My New Addiction

I have to admit my addiction. I never thought it could happen to me, at first I wasn't even sure I liked it and didn't really understand the hype, but that didn't last. I am officially addicted to speaking in 140 character soundbites - Twitter has taken another victim.

Let me start by saying this isn't completely my fault. As someone who makes a living in the world of marketing I need to make sure I completely understand what the next big thing is - and it is obvious that Twitter has positioned itself as the next big thing. Even if the folks at Twitter haven't figured out how to make a dime yet  it doesn't mean that inventive marketing teams haven't. So again, I didn't do this to myself on purpose, it was because I am dedicated to my work. No really - I swear.

By now if you have done any research you have surely heard success stories like Zappos or JetBlue and how they became some of the big pioneers to capitalize on this strange new technology. These big companies took a chance on a social media fad that was never initially designed as a tool for business. They turned out asto be visionaries, so to speak. But with the monetary investment needed to get started on Twitter (It's free for those of you who don't know) it is shocking that more businesses haven't jumped in with both feet.

At first I started with the SAVO corporate account. I started slow, posting occasionally about events, webinars,  what have you. I didn't have much of a following so I started to actively seek out key media, analysts and customers and started following them and soon enough a number of them were following us back. This was pretty cool, it was kind of like feeling some power. From here I started using Twitter search to see if anyone was talking about the key conversations that matter to people where our product can be effective. I started following more people and in turn more and more people began to follow us. Sure, not every follower is the right fit for SAVO, but there are definitely people of influence getting our message.

However, it got to a point where I just couldn't sit online, there is obviously a lot of other work to get done, so I began trying out some of the numerous applications out there intended for maximizing the Twitter experience. I tried out applications like twihrl, digsby and Tweetdeck. While I found value in all three, the tool that worked best for me for the corporate account was Tweetdeck. You download the software for free from the web and the world of Twitter is there at your finger tips without having to have a web browser open. I set up my deck with columns for customers, media, analysts, keywords, etc. I will do occasional checks over the course of the day, but Tweetdeck also has the pop up notification letting me know when something has been added and in which column. It is seriously a very powerful tool which I highly recommend for anyone running a corporate account. 

Other tools I use for the corporate account include twurll to shorten the URLs I link. It also allows me to track the click-thrus in real time. I also use friendorfollow to track who is following us that we aren't following back and vice-versa. I listed SAVO in multiple directories including Twellow and WeFollow

To expand our presence we set up accounts for our CEO and our Development Staff. There is only so much I can say with our corporate account and that is why it is important to expand our voice and reach on Twitter.

However, I couldn't stop with just the corporate account so I expanded by creating a personal account, which actually led to the creation of this blog. The world of 140 characters had begun its creep into all realms of my life. I thought being on Facebook and LinkedIn was enough, but no, Twitter with its clean interface came calling. So I began posting, a little bit here about the Boilers, a little but there about marketing. And those tools, the digsbys and twhirls that did not work for me and the corporate account work perfectly for my personal account. Digsby, allowing me to link Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and my Gmail without having a browser open is one of my favorite gadgets.

I have found some pretty cool people to follow that have linked information I may never have found on my own. The community you can create for yourself in twitter is what is really amazing. The amount of knowledge (good and bad)that can be shared is astounding. If I want to find an article or expert on a topic I now search Twitter first and then go to Google if I can't find exactly what I am looking for. Twitter also allows you to experience world events in real time, one I found quite interesting was EarthHour and the fact people were using technology to communicate about not having the lights on.

It is amazing how it happens, one day you are fine living your life without Twitter. Then you give in a little, just to see what its like. You know, because all the cool kids are doing it. You shrug it off, walk away but then you come back and before you know it Tweeting is something you begin to say without snickering. This is when you know you are hooked - that is, until the next big thing comes along.

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