It spans various direct-contact tools, such as Twitter, Delicious, Flickr and Zoopy, as well as social media implementations on websites, like social bookmarking links and allowing users to comment and provide feedback on content. Social media campaigns have raised money, created awareness and strengthened brands, all through the power of user interaction and discussion. The following series of posts aims to discuss social media and its growing importance and use in business (and in society in general). We’ll also showcase several popular social media web tools and explain what they do.
Part one of this series focuses on the popular micro-blogging platform, Twitter.
Twitter started out in March 2006 as a micro-blogging platform that allowed users to send short messages (a maximum of 140 characters) to other users and into the general “Twitterstream”, answering the question “What are you doing?” Users are able to follow each other’s updates through the Twitterstream (or feed). Various other facilities have now been integrated into Twitter, including a tagging facility, search option and the ability to update your Twitterstream from virtually anywhere, whether via mobile phone application, mobile website, desktop application or via the website.
Micro-blogging is a fast and effective way of advertising your brand or website, sharing interesting articles and blog posts, or discussing topics of interest. It is also invaluable for monitoring discussions about your brand or business and for responding to queries that may arise. A wide range of third-party websites have also been created through Twitter’s extensive application programming interface.
At first glance, this may all seem a bit pointless. And sending out short messages to users you may not even know in person might sound a bit ridiculous. At this point, I’d like to mention a quote by David on From-the-Couch from a few weeks ago that went something along the lines of “Social media starts inside, but it ends outside.”
If you aren’t using Twitter at the moment, I advise you get an account. Search for discussions or topics that interest you, and follow interact with users you find interesting.
What are your thoughts on Twitter? How has it helped you? Let us know!