by Kas Kunz
If you're not familiar with Twitter, it's a free online service started in March 2006. Within the last year its grown in popularity and gained a large number of users and media attention. According to it's Web site it's a service for friends, family, and co-workers to communicate and stay connected through exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?
Twitter puts a 140 character limitation on answering the question. You can send them through mobile texting, instant message or the Web. You choose different individuals to follow their tweets (comments)with their permission and vice versa. The tweets are mostly public and can be connected to display in blogs, Facebook, and other online accounts you might have. It's real easy to let everyone know what you'e doing... simple enough.
Not everyone that uses Twitter is just answering the question: What are you doing? They're also letting you know their thoughts, ideas, and giving you a heads-up about something or answering a question. And this additional use of Twitter has made it a very valuable resource to get answers and help in a variety of areas.
For business use some have direct conversations with customers, with the goal of helping them when they "tweet" about a problem they're having with their company. These exchanges have resulted in great customer service experiences for the customer. Others have used it to let their "followers" know about promotions or specials. At events such as conferences it's been a great way for groups to network by putting the word out where everyone is getting together. And some use it to make business or professional connections but are okay with giving personal details about waiting in an airport, they're at lunch, and so forth. In all fairness family and friends might want to know this or a person you're scheduled to meet. But if most of your followers and the ones who follow you are business oriented... and you randomly put it out there I'm eating a cheeseburger, you might reconsider. On the other hand if you're traveling and would like information on a place you've never been to before, its proven to be a great resource to get answers. And you might make a connection you would not have otherwise over something as simple as... where to eat.
With Twitter, if you choose to, you can give others a minutiae view into your world. As with every social connection whether it's through technology or in person paying attention to others response to how you are communicating with them is essential to make a positive connection.
Some of your communications will get kudos others will get push-backs. Online it's easy to loose sight of how you're coming across and who might be listening. One good check is to make sure you're doing your fair share of listening!
The video below, produced by LandlineTV.com, is a fun — over the top, irreverent look at the unknown response you might be getting by how you answer the question: What are you doing?
What are your thoughts on the art of business conversations online and experiences you can share?