I took the liberty of borrowing some information straight from the source. Twitter is a great resource for those who are unsure of why/what/who. Here’s some of their key points.
A brief history of Twitter
Initially inspired by the concept of an ‘away-message’ merged with the freedom and mobility of SMS, Twitter began as an experiment in 2006. When value as an instant communication network during shared events like earthquakes, conferences, and festivals emerged, Twitter began to grow—Twitter, Inc. was founded in 2007. Today, Twitter is a privately funded company based in San Francisco, CA.
Basically, they found out what I’ve been saying for years, communication is key. And the ability to do it on a mass scale, to “reach” someone anywhere in the world is pretty amazing. I personally love it that everyday I have mini conversations with people from different countries. It keeps us honest, human. It challenges us to “get out there”.
What’s up with the name?
Twittering is the sound birds make when they communicate with each other—an apt description of the conversations here. As it turns out, because Twitter provides people with real-time public information, it also helps groups of people mimic the effortless way a flock of birds move in unison.
I’m not sure I agree 100% with the “mimic” and in unison. but I get what they are saying here. It allows for individuals to have a much larger voice by coming together in unison. Just think of the power that could have for your brand, your family, your country, your planet.
A key benefit
One of Twitter’s key benefits is that it gives you the chance to communicate casually with customers on their terms, creating friendly relationships along the way—tough for corporations to do in most other mediums.
This is HUGE. By far the most important aspect of twitter is the relationships that you’ll build. It is the perfect way to put a “familiar face” out there for your company. People want to interact with people, not companies. It is essential to “be yourself” and not just spout out company rhetoric. Sure, throwing in some choice information, letting others know what’s happening in the company and retweeting information is great. But, the fact that you are “talking” to people will do more than anything else to help you be successful.
Why 140 characters?
SMS (i.e., texting on your phone) limits each message to 160 characters. Twitter takes that limit and reserves 20 characters for your username, leaving you 140 characters to play with. That’s how it started and we’ve stuck with it!
It is the way it is. Just get over it and move on. If nothing else it will force you to get more in touch with your creative side.
Now, get out there and start tweeting. Or more importantly, building that relationship with your customers. You can find me, Shannon @imaginif and the company twitter @ImaginationTV which is mostly updated by Dan. As you’ll quickly tell, I am the more, shall we say, active twitter user.