“I don’t get Twitter,” I often hear from folks in my age bracket—people who might otherwise “get” everything from quantum physics to multi-dimensional social issues, and have seen more technological advances during their lifetimes than any preceding generation; yet these very same people come to a curmudgeonly halt at the very mention of tweets and hashtags. They almost wear the “I don’t get Twitter” phrase like some sort of baby boomer badge of honor.
Well, I’m here to tell you, as a girl who vaguely remembers Howdy Doody and “The Donna Reed Show,” and who still owns (and plays!) 45s, I do “get” Twitter. And I think everyone who doesn’t at least try diving in to the “Twittersphere” are missing out, for a multitude of reasons. I’ll give you five of them:
First, Twitter isn’t exactly newfangled anymore. In fact, born in 2006, Twitter almost ranks as one of the granddaddies of social media as we know it today. It also remains one of the most popular platforms, with an estimated 135,000 new accounts opening every day.
Second, Twitter hashtags (you know, those ubiquitous #s) can connect you with people around the country and even the globe who are as passionate about any topic as you are. For example, I hopped on Twitter and watched the last presidential debates using #debate, and found a lively conversation on there. I also use hashtags to connect with other fans of my favorite sports teams, connect with other writers, and pick up marketing tips for my business.
Speaking of business, if you own one, Twitter can serve as an effective tool for driving people to your website and, ultimately, to your front door. Plus, your competitors are probably already tweeting. Not to mention current and potential customers.
Also pertaining to business, a lot of the companies you deal with have Twitter accounts, and tweeting is a great way to get their attention. Can’t get through to them on the phone? Give ‘em a tweet. Not happy with a product or service? Let them know in 140 characters or fewer. There’s an excellent chance you’ll hear back from them faster than a speeding bullet.
Last but not least, from a non-business perspective, Twitter can be an excellent source of links to interesting articles, connection with other boomers, amusing on-liners and inspirational quotes—it’s a one stop, never-ending hodgepodge of all that is fun and interesting on the internet.
If you’ve read this far, and are now feeling even a little Twitter-curious, why not open your own free account (it takes seconds) or dust off the one you opened and abandoned years ago? I’ll meet you there!
You can meet up with me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/writesuccess