Mocking the Twitter gods

Quite recently, a few of my co-workers in jest were asking me every  a ltime they saw me on my blackberry or near a laptop whether I was “updating Twitter”. It’s interesting to hear what people think about Twitter and how some even think that it’s only used to answer the age-old question “What are you doing?” and that’s not all there is.

Twitter can be used as a very powerful marketing and social tool and if you take it from a personal standpoint, then perhaps yes, updating your status would be all that Twitter is good for. But why? Why do we need to subject ourselves to simply displaying what we’re doing at this very moment? Is this how our followers on Twitter would expect to see my updates:

@kyeung808: Typing up a blog
@kyeung808: Watching TV
@kyeung808: Thinking about some stuff
@kyeung808: Reading a book

That seems to be a little lame, to be honest. Twitter can be used to connect you to other people with similar interests and goals so that you can network with them to help better yourself. Yes, if you are following your friends on Twitter, then perhaps it is something more personal, but is probably more targeted to something they’d actually like to hear about, not that you’re ironing your clothes, doing laundry, skipping class, or petting the dog.

For businesses, it would help to have at least one person in touch with the social media environment to engage the Twitter community and whether in an official or unofficial capacity, post updates on what they think would be interesting. Whether it’s the latest product that’s being developed or how the local sports team is going, something entertaining to keep your audience engaged and show that there is someone legitimately putting content into this area. Think of it more like a 140 character blog and that’s how you’d spread the word, begin to form rapports with your constituents and then you’ll have that trust so when you want some publicity, there you go.

Don’t underestimate the power of Twitter when you see someone using it. It’s a powerful tool and should not be dismissed so lightly as there is great potential for businesses and for the individual.

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently Flipboard's Assistant Managing Editor, overseeing news curation in technology, science, gaming and health. In addition to his day job, Ken's the co-host of "The Created Economy" podcast, examining the Creator Economy. In a past life, he was a former reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding.