I get asked to explain why I love Twitter by people who are mystified by it.

“Doesn’t it take a lot of time?”

“I don’t want to hear about what people had for breakfast.”

“What’s the point?”

Although I link to my Twitter account from my signature file on email and here on my marketing blog, I am not even close to being 100% on message or self-promotional on Twitter. In fact, I rarely tweet professionally.

Here are a few ways I use Twitter:

  • I get a pulse on what’s happening in the world. I use Twitter as a news aggregator. I check on Trending Topics to see what’s going on. I heard about vuvuzelas, learned Michael Jackson died, got different perspectives and photos from the miracle on the Hudson, and followed Iran election demonstrations waaaay before I saw any information on CNN.com.
  • I scan my Twitter stream for any trends, news and eye candy among the folks I follow.
  • I use Twitter to connect with like-minded people and get access to folks whose work I admire, such as @BarbaraSher, author of Wishcraft and Refuse to Choose. On Twitter, people tend to be more accessible and responsive, if they are the ones doing the tweeting and not a PR agency.
  • I learn new things from Twitter all the time. I tend to follow creatives, writers, artists, life coaches, gardeners, travelers and a few marketing types. I hear what topics are important to them.  I find out about events, books, blogs and articles that interest me.
  • I make new friends and deepen connections with existing friends. I’ve met a lot of new people on Twitter, some of whom I’ve met at workshops, retreats, conferences and other live events. When I look at someone’s Twitter stream, I get a sense of who they are. Really. Twitter is the introverted networker’s best friend.
  • I have conversations. I chat. Social media marketing folks call it “engaging” with others.
  • I get questions answered. Sometimes I’m stumped about something and I’ll just pose the question to the twitterverse. Or, I’ll answer questions that others have thrown out.
  • I follow travelers, hotels and airlines to see what travel deals, tips, stories and photos float by.
  • If I’m unable to be at a conference, I can follow along if people are tweeting.
  • For me, Twitter is fun.

Twitter “success” is all about expectations. You’ll hear this ad nauseum from other folks, but Twitter isn’t about getting the most number of followers. Quality over quantity.

I don’t encourage all my clients to get on Twitter. Some hate the idea of adding yet “another’ thing to do. I don’t Tweet 365/24/7. I pop in when I have time, check things out and move on.

But if Twitter will enhance their business, help them hone their message or encourage them to make connections they wouldn’t otherwise, I’ll strongly suggest it.

It’s just another channel for communication and for connection.

There are no shoulds or have tos when it comes to Twitter, even if you hear things like “only tweet useful information” or “add to the conversation”–personally, I want to know the whole of who you are as a human being. (In general, I don’t find people who only broadcast information and don’t interact with others at all interesting, compelling or worth following. I can read their blog for that.)

I invite you to try it if you’re a Twitter virgin or deepen your experience if you’re already part of the Twitterati.

There is a whole world to explore. Twitter is a window into that world. Join me!

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