When I first heard about Twitter, I thought it was a pointless website. Who would want to read a bunch of Facebook status updates? At least if I had to hear about what you ate for breakfast, I should also be able to see pictures of your adorable kids and dogs too.
I realized later that it could useful for businesses. Imagine a flight is going to be late. The airline can send one simple message (a "tweet") to let their followers know. Or maybe a retailer could offer specials to their loyal customers. Still, I refused to join.
Then I decided to brand myself. I didn't know what I was going to do with my brand but I wanted to own everything lolorashel. That meant getting a Twitter account. I told myself I didn't need to use it; I just needed to reserve my name. I initially added celebrities, hoping to see some public Twitter fights go down firsthand. Then I started adding some fitness fanatics, hoping for a few weight loss tips. Finally I realized there are a lot of my fellow pole fitness enthusiasts out there. So I started adding them too.
I would occasionally tweet the random Facebook status update but, for the most part, I used it to tweet links to my blog posts. I started to really pay attention to who I was following and who was following me. I started interacting with other tweeters, thereby creating relationships and they started including me in "Follow Friday" (#FF; a day where tweeters inform their followers of people they should also follow). I noticed that within minutes of posting a link to my blog, I'd already have five or six clicks (a lot for me and just something fun to track since I'm not trying to sell anything). I started really trying to understand and properly use the hash tags (#NotTooCoolForTwitterAnymore) to mark posts, which is also how they spot trending topics. Suddenly I started to understand the power of Twitter.
Twitter is not a bunch of Facebook status updates. Properly managed, it is a very powerful tool to reach millions of people you might never have had access to before. Unlike Facebook, users do not necessarily be your friend (or follower) to read your tweets. If you use hash tags to mark your topics properly, people searching for that very topic can easily find you. People also have the power to re-tweet your message, passing along your information to all of their followers with the simple click of a button.
My blog entries used to get 10-20 hits each time I posted. I only have 49 actual followers of my blog. I have over 500 friends on Facebook (where I also post my blog links). I also manage several fan pages on Facebook, which gives me access to a larger audience -- strangers who are not already on my friends list. I only have around 400 followers on Twitter. Yet somehow once I started posting blog links to Twitter, the clicks on my blog went up drastically. Some days I'm getting 80 clicks. I've had almost 15,000 hits on my blog in the last year and a half, and I'm not even really trying. Pretty decent for a girl who is just writing about her crazy little life.
I am now using the information I learned about Twitter to promote Twirly Girls Pole Fitness, a pole dancing studio in Pleasanton, California. I can quickly and easily post about events, workshops, classes or specials. I groomed the list of people Twirly Girls follows to be pole dancers and fitness tweeters. I also keep an eye out for people in the San Francisco Bay Area that are interested in fitness and dancing. The hope in adding these people is that they will follow me back. I don't exclude people who live far away because Twitter makes the world much smaller and you never know if someone will re-tweet your message and that will reach someone that is interested in your services.
It has been a fun experience learning about Twitter. Certainly a business would not expect any social network to be it's only marketing source. However it is a fast, easy and inexpensive way to connect with a new audience.
lolorashel lives in the bay area, where she tweets, posts, and twirls about Twirly Girl Pole Fitness: women of all shapes, sizes and abilities can flourish, get their sweat on and still feel sexy!