All a Twitter

>> Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Today's posting comes from our digital guru, William Martino. Hope this finds you well -- Jim.

Take it away, William:
As Twitter increases in popularity (both in mainstream press and in actual usage), so do the number of questions I'm asked about what it is and why it matters. The first thing I usually hear is, "But William, why do people feel like it's necessary to tell everyone what they had for lunch? Who really cares?"

To the outside observer, that's about all Twitter is good for. But if you dig below the surface and actually use Twitter on a daily basis, you realize that it's way more powerful than that.

Like most social networks, Twitter helps you connect with "people like you"—ones you actually know in person (like friends or family) and others that you discover because of shared interests (working in a similar industry, affinity for the same products and services, etc...). In addition to Twitter's own search functionality, sites like, which is a user-powered directory, make it easy to find other users based on how they have categorized the things they write about.
The key reason I use, and love, Twitter is that it lets me follow other thought leaders in the healthcare and marketing industry, helping me to stay current on the challenges they are facing and the ideas they are wrestling with. Could I read their books, articles, and blogs to get similar insights? Of course. But Twitter adds a layer of convenience (and brevity) that make it much easier to follow—and contribute to—this dialogue as a part of my daily work flow.

Several of the thought leaders that I follow happen to work in the same agency as I do, and as much as we try to share ideas face-to-face, it's often difficult due to workload or travel schedules. Now we have a way to share links, thoughts, and random musings—and have a discussion about it—independent of geography (it also spares us from sending company-wide emails to tell everyone about interesting things that we've seen. Other people at the agency know to follow us).

Twitter has also transformed how I participate at industry conferences. Although I didn't attend the Manny Awards a few weeks ago, I was able to follow everything that was going on, and knew within minutes of it happening that we had won two awards. At the AdAge Digital conference a few weeks ago (which I did attend), they were smart enough to suggest that participants tweet in questions for the speakers and panel discussions. Not only was I able to discreetly ask questions, but I was able to see and follow the audience commentary on what was being presented.

Individual results may vary, however, so how I use Twitter may not be what's right for you. Jump in and experiment! Find people that are relevant to you and follow them (you can follow me at @wmartino). Post about what's on your mind. Share interesting content that you've seen or read. In time, you'll "find your groove" and with it, the value that Twitter has for you.
- William Martino, VP Digital Strategy at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness


Post a Comment