Ms. Smarty pants declaring undeniable truths without introducing herself gently first.
- Execs tweet about important meetings or newsy stuff. Or, they tweet about a new kick-butt product or their next TV interview time and channel.
You can also find out what’s being said about you and/or your company by using these links:
2. Alerts will be e-mailed when someone mentions our organization.
3. Twitscoop.

I ended up with positive results.

With Twitter, I was able to connect with top-notch PR social media people, who otherwise may have been hard to reach, like the CEO of Zappos. Several of the people I followed reviewed my first social media strategy and offered help. They answered my questions about how to get You Tube to open as a TV screen on a Web page and what in the world ROI is. Still haven't worked on either of those things, but at least I sorta know what they are!

In an e-mail, I asked my a colleague and talented writer Melissa Oyler, who has her own blog and is working on her first novel, to share what she’s gotten out of Twitter:

Melissa wrote:
“What I expected to get out of it was some social networking that would hopefully lead to increased visits to my blog, What I didn't expect was for it to change my life.

I don't know most of my Twitter followers in real life. This makes it different for me than myspace and Facebook. I found followers based on common interests - graphic design, writing mostly. What has resulted is a huge outpouring of creativity among me and my new peers. When I was writing a novel in November, my peers provided encouragement and I was able to track my progress and theirs. It even helped me to jump start my new web site,, which I had thought was still a year or more out.

I was sick this week and spent a couple of days barely online. I found I was just as curious what my Twitter networkers were doing as I was my real-life friends. When I'm having a bad day, they are there to provide encouragement. We know about each other's families, likes and dislikes, jobs. Some of them are now my friends on Facebook and some of them I email and Instant Message with. When I say Twitter has changed my life, I mean it. I will never again lament for the days in which I have creative buddies again. I will never again feel lonely working from home. And yes, my blog has gotten more hits! Which in turn makes me want to write more because I know they are reading.”

You can follow Melissa here.

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