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Rumblings from the Twitterverse

“Facebook is your inner circle, Twitter is a public party.” 

Social networking is reshaping the way people interact and do business. In a rapidly changing work environment, sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn make it easy to keep up with what’s going on with your friends and colleagues. Being “seen” on these sites gives you visibility and the opportunity to communicate directly with people who could hire you, or help you grow your business.

Twitter is a social site that works in a different way. It’s a “micro-blog” where “Tweeters” (people who Tweet) post “Tweets,” brief bursts of text (140 characters or less) on all kinds of topics, from the informative and entertaining to the inane and absurd. These tweets are often accompanied by a link you can click to get find out more about the Tweet topic.

Once you’re on Twitter, you want to start “following” Tweeters who are Tweeting about topics that interest you. You don’t have to know these people personally. In Twitterville, it’s “the more the merrier” when it comes to racking up “followers” so don’t be shy about following strangers, they will more than likely be flattered and often will show their appreciation by following you back.

To grow your followers, you want to be Tweeting about interesting things. It could be news and information on your business, industry, favorite hobby, or passion. Consider yourself an ambassador, spreading the word to your followers. Tweeting about your favorite hobby or passion could lead to making money. In today’s changing economic environment where job seekers are reinventing themselves, you could Tweet your way into a new career. 

Twitter as a Business Tool
You can use Twitter to raise awareness for your business or Web site, as long as you keep your Tweets informative, and not a blatant advertisement. Tweeters will “un-follow” you if it seems like you’re spamming them.

I’m using Twitter to promote my radio Web site and podcasts, and to spread the word about an ancient astrology-style system known as the Cards of Destiny. As my base of followers grows, I’m developing some inexpensive card reports and readings to help people get to know themselves better, and become aware of their special talents through their “card.”  

Contests are a great way to increase your visibility on Twitter. GreatJewelryBargains, a Web site that sells fine jewelry, is holding a Valentine’s Day “Win Twitter Glitter” contest, where their followers can enter to win a necklace valued at $495.

Twitter for Trends
Twitter is a great tool for keeping up with trends and public opinion. As a radio host, I’m finding all kinds of interesting tidbits to share with my listeners. And, because Tweets are in real time, it’s an easy way to take the pulse of public opinion. On Super Bowl Sunday a quick Twitter Search enabled me to find out what people were saying about Super Bowl ads. The consensus was that the spots were not as entertaining as they were in past years. I was able to pass along this “real time” info to my listeners.

Just Do It!
So, what are you waiting for? Head to Twitter, set up a profile, upload a thumbnail photo, and start Tweeting and following. Here are some links to help you get going:

Twellow allows you to search by topic Tweets you may be interested in.

Find more followers using Twitter Search. Enter keywords on topics you’re interested in.

Follow some Tweeters who offer tips on using Twitter and social marketing such as Twitter_Tips, guykawasaki or MariSmith.

Here’s a link to a story by one of my Twitter following/followers Diane K. Danielson, founder of Downtown Women’s Club, on how she uses Twitter.

And be sure to follow me! Looking forward to seeing you in Twitterville!