78 Posts  •  January 24, 2011

Twitter: The Perpetual Chat Room

Warning

If you are looking for a beginners guide on how Twitter functionally works this post is not for you. If that’s what you are looking for Jessica Hische has created a nice beginners guide entitled “mom, this is how twitter works.

How is Twitter Different

Twitter is a perpetuating chat room. It is not until you realize this that you will understand how beneficial Twitter can be for yourself and your company.

It’s different than any other social media application out there right now. I’m not sure where this little parable originated from but I found it on @AlexWain’s Twitter feed, it simply shows how the main social media circles differ.

“Twitter= I need to pee. Facebook= I peed! Foursquare= I’m peeing here. Quora= Why am I peeing? Youtube= Watch this pee! LinkedIn= I pee well”

Twitter is an ongoing conversation with someone or a group of people. As long as Twitter exists the conversation will never stop. The fact that you can constantly be talking to one person with a few hundred people listening in on the conversation can be a bit scary. But if you say and do nice things people see that and will want to be your friend, awww, this is the part where you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Taking Advantage of Twitter’s Success

Twitter is a major player in social media and has found success because it perpetuates information and conversation. There are a lot of opportunities with an application like this. It’s like the chat rooms of yesterday but with one key difference. Instead of leaving the chat room when you are done you are constantly tuned in and accessible by other tweeters. Be it through your online or mobile applications.

This is a very important difference to understand and to take advantage of. There are a lot of opportunities with an application like this if you are able to build a dedicated and targeted audience. If you can do this you will have created a community of fans that will always have their ears and eyes open for anything you have to say. If you provide helpful information and create relationships on a regular basis you will begin to see the great power that comes along with it. You will have your own little army that is willing to listen to you and pass your word on to others.

That is why it is so important to be visible and accessible on twitter as you will need to build up a foundation of trust with your followers to accomplish this. If you treat twitter like a conversation with a buddy down the street you will have great success.

For example, lets say your buddy down the street wants to borrow a movie. You are more likely to let your friend borrow it than someone you don’t know who calls you up because he heard from 5 other people that you had a movie they want.

So maybe that’s not a great analogy, but the trust factor is coming into play here. You trust your buddy because you talk to him every day versus someone you don’t know who (telemarketer, cold-caller) just calls you up. How many times have you said yes to a telemarketer or cold-caller? If you have you must be a 96 year old and the telemarketer was selling a prune juicer.

How to Build Your Trust Level

The best way to build your trust level is to consistently deliver helpful/useful information on the topics that most interest you and your followers. You have to contribute something of value to people or they have no reason to have a conversation with you. That could be anything from a blog article, funny tweets, to insert self plug here giving away a free wallpaper. Another key component is to answer questions and respond to comments that you receive.

Like @Unmarketing says, ” It’s all about validation”. People love to be noticed and praised for what they do. It’s one of the most simple things you can do to build trust and relationships online. A simple thank you or props for a job well done is more than enough to get the message across that you are present and available. The quicker you can respond to someone the better. This means you have to be monitoring your twitter feed on a regular and consistent basis. There is nothing more gratifying than receiving a timely response. People will be impressed with your reaction time and will remember you in the future because of it. You will be on the top of their list when they have a question or job that pertains to your expertise. Your fans are also more likely to pass along or re-tweet something you say.

Love and compassion are the definition of inspiration. When one person does something to help another it inspires others to do the same. Just like violence perpetuates violence, love and compassion (inspiration) will perpetuate love and compassion. If you are a part of this positive loop you will be an inspiration to yourself and others around you.

Conclusion

So to sum it all up you have to start and sustain conversations and engage with your followers. If you can do that you will build trust within your community. This will set you apart from your competition and lead you to success.

Please leave a comment below if you have anything to add or suggest. You can find me on Twitter @OakesDesign

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Author: Colin Oakes

Hello, I’m Colin Oakes, a web designer and front-end developer from Guelph, Ontario. I have been designing and creating websites for over 10 years and have enjoyed every minute of it.