Me - "Hi. My name is Len and I have a problem.
The Crowd (in unison) - "Hi Len..."
I think I might be on the road to becoming a Twitterholic.
I have to admit, when I first signed up to Tweet, I saw it as a bit of a novelty. My first impression, and many early Tweets supported the thinking, was centered around point in time activity (I'm having eggs for breakfast or Man do I hate shiny things..." ). Not sure if I just didn't see it then or if the Twitter crowd has helped evolve the overall behavior of the community.
It's since become a critical part of my day-to-day activity. I use it to gather business intelligence, ask questions to a wide variety of subject matter experts and expand my overall network.
Power Tweeters - please skip the next paragraph. I'm all about setting context.
If you're playing in the Web 2.0 space and don't have one yet - Go sign up for a Twitter account (it's free :). Next, go the the public timeline - find some interesting comments / people - and follow them. While you're at it - follow me (LenDevanna). More likely than not, they'll follow you back. Do a search and find some of your friends out there - Follow them. Welcome to the community!
A couple months back, we grabbed Twitter.com/EMCCorp. Intent was to experiment by pushing press releases and other interesting news bits through the channel. We haven't 'announced' it yet, but have around 60'ish followers.
Admittedly, 60 isn't a lot. But - you can't get any more of a target audience. These folks opted in (most came looking) - and have inherently expressed interest in what EMC's up to. Could be customers, analysts, investors - who knows. The point is, we're catering to these folks through a channel they prefer. We'll be adding a link to this Twitter stream on EMC.com in the days to come... For the first time 'formalizing' the offering. It'll be interesting to watch adoption after that.
With EMC World coming up, we grabbed a Twitter account for the event. Not a lot of followers yet - but again - it hasn't been promoted at all. Awareness will increase in the coming days as we reference the offering through the EMC World site and relevant collateral. The team has some cool plans - like Tweeting their way through the event - Announcing late breaking news (i.e. "Hey - Joe's about to kick off the keynote..." - Perhaps some give aways, etc;. I can think of no better tool to communicate with a massive group of mobile event attendees in real-time. In addition, we'll be able to keep the conversation going well after the event as we begin shaping EMC World 2009 (somewhere, an events person just fell to the ground). We're not the first to do this - The RSA Conference leveraged Twitter during their event as have others. There's a trend here, and Twitter is filling an interesting void.
Beyond the one way push of information are powerful opportunities to gather business intelligence and engage in dialog with your audience. Using tools such as TerraMinds or TweetScan, I'm able to quickly find Tweets from our customers, employees and others. My biggest challenge so far is differentiating EMC from EMC. Hopefully you don't have a hip hop group with the same name as your company...
A little data mining on Twitter is likely to give you some invaluable insight into the minds, likes and dislikes of your audience. We've already started to pull together and act upon some of the information we've come across in the Twitter-verse. Next step in the evolution, having the relevant groups within the company engage in discussions via Twitter with their audience. Truly powerful stuff.
We're just over the starting line on this one. Endless possibilities ahead. Has your company embraced Twitter as a business tool yet? If so, how are you using it?