Why I “Twitter.”

It’s a question I get asked often.

“Do you Twitter?”

@greenwooddavis @partymummy @michdavies

The proper verb is “tweet” so whenever I’m asked this question I can fairly accurately predict what’s coming next.

“It’s such a waste of time! Who cares what someone had for lunch?”

I get it. I do. I thought the same thing once.

But let me ask you this: Do you email? Answer your phone? Take meetings? Chat with your neighbour?

If so, the only difference between us is that I now have those very same conversations online and that I’m willing to have them with people I don’t know…yet.

I wouldn’t ever tell someone they should get on Twitter, but I will share what it has done for me.

On a professional level I’ve found story ideas, subjects to interview, unique stories to tell and been hired for jobs all through Twitter.

@jen_maier @greenwooddavis @kathybuckworth @unmarketing

On a personal level I’ve found connections I didn’t know I was missing, support I didn’t know I needed and new friends who feel like long lost ones. (It’s all going to make the acknowledgement section of my first book really, really complicated! :))

When we hit the skies in July on our Round-The-World trip I’ll have a built-in network of people in countries around the world who I’ve come to know and respect online. It’s an invaluable network.

It’s not utopia. There are crazies out there. But the ratio of crazy to non-crazy is surprisingly low.

As my friend Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) will tell you, not everyone should be on twitter. And if you’re adamant it’s not for you then the rest of us respect your decision.

But don’t think for a minute that making that decision means you’re exempt from it.

In fact, chances are I’m tweeting about you right now.

And how will you ever know from the sidelines?

Want to learn a bit more about the Twittersphere? Leave me a comment and I’ll enter you into a draw to win a copy of Stratten’s best-selling book “Unmarketing.”  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll join the Twitterverse.

And when you do, come over and say “hi!” I promise not to tweet “I told you so.” :)

Winner chosen at random on January 25, 2011. UPDATE: WINNER IS COLLEEN COLE (@talkingcolleen) . Congratulations Colleen. You’re going to love it. Thanks to all for your comments and insights.

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{ 59 comments… add one }

unmarketing January 3, 2011, 2:15 PM

I still recall our chat at Disney last year about Twitter :) Thanks for giving away a copy of the book, let’s make it an autographed one!

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 2:49 PM

Thanks for agreeing to sign it. Can you believe it has almost been a year? Love that twitter kept us in touch. See you on the ship!

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William January 3, 2011, 2:22 PM

Totally agree with your post. I get so much creative juice from twitter.

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 2:47 PM

me too! Thanks for the comment.

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Erin January 4, 2011, 5:43 PM

Tweet tweet! I just figured twitter out this fall, now I love it. I’m still trying to figure out how to be more efficient with it and would love to read the book! Thanks for the post.

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 4, 2011, 7:38 PM

I find it gets better with time. I still have lots to learn too. Good luck!

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Stacey @ Tree, Root, and Twig January 3, 2011, 2:22 PM

I love me some Twitter, though there are times I need to scale back and examine the quality of my conversations there. In fact, the New Year might dictate some “cleaning house,” so to speak, of those I follow. Twitter’s a valuable resource (and often very entertaining!), so I’d love to use it the best way I can. I’d also love to win Scott’s book, so thanks for the giveaway! :D

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 2:46 PM

“Cleaning house” is true of real life friends too sometimes. :)

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Tommy Courneyea January 3, 2011, 2:24 PM

Excellent way to put things in perspective. I found those that aren’t on twitter are often very unaware of the potential it has for bridging communication gaps.

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 2:44 PM

And don’t you find some people are better conversationalists on twitter? Something about the character limit I think.

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Tommy Courneyea January 3, 2011, 4:39 PM

Definitely. There is something to be said about people who can affect positive communication with 140 characters or less

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Tommy Courneyea January 3, 2011, 2:30 PM

As Scott (@unmarketing) often says, Twitter is a vehicle of engaging with almost no barrier to entry. There are no friend requests or lengthy procedures to Twitter. You just get on it and talk. A real conversational tool in today’s social media.

