When I try to describe Twitter to someone unfamiliar with the social networks, I am usually met with blank stares and the inevitable complaint I don’t want to tell people where I am and what I’m doing all the time.
It’s really hard to get people past that point, but Twitter is more than just a status update.
Twitter (or Plurk) is really about more than the 140 microblogging, it’s an open dialogue with consumer. Really, if all you’re doing on Twitter is telling people what you?re doing or where you’re going, your followers will quickly lose interest and it won’t be much use to you.
But, if you use Twitter like the CEO and founder of Zappos, (@Zappos) does, you will openly and actively engage your customers in your business, your activities and generate a dialogue about your company that is hard to acquire through press releases.
While @Zappos does post some mundane and “This is what I’m doing posts” he also updates his followers with news of a new Zappos business plan.
“Been spending a lot of time working on new “Zappos 2.0″ vision document re: future of Zappos. Excited to roll it out within couple of weeks!”
He regularly engages his followers and asks them to create and submit for Zappos Prizes.
“Friendly reminder: “What can u do w/ a shoe?” video contest (win $500 Zappos Gift Certificate) deadline coming up!”
Regularly @Zappos puts new business ideas out there and lets his peers and consumers instantly give him feedback, adjust his plan and help him set a price structure.
“Thinking of starting a subscription site ($39.95/month) for business owners where we share details of how we do things internally at Zappos”
If you are going to start on Twitter or any other social platform, make sure that you’ve changed your strategy to openly communicate; Social Media is not just another mass media to disseminate your message. Social Media should be used by advertisers as it is used by consumers- to open communication, display your personality and provide an opportunity for feedback.