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6 Months Twittering: Skeptic to Evangelist

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Twitter

laurenSix months ago, I was a complete tweet-novice. I heard people on the street saying, “Twitter is just a narcissistic portal in cyberspace where social butterflies on steroids and self-proclaimed web-celebrities can self-indulgently broadcast their personal agenda to the world (so long as it’s under 140 characters).”

For a while, I was one of these skeptics. I didn’t understand Twitter and doubted it had much to offer, something I regularly heard from friends, clients and family.

Still as a marketing professional, it was obvious that Twitter was required-reading, a channel any serious social media marketer should totally understand. As a young woman, I wondered if anyone as shy as me, could contribute to the micro-blogging dialog.

I’m here to tell you that Twitter offers staggering networking opportunities, to the benefit of friendships, careers and (yes even) sales. Case in point, aimClear’s guest blogging invitation comes as a direct result of daily Twitter sharing.

Taking the Plunge
On December 29th, 2008, I stopped wondering about Twitter. I created @beebow: a real girl with a real avatar, a relevant yet relatable bio (turns out “SEO/SMO blogger” + “likes gummy worms”= smash hit), and an insatiable hunger to learn about, and meet people that love, social media.

The ultimate goal wasn’t to cruise around cyberspace, goofing off and wasting company time on this exploding social platform. It was to establish a substantial presence on the Web-to learn, connect, and share- to introduce new friends to the work we do here at Hudson Horizons, when the time and tone of the ongoing conversation was appropriate.

It took patience, attentiveness and some wacky social media stunts to help connect with about 1,750 followers. From them, I’ve learned so much about social media marketing. Plus, my agency-boss doesn’t think I’m making a weird waste of the workday every time he hears a TweetDeck alert go off. That’s a win-win, that’s what that is.

Grow Physical Networking on Twitter
At Search Engine Strategies NY, I did what people do and briefly chatted with top industry folks like Guy Kawasaki, Dave Evans, Hollis Thomases, Liana Evans, Matt McGowan and Marty Weintraub. Twitter has proven an invaluable resource, allowing me to continue conversations started in person.

Twitter is an equalizer; it’s like in cyberspace, we all weigh the same (not poundage… more like the ability to reach out and connect). Whether you have 50 or 500,000 followers, you’re human and available on Twitter. We’re all there – behind computer screens or typing away on smartphones – and we’re all accessible by choice because of our era’s marvelous technology and our shared interests.

It’s awesome to share on par with such an amazing community. You shouldn’t be afraid to connect with people- even the real Twitter “superstars.” All it takes is the right time, the right content, a little @ symbol, and, of course, confidence.

You Never Know
The saying’s true: “you never know.” You never know what may come of those 140 characters. You never know who will see your tweet, embrace it, and share it with the world (at least their world of followers). You never know whose interest will peak with that simple message-whether it’s a useful piece of advice, a link to an interesting article, or just a genuinely kind message to Twitterland.

“All it takes is a 140 character (or less) tweet to open priceless windows of opportunity, and establish truly rewarding connections.”

Six months ago, I didn’t even know what Twitter was… now, it’s an integral a part of my life every day. The power, potential and opportunity have completely vaporized the skepticism once felt. I’ve learned so much. That’s really more than I could have ever asked for.

If these months have taught anything it’s that, when Twitter is approached appropriately and enthusiastically, even the shyest of wannabe social butterflies (e.g.: yours truly) can soak up.

Follow Lauren on Twitter @beebow.

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12 Comments

  1. Marty Weintraub on June 17, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks for the guest post Lauren. It’s a pleasure to have your writings grace the pages of aimClear Blog. I know our readers will find your insights valuable. :)

  2. Lauren Litwinka on June 17, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Thank *you* for the wonderful opportunity! And for the majorly wonderful props. I went from reading the aimClear blog, to listening to you speak at SES NY, to writing for the aimClear blog… an incredible chain of events that was created and is perpetuated by social media. =)

  3. matt on June 17, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks for the shout out! nice article.

  4. Lauren Litwinka on June 18, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Matt – thanks for taking time to check it out! Hope all’s been great since SES NY.

  5. matt on June 18, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Fantastic!

  6. Lauren Litwinka on June 19, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    So glad to hear it =)

  7. Dana Lookadoo on June 19, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    @beebow Thank you for sharing this post. As a result of your support and props for Follow Friday and the value you add to my Twitter stream, you shared this post. As I said on Twitter, “You’re often like an SEO /SEM RSS!” You demonstrate a great combination of people skills and knowledge sharing. I’m honored to have met you via Twitter and look forward to meeting face-to-face as a result!

    You’ve come a long way in 6 months, baby! :-)

  8. Lauren Litwinka on June 23, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Dana – thank you so much for the thoughtful comments! I’m touched by them, and so pleased that you enjoy the resources I pass on through Twitter. As you point out, the key phrase there is “pass on” – Twitter can be a limitless pool of knowledge – but my stream would be pretty darn dry if not for the wonderful, insightful folks I follow – such as yourself – who share what they create and locate! I look forward to sharing more ideas and articles with you in the future =)

  9. christian on June 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Great Post Lauren. I too started about the same time as you tweeting and learning twitter just to see what the buzz is all about. What a great tool to explore and network. I enjoy reading your tweets and learning from you. I encourage anyone reading to follow you and enjoy your company as I have. Rock on Girl!

  10. Lauren Litwinka on June 29, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Christian – I completely agree! Twitter is a fabulous platform for exploration, networking, learning new things & meeting new people. I’m flattered by your comments, and am so pleased that you find my tweets informative and enjoyable. That’s what I aim to dish out, and your awesome feedback lets me know I’m on the right track. Thanks for taking time to check out this post, and leave your comments =) They’re very much appreciated by yours truly! Catchya on Twitter!

  11. @steveplunkett on June 29, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    As long as you are genuine and engage people you are following, then you will float up the twitter food chain.. =) good article.

  12. Lauren Litwinka on June 29, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Steve – thanks for taking the time to comment on my post =) hope to keep floating up right along with you!

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