image from Toothpaste for Dinner

image from Toothpaste for Dinner

Everyone keeps talking about Twitter. Love it or hate it, it’s a really powerful tool to connect to people around the world.  And like lots of new technologies it has its spammers, its haters, and a huge group of people who just don’t understand how it can connect them to the global conversation that’s happening in 140 character chunks.

I was reading an article from Leonard Pitts whose columns I usually really enjoy. Except for this one. Here’s a quick excerpt:

“In the ’90s, you often heard people complain of how memoir writers and afternoon talk shows had turned our public spaces into a communal confessional, intimate secrets once necessary for whispering now shouted into the ether like an order at a fast-food joint. Ten years later, we are not just sharing secrets; we are sharing lives. And not the good parts, either, but the banal, the mundane, the everyday. I’m darned if I can see the fascination.  I mean, I’m not surprised that technology allows this. But I am surprised that people — by the thousands — buy in to it.”

Originally, the headline on the front page of Twitter was ‘What are you doing?’ – and this is where I think Mr. Pitts as well as tons of other people get lost. While it’s true that some people tweet about what they had for breakfast, the weather, and AT&T (ouch) – most of the conversation out there has to do with sharing information from cool links, to business tips, to raising awareness and funds.

It’s a tool.  You can use a hammer to help someone build a house, build your own house, break windows, or wave it around like a crazy person. There’s no set of instructions that dictate the one way to use it.

We’ve been telling clients who have questions about Twitter that it’s like a cocktail party. Tons of people milling around that may be there to network, talk about their passions, news, or even pass a couple of business cards around. You can enter and exit many conversations over the course of an evening, exchanging contact info, insights, and come away with new friends or customers. Like a cocktail party, you decide which conversations to enter.  Same with Twitter.

I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with some really great people, businesses and brands sharing expertise, links, laughs and kind words.  Brands like JetBlue, Comcast, as well as clients of ours such as JAY-K and Saranac are also using it to connect with customers, solve problems and spread the word about promos and events. I should also mention that JETNET and Rejuvenate! Med Spa (both clients) have also recently joined the Twitterverse. If you’re on Twitter, please give them a follow too as we have some big ideas planned for them.

So, when someone like Leonard Pitts says “I am not that interesting. No one is,” – he’s dead wrong.

It can be overwhelming, we know.  Make no mistake, there are right ways and wrong ways to use Twitter.  If you want a starting point, follow our agency on Twitter. If you feel like you want a crash course or just some help in figuring out if Twitter could be a valuable tool for your business, drop us a line – everyone at the office has their own Twitter account –  or better yet, send us a tweet.