Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Thinking About Twitter from a Personal & Professional Standpoint

Assignment: A Week of Twitter

For this assignment your job is to evaluate and participate in the Twitter-verse. At the end of the week, you will blog about the experience.

Follow at least 10 accounts in each: media, local business, local people/events/information & marketing/PR resources.

Prior to this assignment I had already been active on Twitter, and though I sometimes use it for personal use, I mainly use it as a professional and keep that in mind when posting Tweets. I was actually reluctant to use Twitter, but was asked to create an account last year when I joined the Ohio State public relations Firm, The PRactice, and have found it interesting. It's a really unique tool and it's amazing how quickly you get information on a wide variety of topics. I think it's particularly helpful for communication professionals because it's basically free marketing that's fairly effective and easy to use when put into practice properly.

Twitter can also be of value for individuals whether they are using it personally or professionally. This is a way to brand yourself and really let your personality and/or skills shine to whomever you choose too share your account with. Unlike a profile page or resume, this shows your interests and activity on a regular basis and is constantly providing your viewers with new and current information. It's also a great way to encourage feedback, advice and questions.

From the list we were asked to follow, I took interest in the way news personalities like @Kurt10TV communicate news in a more personal way. It's more like a friend is telling me about something they heard about than a TV station broadcasting a story. He is more relatable than the station itself. However, I am amazed at the responsiveness and frequency of Tweets by TV stations, and have actually used this to get more timely updates when I'm stuck in traffic for example.

When comparing businesses and individuals I found that although businesses don't mainly tweet to promote themselves and are fairly good about Tweeting a variety of topics, it still seemed as though individuals have more freedom with what they are Tweeting about and have less of an agenda. It makes sense that an individual would have more of a personality than a business, even via Twitter. I would say that media would fall under both individuals and media depending on whether it was the outlet itself or a personality from an outlet.

I find Twitter to be an incredibly useful tool from a professional individual standpoint, and also as someone going into the field of communication. This can be used to brand yourself, your business, a company, organization or event for free. It's a great way to raise awareness among followers and can be helpful in distributing information and news. There are many ways to use Twitter, but no matter how it is utilized, it can be a great marketing agent.

I would recommend following Mashable because it is one of the Kings of social media and always offers great tips and articles. I also recommend @RShotel because this hotel used social media to break through the hotel clutter in NYC and is a great example of successful social media marketing. News sources are great to follow because they send out news at lightning speed via Twitter, and also any local businesses and organizations are nice to keep tabs on because they are always Tweeting about contests, happy hours, specials and more sweet deals that shouldn't be missed out on.

I am definitely going to continue using Twitter, and will work to stay current on new and improved ways to use it effectively for personal and professional branding.

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