Tweeting my way through summers…

Wed, Aug 1, 2012

Social Issues

14th May, 2012 it was and there I was, waiting for the HR to arrive and allot me a system. First day of internship, myriad of thoughts flashing by, millions of questions in my mind, having no clue whatsoever. After waiting for an hour, he finally arrived and I was taken to a room with 3 chairs, one for me, other for my batch mate and the third one? Well, we sat there for another half an hour, staring at the windows and the table, and complaining about the Gurgaon heat. Then a person arrived, supposedly our Marketing Head, who welcomed us and then another round of interview began (Why for heaven’s sake? We already qualified one!) Anyways, the same questions and the same answers, an hour long explanation about the company’s marketing strategies and finally the work was assigned. There is this thing called Twitter where the celebrities love to gossip, politicians criticize, psychopaths crack jokes and marketers dwell. And to my surprise, I was assigned the task to handle ‘Twitter’. So the nightmare began the first day itself. I had no account on Twitter as yet and I had to tweet on behalf of my company and increase the number of the followers!

There was no escape and Professor Google came finally to my rescue. So I Googled ‘Twitter’ and the first link read, “A micro-blogging service that enables users to send messages, containing 140 characters.” And so on. All right! I got it. So what is this all fuss about? Why on earth do people tweet? Let me wait and understand myself, I thought. So, the next step was to create an account on Twitter and like any new ‘Twitterer’ (as they are called), began following few popular names I thought I should, while some were suggested by Twitter. It was easy to laugh at the nonsense, I could see on Twitter, the micro-blogging rage. “My nose is leaking,” writes someone called Zapples, “so imma going to sleep now…’ and what not. The key question for me was not what’s dumb on Twitter, but instead how this service with bite-size messages topping out at 140 characters can be smart, useful, maybe even necessary! Gradually I began to realize the importance of those 140 characters on Twitter.

I discovered that, Twitter has come a long way since its grand debut at the South by Southwest tech conference. It quickly landed $5.4 million in venture funding. New crowds quickly learned to communicate in haiku-length blog posts, even throwing in web-links with their abbreviated addresses. They developed new vocabulary, with new verbs, including the all-important “to tweet.” So how could tiny Twitter ever become such a titan? It’s not the core technology, which is simple, but instead just an online social community. There Twitterers find and follow the people they care about on the service.

To me, it is not what Twitter did to the people; it’s all about what people did to it! According to Jim Calhoun, the CEO and founder of the Popular Media, “In a follower-obsessed Twitter sphere, the dynamic changes dramatically. It’s not about the conversation, it’s about popularity. Meaningful reciprocity (meaningful back-and-forth dialog) in this environment is impossible. If you have 10,000 followers on Twitter you very well might feel important, but you can’t engage in meaningful relationships. It’s now called the ‘Transient Web’. You just login and you have a hundred tweets waiting for you right from Obama to your girl next door.

So how has Twitter become the next big thing? I delved into the Twitter world and could find the following answers:

Social Habit- It is now an important part of work and social life, as Twitterers carry on bite-sized conversations with thousands of people around the world throughout the day. It’s a huge marketing and information tool. But it is also a social habit that’s hard to kick at first.
Developer friendly- Too flakey, both technology wise and audience wise—too fickle, “Still, there are a few reasons why Twitter might endure. First, it’s simple and easy to use. “It’s already a platform, a classic textbook definition,” tweets Jonathan Yarmis of AMR Research.

Promoted Tweets- Businesses, of course, are more interested in what Twitterers are buying. Twitter already offers a Promoted Tweets feature to help advertisers try to reach more people, but now it’s rolling out a new enhancement that will help companies target a more specific group of Twitter users with their promoted content. Targeted Tweets allow advertisers to send a tweet to a specific audience based on their geographical location, device or platform. And unlike Promoted Tweets, those using the new feature don’t have to send the tweet out to all of their followers first.

Connect to customers- Twitter has millions of users and more people are joining it every day, which makes it one of the best places to look for potential customers. Small businesses catering to a niche market or people from a certain location can use Twitter to stay connected with them.

Create brand awareness- Big brands need no introduction to get followers. But small business owners, who want more people to know about their product line or brand, may use Twitter to build their brand

Marketing new products- The main reason that businesses should use Twitter is to connect with potential customers and market their products. Once you have created a profile for your company, you can use the Twitter account to introduce new products under that brand or product line.

Provide information- You can use your Twitter account to make important announcements and share any news that you think your customers ought to know.

Survey and feedback- Twitter can be a great tool for interacting with customers and market your goods. But it is an equally efficient tool for collecting customer feedback and their opinions about your company’s products and services
Manage online reputation- Besides gaining customer feedback, you can also use Twitter to learn and monitor what is being said about your products and company in general. Many people use Twitter to communicate what they do and how they feel about everything and anything.

Twitter can be viral- Once you gain popularity on Twitter, you will be able to enjoy the benefit of your tweets going viral. A Twitter message can be retweeted any number of times, which means any useful or interesting message you post can be passed on to a number of Twitter users in very little time.

This micro-blogging service has captured the imagination of everyone today, from tech mommies to cable news networks, sports stars and Hollywood stars. It has become a source for both, breaking news as well as rumors. It is the new pulsating heart of the real-time Internet. Two months’ time spent learning and experiencing this wonder called Twitter, was nothing less than an eye-opener. Not sure whether this art can be mastered, but the follower count did shoot up by 50 and I was applauded for my work. It gave a happy ending to the two months of my tweeting.

Samreen Jamal

MBA Batch of 2013

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One Response to “Tweeting my way through summers…”

  1. Vijayta Fulzele Says:

    well written samreen and thanks for sharing your experience with us. I must say your article has inspired me to become so called “Twitterer”.

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