How much do you know about Twitter? It’s the social media messaging service that allows snippets of instant communication 24/7 with people worldwide.
While a great place to learn and share information, Twitter’s also great for conducting online research. Think of it like a focus group that you can drop in and listen to anytime you want. When you visit the Twitter homepage, you can see what are the hot topics at any given moment just by viewing the terms that scroll across in ticker-tape fashion. To conduct your own search, simply type in a subject or person in the box on top. Maybe you’re interested in attending a conference or learning about what the speaker is like — type in the name and see what pops up.
When you start reading, you’ll notice that messages are extremely concise. That’s because Twitter only allows messages of 140 characters max, spaces included. Twitter is often called a microblog for this reason. You’ll also often notice that when people “tweet” (write comments), you’ll see brief descriptive terms that start with a pound sign, like for instance, #ASCETweets. These are known as “hashtags,” which allow searches for all comments using those specific hashtags.
According to highly regarded computer guide writer Tim O’Reilly, author of “The Twitter Book,” the platform is “emerging as a key business channel, letting companies engage with customers, partners and other constituents in a direct way that’s both personal and public — something no other medium allows.” Twitter is allowing businesses to monitor what people think of their business and products, providing another channel for customer service, and encouraging customer engagement through online conversations and creative promotion offerings.
How have you or your company used Twitter? What lessons have you learned? If you haven’t been on Twitter, having read the above, can you see ways that it could benefit your firm?
Senior Manager, Communications