Actually it was two years in March, but I sometimes procrastinate a bit…
I had two purposes when I signed up for twitter: (1) to promote my year-old blog and (2) to try to understand the twitter phenomenon. My first tweets were classic newbie tweets – “trying to figure out what this is all about” and “read my blog at www.servicecocreation.com “. I was slow to figure out what it was about, but benefitted from early connections to people like @waynemarr, @kenthuffman, and @markwschaefer who tried to explain it to me.
I connected to marketing professors and consultants. Kent’s list of “top marketing professors” inspired me to continue to connect with people so I could make his list which had a cutoff of 500 followers. The habit of seeking out interesting tweeters and then looking at who they followed and who twitter said was like them, caused my numbers to grow.
From Broadcasting to Social Engagement
But the most important discovery was from @markwschaefer and a new tweeter who I originally helped a bit, @ckburgess, who showed this “broadcaster” that twitter was actually a social media. Why not converse on twitter? Virtual friends can become real friends… I have made friends and linked to really interesting people as I began to interact not just broadcast.
My initial objectives were met: blog viewings went from 10/day to 50 or more with over 100 subscribers and many more comments and tweets from the site. One article was recently viewed by over 1000 persons in 3 days and tweeting almost 200 times. I think I now also have some idea of twitter’s potential.
Virtual world spills into the real world!
The coolest discoveries were benefits to my real world life: when I decided to enter a last minute grant proposal for a social media marketing course a couple tweets and a blog posting resulted in a lead user community to co-create the proposal.
Just a few weeks later I needed a proposal for a conference presentation and in 48 hours combined a couple blog articles into a conference paper!
My online efforts are now spilling over into my daily life! For a more thorough review of twitter see my earlier post on Mark’s excellent book, The Tao of Twitter.