TakeLessons is actively engaged in using social media to share our ideas, hear customer feedback, and start interesting conversations about things going on in our industry. It takes time and effort to be a 'real person' instead of an untouchable brand, but we feel the benefits will pay off over time by helping establish us as the authority on all things related to the music lessons service industry.
Image by hawaii via Flickr
One of the great challenges for anyone who loves Twitter is to show
other people why they should love it too. Often it’s like explaining
something you find funny: “You had to be there.” The contextual,
ever-changing, and high-volume nature of Twitter makes explaining it
difficult. Here are ten tips to help you demo Twitter to your friends,
family, and colleagues.
Sales and support. Truly, Twitter is no longer
predominantly about people telling strangers that their cat rolled over
or that the line at Starbucks is long. You can start off by showing how
businesses use Twitter. For example, AmazonDeals increases Amazon’s revenue, and ComcastCares provides support to Comcast customers. Zappos promotes the caring brand image of the company because its CEO, Tony Hsieh, is doing the tweeting.
Competitive intelligence. Another business use of
Twitter is monitoring what people are saying about a company or its
product. For example, look at this search of mentions of P&G and Swiffer.
You can also monitor what people are saying about the competition—for
example, if you work for AT&T Wireless, you should watch what
people are saying about Verizon with this search.
TWIBS provides a comprehensive list of companies using Twitter.
Here is my post about using Twitter as a Twool.
This PowerPoint presentation called “Twitter for Business” is helpful too.
Personal passions. Like the business examples, the
ability to find people around the world, 24 x 7 who are discussing ones
passions removes the scales from people’s eyes about Twitter. Here are
some examples of Twitter searches for more personal topics:
Twitter desktop applications. Using a web page to
demonstrate Twitter is like using a web interface to demonstrate email.
For many people. a dedicated desktop client helps clarify the value the
of Twitter because they can show the results of custom searches. I’ve
found that Twhirl, Tweetdeck, and Seesmic Desktop are all useful for demos and ongoing use of Twitter.
Star struck. The good news and the bad news is
that celebrities are now taking over Twitter. If the folks you’re
showing Twitter to are impressed by celebrities, then show them these
stars: Lance Armstrong, Oprah, Ashton Kutcher, Britney Spears, and “Weird” Al Yankovic.
Lance Armstrong is the coolest of the lot because he really shows his
bikes, the snowman his kids made, and sends out appeals to try to
recover his stolen bike.
Funny folks. There are a handful of people who
tweet stuff that just make you laugh your ass off. If you’re showing
Twitter to people with a bleeding edge humor, show them The Bloggess and Penelope Trunk.
Here’s an illustrative sample from Penelope: “I woke up hung over:
bad-parenting-hung-over from yelling at my sons before bed. Do moms who
yell at boys create men who choose mean wives?”.
Deep thinkers. The yang to the laugh-your-ass-off folks yin are people like John Maeda, David Allen, and Lawrence Lessig. John Maeda explores where design and technology merge.” David Allen created the “Getting Things Done” movement. Lawrence Lessig is a Stanford law professor who covers law and technology. These folks will impress your more cerebral, less star-struck friends.
To find additional interesting people, use these resources:
FollowFamous is a compilation of celebrities on Twitter organized by categories such as music, sports, and tech.
Twitterati.alltop. This is a collection of the the last five tweets of the twitterati. (Disclosure: I am co-founder of Alltop.)
The single best way to determine the most interesting tweets is to see
who gets retweeted (think of this as forwarding tweets to others).
This site factors in people’s signal to noise ratio, generosity in
retweeting, quantity of tweeting, and clout to provide a list of
influential Twitter users.
Twittercounter. If you believe that popularity (that is, the number of followers) is an indication of quality, this site is useful.
All the news that’s fit to tweet. Showing Twitter
to news hounds? Perhaps they want to be the first to know that a plane
landed on the Hudson River. Here are three very good sources of
breaking news: Breaking Tweets, Breaking News, and New York Times. (CNN
may have more than one million followers, but its tweets aren’t
comprehensive.) If it’s geek news that will impress, be sure to show Mashable and TechCrunch.
Hashtag discussions. One way to show the breadth of
Twitter is to tap into existing discussions. These discussions are
typically marked by “hashtags” such as “#gtd” for the “Getting Things
Done” community. A search for this hashtag yields this result. You can find a list of popular hashtags here for your demo. (Thanks to @JDeLuccia for this tip.)
Answers galore. To demonstrate the real-time power
of the Twitter community, ask a question that one might have to scour
the web to answer. Examples: “What do I need to do drive a 30-inch
display from a 13 inch MacBook at high resolution?” “What size lens cap
do I need for a Nikkor 18-105mm lens?” or “How should I demo Twitter to
a newbie?” The accuracy and speed of responses on Twitter are often
amazing. (Thanks to @martindelaney for this tip.)
If all else fails, then just give your friends and family some time.
This is year three of Twitter. In a sense, it’s like the Internet was
fifteen years ago. Remember when people said, “Why would I go to a web
site when newspapers and magazines come to my house, I can see people
in person or talk to them on the phone, get driving instructions by
looking at my AAA map, and buy books by going to the mall?” That’s
where we are right now.