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October 12, 2009
Why I Love Twitter: Timing, Relevance and Immediacy
 

I have tried to embrace the social media revolution with open arms (and mind) and in doing so, I have met some really cool, great people out there and I know without a doubt, which would have never happened “pre-Twitter.” It’s hard to keep up with all of the tools and applications out there but I applaud and encourage any attempt. Here are a few of my own observations and thoughts about Twitter, social media and relationships that I think speak to some of the timeliest and relevant issues we are all faced with in our businesses as well as personally.

Observations:

  • Twitter is my first choice of a social media tool for a busy executive. It’s easy, intuitive, immediate and conducive to relationship building (which is everything in my business).
  • Some of the best on Twitter all have similar characteristics: good content that is timely, relevant and useful. They also have another similar trait: they are gracious and helpful. Seems to me the Twitter community is sophisticated, informed and successful (of course I block anyone who is offensive, rude or crude).
  • Twitter isn’t always “news” but it sure is a source for “breaking news” and that is huge!
  • Twitter is the magnifying glass for blogs—they’re easy to find and people are circulating them more often. 140 characters are plenty to link a blog and give an opinion.
  • There is an art to Re-Tweeting and replying on Twitter and many on Twitter “get it.” How many times have we read lately to credit people, thank people, and recognize others’ successes?
  • The information we have access to from Social Media is awesome. Good information is powerful and profitable. The other day a client was talking about something I had just seen (and researched) and I was able to pull out relevant, helpful, up to date resources for him within minutes, so gone are the old timeframes of taking “days to get back” to clients. They need information now and social media gives us that.
  • People still tell me Twitter is silly. That’s o.k. though. As I work with clients who haven’t yet tasted the Kool-aid, I have to quietly give my clients what they want while plotting and planning for their inevitable toe-dip into the social media sea (“Hello, Amy, can you come show me how to set up my Facebook page?” I LIVE for those calls!!!)
  • You don’t have to know “everything” (and who can?) and what I love about social media and business is the collaboration of teams/people to get the job done. Social media is permeating throughout organizations in a lot of ways (sales, HR, employee recruitment and retention, etc) and what is great is working on teams to explore creative ways to infuse it to help a company on a lot of levels.
  • Finally, Social Media has taught us the importance of brevity, creativity and saying the most important things right off the bat. I think the Twitter creators are genius! Colleges should teach 140 characters or less classes (my next career)

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Amy Howell is the founder of Howell Marketing Strategies, LLC and has 25 years of marketing and public relations experience in a number of industries including real estate, law, accounting, health care, and business. A Texan transplant, Amy graduated from Rhodes College in 1986 and started her marketing career in corporate positions in Memphis, founding HMS in 1996. Her firm is a small boutique focused on strategy and public relation; it uses both traditional and new media to tell client stories.

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