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 2:43 PM

Well said.

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Halogen Software January 3, 2011, 2:32 PM

What you say is exactly right! Twitter is a great resource both personally and professionally. I don’t find connecting with other people around the world to be a waste of time.

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 2:42 PM

Exactly! You don’t know who you don’t know until you know them.

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ejswensson January 3, 2011, 2:34 PM

Great article. Really. I want to go write something about someone not on Twitter. And I want to win something. Anything. Well, something new would be nice. LOL
a

A copy of Stratten’s best-selling book “Unmarketing” would be very nice.

Great to meet!
Eric
@KinderEric
@SoundShoreMarketing

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 2:42 PM

Ha! It’s the chance you take when you’re not in the conversation, right? Thanks for the comment.

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Jonathan Foster January 3, 2011, 2:37 PM

I agree and have found the same to be true for me with Twitter. I have connected with people I didn’t know and re-connected with those I’d lost touch with.

Faster and easier than Facebook or email, at least for me, Twitter is here to stay.

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 2:41 PM

Me too!

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@DonnaMY January 3, 2011, 2:44 PM

Erica @YummyMummyClub dragged me onto the twitter dancefloor just yesterday. She pointed to @unmarketing and said “learn his dance steps.” I’m crossing my fingers for the book and thank you for your own informative post as I find my own way.

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 2:50 PM

He’s a good one to follow and Erica uses it well too. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’ll catch on ….and be addicted. :)

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Anonymous January 3, 2011, 3:23 PM

I’m addicted already. Now I’m adjusting to better use of the addiction. I find I’m saying to myself often “WAIT” =Why Am I Talking?

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 7:40 PM

LOL it’s a fine line but you’ll get the hang of it. I always think starting with a friend or two you know in real life makes it easier. We just have to remember to go beyond that eventually.

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Jen Maier, urbanmoms January 3, 2011, 3:40 PM

So glad for Twitter because I met great friends like you! Great post.

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 7:37 PM

Ditto my friend.

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Farida Harianawala January 3, 2011, 3:45 PM

Great read! I’ve found Twitter to be a great resource for learning and connecting with fellow PR/marketing/social media professionals. I’ve also made friends and been able to take advantage of opportunities I would never have, if not for Twitter. I agree with you that Twitter is not for everyone — it takes time and a certain amount of commitment to truly get some value out of it.
P.S. Unmarketing is on my reading list so a winning a copy would be awesome!

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 7:38 PM

I feel the same way Farida. UnMarketing is a great read and adds some fantastic insight to the discussion.

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Molly January 3, 2011, 2:23 PM

I can completely relate! I’ve only been on twitter for a few months, but already love how connected I feel to people and how open everyone is to start a conversation. (Unlike FB & Email, where I feel people are more reserved) Twitter reminds me of Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail… “While our conversations may really be about ‘nothing,’ they’ve meant so much more to me than so many ‘somethings.'”
Thanks!

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 2:45 PM

And I love how real life meet ups add another dynamic to the relationships I’ve made on Twitter. Count some of my tweeps among my closest friends. Thanks for the comment

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Anonymous January 3, 2011, 7:27 PM

Hmmm, do I fall into the crazy or non-crazy side of twitter? Don’t answer that :) Feels weird that I met you through Twitter but you feel long lost to me. Great post Heather :)

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 7:39 PM

I’ll never tell. ;)
It’s relationships like ours that led me to write the post. How could I not have known you only a few months ago?

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superdumb January 3, 2011, 9:25 PM

Yes, please!

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 9:48 PM

:)

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Jeffrey Reidy January 3, 2011, 9:28 PM

I’ve met a lot of great people that I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for Twitter. There are some fascinating conversations taking place underneath all the “what I had for lunch” tweets and the tweet bots!

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 9:48 PM

And even the lunch tweets are useful sometimes.

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Jonathan F. Sullivan January 3, 2011, 9:32 PM

I struggle all the time to explain to my colleagues why Twitter is awesome. I usually tell them it’s like the hotel lobby to the greatest conference ever — and it never closes!

