Twitter’s purpose is still widely misunderstood, and many people think they have no need for it. But it has great potential to enlighten us.
We are a specialised species. Each of us lives a different life with unique passions, intellectual pursuits and hobbies. We choose a path and along the way amass a distinct collection knowledge. But what if we could peek into each other’s minds to gain insight from the roads we’ll never travel? Well, we can. That’s the magic of Twitter.
It’s inherently flexible. Twitter is a skeleton its users bring to life. Yes, we can share what we’re having for breakfast or what we watch on TV. But at its best, Twitter is a tool for distilling understanding of the world into the most digestible format possible.
By following the right people on Twitter, we could see the world like a quantum physicist, movie critic, artist, explorer or entrepreneur. Even “normal” people have something special to say about how they interpret existence, and there is joy in more vividly seeing our friends’ perspectives.
Reading tweets won’t make us experts in all these areas. But our mortal lives are short. There’s not enough time to grasp the intricacies of everything. Twitter is a shortcut to the next best alternative – understanding through the help of those who truly understand.
Teaching us to refine our life experience into precise words — to transform coal to diamond — will be one of Twitter’s greatest challenges. It’s a skill in and of itself, and Twitter must convince us that aiding others is worth the trouble.
Even tougher may be leading us to follow the right people…and unfollow the wrong people. Twitter’s uncensored stream of information is vulnerable to blatherers more interested in self-promotion and hearing themselves talk than educating their audience. If these challenges can’t be beat, the value of Twitter falls apart.
1. Twitter has some 500 million users, with 5000 to 10000 new users joining every day. This is too big a market to ignore.
2. Opinion leaders and influential people use Twitter. They generally don’t mind if you tweet to them (although they may reply to your tweet only if they are interested in what you are saying).
3. You can follow the industry leaders in your category and glean ideas/inspirations.
4. Twitter can be invaluable for your in-house research. Ask a question and get valuable insights.
5. You can use Twitter to find journalists and pitch them your publicity story.
6. Use Twitter search to find out what people are saying about you, your competitors and other players in the industry.
7. You connect with hundreds or thousands of customers who you have no other way of reaching.
8. You can connect more personally with your customers, employees, suppliers, competitors and media people.
9. If you have an interesting idea, people on Twitter will spread it to new places.
10. You have a continuous stream of fresh, current information and news. You can use this information for your updates or news pitches.
11. You can post links to articles or products on your website and drive traffic from Twitter to your site.