2:31 PM May 07, 2008 from web
That was my first entry into my Twitter.com account, @ktjames. When I logged in for the first time, I was met with a wall of words, individual conversations between people who referred to themselves with @ in the beginning of their names. Was I, a social networking addict, overwhelmed? Yes! I had been resisting Twitter, despite friends asking to become Twitter friends, because I knew it was such a ... busy place. So I became a fly on the wall, studied everyone's 140 character mini-mini-conversations, and started to converse with them slowly, until I realized that no one was talking back, and I was all alone. It prompted my next entry of brutal honesty:
"Feeling like I have no Twitter friends...talking to no one...can anyone hear me??"
12:53 PM May 09, 2008 from web
Feeling like an avatar lost at sea, I bobbed in an ocean of silence in my home office, waiting, then moved onto other projects. Suddenly, a little email landed in my gmail. It was a private, "DM" (aka Direct Message) from a Twitter friend who I didn't realize was "following" me (aka keeps tabs on all of my tweets). She said that sometimes no one replies, and that it can be lonely. Quite a humble statement from a woman who has plenty of followers herself, and has a big Twitter Star with over 800 followers visiting her, in person, with kids and husband. We are watching/reading the whole road trip on Twitter as the Twitter Star drives with her family and sends Twitters mobile updates from her cell phone.
Then I got another response:
ManicTrout @ktjames I hear ya! DeAnnaCochran @ktjames I hear ya. Sendin the luv your way :)
Is this Twitter a waste of time? It really is IMing on hyperspeed and can rob a lot of your time. Can it help your business? Well, if you look at it from the networking perspective, you are networking with people in other ways than job fairs or trade shows or meetup events. You are networking through your computer in condensed forms, which makes you be direct, to the point, a little witty, and a little honest. Women are very active in social networks, as these demographics from RapLeaf show. In an interview for Ladies Who Launch, Patricia Handschiegel, founder of StyleDaily.com (which she sold to Styehive.com), may have said it best: "The best thing women can do is network. Women entrepreneurs are different. There’s a loyalty between us … an honest bond."
Since then, I have seen my Twitter friends promote each other in wonderful and unexpected ways. They:
- Publicly welcome each other (goal: get more Twitter followers)
- Tinyurl each other, which condenses a long link into a very short link (goal: get traffic to website)
- Visit each other in person (goal: friendship)
- Share quick dinner ideas (goal: eating good food and providing for family)
- Identify with each other over kids or admin requirements (goal: feeling normal)
So should you do it for your business? Sure. How to do it for your business is a whole other article that would talk about finesse and genuine interest in others. It requires creativity in how and what you express to your online friends.
But for now, this business owner is hooked. When did I know I was hooked? When I twittered this:
"Goodnight Twitter! Have a good Midnight Maintenance!"