Why I prefer Twitter to Facebook

I first set up a Twitter account in October last year, but to be honest I was fairly sceptical about its worth. I’d seen the cutesy Twitter logo on many of the blogs that I follow; I’d read about it in the Sunday papers; I’d heard Stephen Fry rave about in on radio 5. I was curious to know what the fuss was all about, but I was pretty sniffy about its value as a business tool. Our working days are busy enough. Do we really need yet another ego-massaging, time wasting social networking site?

Having said all this, I don’t like missing out on a party, even a bad one, so I thought I’d give it a go. Like most bewildered newcomers to Twitter (note: I refuse to use that hideous social networking phrase ‘newbie’) I was totally clueless about what to do with it. I signed up and my first post just read something ineffectual like ‘Help! How does this work?’. At that point I got cold feet and, feeling pretty idiotic, fled at top speed without looking back.

It was only in January, having read yet more glowing articles, that I resolved to restart my Twitter experiment.

What a revelation!

  • In just 5 weeks I’m pretty sure I’ve learned more about my field than I did in the whole of last year.
  • I’m now connected to 140 clued up marketing experts/business types around the world. I follow their ideas, read their resources, and share their thoughts.
  • I’ve had some well-informed answers to my questions about marketing small businesses, got instant feedback on my ideas and articles and stayed up-to-date with the latest news, often before it’s even broken on mainstream media.
  • It has prompted me to buy 3 new business books, which I was unlikely to discover otherwise (authors, take note!)
  • Yesterday, a brilliant Indian online training company contacted me about creating a ‘visual case study’ on my approach to marketing with content (no charge – we both benefit)
  • Oh, and I’ve got a meeting with a potential new client too.

If you too are curious about Twitter, and want the real low down on what it’s all about from a business perspective, here’s a quick resume of what I’ve found out to date:

twitter-re-3What is Twitter?

Twitter is a website www.twitter.com where you can broadcast very short messages (maximum 140 characters) to anyone who has signed up to receive them. It’s a communication tool; a bit like a cross between a blog and a chat room; kind of text messaging but to a larger audience. It’s free.

As you post on Twitter, you also get updates from all of the people that you are following. You control who you follow and can also block people you don’t want to receive your updates (useful function, if you make the mistake of following someone who continually tweets about what kind of pasta sauce they’re having for lunch!).

These short updates often contain links to articles and resources but they can also be questions, insights, thoughts, jokes – anything really. You can pay as much or as little attention to this stream of ‘tweets’ as you like. Unlike email, you aren’t expected to respond to, or even read, every message. You can dip in and out of the flow of the conversation as suits you.

So what?

Here’s a quote from a consultant and Twitter user which sums it up for me:

“We’ve always known that networking, connecting, mentoring and collaborating better are extremely valuable for business. You miss out – massively – when you dismiss stuff as new-fangled and faddish…The value (of Twitter) is not substantially different from the value of reading and writing articles, building business relationships, networking and surrounding yourself with successful people.” Laura Fitton

I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but this experiment with Twitter is yeilding unexpectedly positive results for me. It has broadened my reach to a wider network/community and is helping me learn a lot more about what I do, very quickly. I’m finding it a useful database of links to interesting articles and resources I want to remember. It may even get me work.

What to expect

To give you a bit of an idea about what to expect, here are a few ‘tweets’ that have landed on my Twitter page recently:

Useful:

  • “I knew nothing about about this industry prior! Read more about payday loans
  • “Thinking about “Why Architects should Twitter ” 
  • “B2B current trend: Social media makes sense for frugal CMOs Cost-effective, collaborative, authentically yours”

Not so much…

  • “Up and bouncing, ish. Must stick myself under a shower before biffing off into the morning traffic. Hope you’re not all triskaidekaphobic x” (Yup – this last one is from Stephen Fry!)

The more you give on Twitter, the more you’ll get. As in face-to-face networking if you share useful information, add value and participate regularly in the general conversation, you’ll attract more followers and get more value out of the experience.

Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it

Twitter is difficult to describe unless you’ve seen it in action. Even when you’ve signed up it takes a bit of time to ‘get it’. Sure it can be a time-waster (it really is quite addictive – I’m having to ruthlessly ration Twitter time) but it can also be a great news source, a research assistant, a networking device and a very valuable business tool.

My advice? Don’t poo-pooh it until you’ve tried it. If you don’t see any value you can always choose to close it down, but it could just be useful to your business. At the very least, it’s a fascinating experiment. And it’s a lot less annoying than Facebook!


Our favourite apps for your mobile phone

We love our smartphone, you love your smartphone, so what better way to start the day then a blog post about our favourite apps for mobile and tablets.

YouTube: It is the best place for video’s full stop, it’s rated the world over and continuously tops the polls of people’s favourite apps. Simply sign in to get access to your playlists, downloads, subscriptions and more.

Features:

  • Voice search: Easy to search videos and channels
  • Vast video catalogue
  • With channel guide UI you can instantly access channels you are subscribed to, share video’s to Facebook, Twitter, email and Google+.
  • You can read comments, enable subtitles, browse related videos

Waze: This app was a breakthrough when first released, you can avoid traffic and get to your destination quicker, what more do you want? You can get traffic information and even the best gas prices. with this app. It helps you by routing you without getting stuck in the traffic. You can also share your map with the friends.

Features:

  • Boosting your social
  • Based on community input you will be directed to the least congested route
  • Voice guidance-navigation
  • Shows you details on cheapest gas stationz on your route
  • As you contribute details of the traffic in the community you can get points
  • You can join current community or create a new community
  • You can contribute information in the community like hazards, accidents, police traps and many

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CNN: News updates. Get the latest world news and views on the go. Stay tuned to news around the world, headlines or original stories. You can go in-depth into the stories you like.

Features:

  • Follow news as they develop
  • Get alerts instantly
  • Upload your views or stories to CCN directly from the app
  • You can add your image or video and send opinion to the iReport
  • Front can be adjusted
  • You can get beyond your expectations from this app such as politics, entertainment, international, tech and more stories

Find My Friend: You need to send a request to locate and find your friends. You can send your location to a group of friends but in a limited time. Through this you can view your kids leaving from school and family members arriving safely at home.

Features:

  • Location based alters
  • Easy to locate friends and family members
  • Temporary sharing option
  • Privacy controls Supports hundreds of languages

Find My Phone: If your phone is misplaced or lost or stolen you can easily locate your phone using this app. Simply sign in to this app you to locate your phone through a map, or a text message, or play a sound and you can even erase data if you have definitely lost the phone.

Features:

  • Find your lost phone
  • Even if the phone is in silent mode you can get a two minute full volume Battery charge indicator
  • Remotely lock your mobile
  • Display a custom text on the display
  • Driving directions to device location