When I told someone recently that I had opened a Twitter account, he was aghast. “I thought Twitter was something you would make fun of in your columns,” he observed. What can I say? I’ve not only hopped aboard the Twitter express, I actually find it enjoyable and surprisingly useful and effective.
Not being on Twitter seemed perverse and possibly counter-productive. As a journalist, I have to be where my audiences are. People were tweeting about my columns, so I reasoned that if I was going to be tweeted about, why would I not want to be part of that conversation? Indeed, why would I not want to be leading that conversation with an audience already familiar with me, as well as a whole new audience?
As well as enabling me to share my columns and articles with a larger and more diverse audience, Twitter allows me to make daily observations – of 140 characters or less – on whatever issue takes my fancy. These tweets in effect are micro versions of my column. And the marvel of Twitter is that if my followers like what I have posted, they can “retweet” it to their own followers. Twitter enables me to magnify my reach many times over.
Twitter is not simply an online tool for journalists and media junkies. Its benefits apply to anyone in business. Twitter is a powerful tool for the exchange of information (via internet links) and provides a lively forum for discussion.
I have been amazed to discover that Twitter is a real community. Its denizens are often warm, interested and generous. Irrespective of your interests – business, personal or professional – it is possible to form a network of peers, heroes, experts, decision-makers, journalists and thinkers that provides a rich and steady source of business, economic and political intelligence, fresh perspectives and new ideas. And plenty of good humour.
In tough economic times, information is gold. Chief executives, managers, business owners and advisers can find in Twitter a deep well of experience, expertise and innovation from around the world.
It’s true that Twitter can be trite and frivolous. But Twitter is also a window to vast information resources that could make you a better manager or more effective in your job. It can help you identify opportunities for your business or career and it is a conduit to new audiences who may be waiting to hear from you. Yes, I am unashamedly a Twitter convert. I invite you to follow me: @DAngeloFisher.