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 9:49 PM

and you can turn up the people you want to hear from and turn down the ones you don’t.

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socialmediawave January 3, 2011, 9:33 PM

UnMarketing to The Human Medium is the focus for 2011!

A signed copy from Scott would be such a prize!

Happy New Year!

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 9:50 PM

Agreed! Happy New Year to you too.

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Julie B January 3, 2011, 9:35 PM

Love your post and knowledge about the value of twitter! Would love the book!

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Gina Schreck January 3, 2011, 9:36 PM

I love this post! I have found myself going from “You NEED to using this great tool” to “It’s been a great tool for me!” Like I always tell people “Folks are are talking about you and your business…you can choose to listen to continue to ignore them.”

I could never have met so many FABULOUS people without using tools like Twitter! Thanks for a great post!

Your new Twitter follower :))

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 9:52 PM

Thanks Gina. Love that the post has resonated with so many people. So many of us on the same page on this one.

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Shane Ede January 3, 2011, 9:37 PM

I completely agree. Some people just don’t get it. Heck, I didn’t for the longest time, but once I converted to twitterism (that’s a new term, I think.) I don’t think I’d go back.

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 9:53 PM

Ahhhh the religion of Twitter. Could be a trending topic soon enough.;)

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Laura Bleill January 3, 2011, 9:38 PM

I’m looking forward to meeting @unmarketing at Blissdom – will have to buy the book before then but will enter anyway!

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 3, 2011, 9:54 PM

You’ll love him and Blissdom too. (Have you been before?) I spoke at Blissdom Canada this year. Fantastic organizing team and great group of people.

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Colleen Cole January 3, 2011, 9:43 PM

I tweet too – and I have dragged my friends into twitter as well – and we all love it!

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Todd Bullivant January 4, 2011, 12:05 AM

Like Farida said, I find Twitter is a great way to learn from and communicate with other marketing professionals. There are many of us out there, trying to find our way through this new social media channel. I’ve met entire communities I had no idea existed and have found the experience invaluable.

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Badger Paddles January 4, 2011, 1:16 AM

At first I didn’t get it but I took up tweeting for my business… Then later I found it to be much more personal then that and now admittedly enjoy the social aspect and connections that can be made with just 140 characters at a time!

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Dana Reed January 3, 2011, 10:45 PM

There is a lot of good info posted on Twitter and I am trying to converse more on it. Though sometimes I could do with a bit less of the endless inspirational quotes a lot of people post. ;) Go for real content!

Read Scott’s book from the library, wouldn’t mind a copy to keep for myself at all. Thanks for the draw.

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Jo-Anne Wallace January 4, 2011, 3:06 PM

Although we were already friends prior to Twitter, I think our friendship has deepened due to our day to day quick 140 character chats. People not fully engaged in it don’t get it. Great post.

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 4, 2011, 7:40 PM

Agreed! I think it works for people who just don’t have time for much more than that on a daily basis but crave the social network. Twitter is my water cooler.

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Tseel12 January 5, 2011, 12:59 AM

I’d like to learn more about the Twittersphere. I find it interesting.

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 5, 2011, 12:57 PM

Are you on there? Jump in. They don’t bite. Well, most of them don’t. :)

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ManonLeroux January 24, 2011, 3:10 PM

Hi Heather,
It is nice to meet you I have seen you on Twitter but have yet connected. I have been on twitter for pretty much a year now on my second twitter account, I did not get it until this past summer how powerful “networking” is to be honest I was getting annoyed for a while just seeing “self promotion” just got boring. Connecting with real people, helping, sharing is where the “experience” of twitter lies…I am loving it and looking forward to connecting.

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Heather Greenwood Davis January 24, 2011, 7:24 PM

Glad you reached out! Good point re: networking. It’s so much more than just standing in the room and shouting out what you’ve done today.

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Resorts of Ontario January 24, 2011, 9:13 PM

I use twitter to help the organization I work for (www.twitter.com/@resortsontario) build it’s online social brand. It gives us a way to connect with new and returning guests and find out what experiences people want. It’s also a form of customer service.

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