Today is the anniversary of the day I figured out the power of Twitter. I’d joined a few months before, in November of 2008. I’d tweeted some, and found and followed about two dozen people I respected in my industry… names I knew from MarketingProfs.com or from reading blog posts or articles. But mostly it was just for fun and a way for me to collect links and articles more quickly. I’d yet to really utilize a news/blog reader very well, so Twitter was serving that purpose. I’d first become intrigued after spending the previous year on Facebook, joining FriendFeed, and then hearing/seeing/reading about Twitter in industry articles. No one seemed really clear on what to do WITH it, just clear that everyone should be DOING it. I began to read… a lot. I didn’t follow anyone else and decided to start tweeting the good content I found, and commenting on it. I knew nothing of hashtags, really, other than that they existed. I’d never participated in a chat. I was determined to see if sharing good content was a strategy that actually worked, though…. so away I went.
After a couple of months, my following had grown to several hundred, based on luck and retweets of the content I’d created or shared. I still wasn’t actively following anyone, but I’d begun to talk to the followers I did have and with those I’d initially followed. Cool… but still not earth-shattering or profoundly game-changing. Then came Superbowl 43. I sat down to watch with my family, with my laptop… and started tweeting about the commercials (Hey, the Dolphins weren’t in it, and growing businesses is my profession). Suddenly, as the hashtag for the ads connected me to a slew of people across the globe all seeing and reacting to the same thing I was, at the same time, through a single medium, the power of Twitter (indeed, of all social media) became crystal clear to me. The conversations and engagement were infectious and addicting. I debated, agreed, challenged, tweeted and retweeted though the entire game, and have been actively engaged ever since. Because life is always happening, everywhere, all the time, and people are talking about it. Online, offline, all the time. The power of Twitter is not that I can talk to you, or you to me… it’s that WE can talk to EVERYONE else out there, anytime we want, one conversation at a time. Even if all we have in common is a love of Superbowl commercials, for today, it’s enough. Let’s connect.
What was your moment like? When did social media hook you?