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The hype behind Twitter

If you have not yet heard the news, last week, Twitter made it to the mainstream as Oprah set up her own Twitter account and invited Evan Williams, one of Twitter’s co-founders onto her show. Oprah also showcased Ashton Kutcher’s success over CNN, in the race to 1 million followers.

According to TechCrunch, overall Twitter.com traffic went from 367 million to over 420 million last week in terms of pageviews. Unique views went from just over 8 million, to over 10 million.

Not Tweeting yet on Twitter?

Twitter, is the social media tool that has overtaken all other social media platforms. It was developed just over 2 years ago and in 2009, the adoption rate of the online tool has escalated significantly.
Effectively, it is a broadcasting platform that allows you to share your thoughts within a limit of 140 characters. This is also referred to as micro-blogging and one message is called a Tweet. Only those people, who have opted in to ‘follow’ you, are able to read your Tweets, while you read those of the people you ‘follow’.

So, what’s the big deal?

Before you actually set up an account, start receiving Tweets and start sending your own, you will most likely not understand what the big fuss is about! Perhaps one of the most unique elements of Twitter is the interaction it allows with respective industry experts, CEOs, sports heroes and big industry brands. There is certainly something to be said for having insight into what some of the top thought leaders in the world are thinking, reading and sharing.

Beyond this, there are a number of ways to use Twitter productively:

– Promoting your personal brand or blog
– Business promotion
– Large businesses can use it for reputation / brand management
– Monitor your competition
– Find out about industry events
– Use Twitter Search – as a search engine
– Gather relevant topic information / research
– Add a ‘human element’ to an online business

What’s Twitter to Search?

At this stage there is not a significant link to Twitter and search apart from the fact that Twitter could in its own right be called a search engine. Whether it will rival Google is unlikely, however for industry specific events or breaking news, it may certainly be incredibly useful.
Imagine there is a breaking story and hundreds of people are talking about the topic, providing links to the story from a myriad of resources. There is no way that Google would be able to index all these sources that quickly and the chance that they would appear on the first page of the Google SERPs is just as unlikely.
While Twitter provides you with relevant links in real-time.
There will no doubt be hundreds of articles you come across that cover Twitter, ‘Tweeting’, ‘Twittering’, the ‘Twitterverse’, ‘Tweeps’ and the vast range of other terms that find their way into the ‘Twittersphere’! It’s not for everyone, but knowing about it is the first step to finding your voice on Twitter.