I tweet. Do you?
I started using Twitter as my personal social media experiment in January 2009.
My first tweet read: I'm trying to figure out how to get three girls well again.
I quickly decided to use Twitter for professional and not personal updates, saving my family news for Facebook friends.
Fast forward 4,998 tweets to earlier this week. I realized that I was close to sending my 5000th tweet. That got me thinking, “What have I learned from Twitter? Why do I tweet? Why should others tweet?”
A look at the numbers
At 140 characters or less per tweet, I’ve pounded about 700,000 characters on my iPad, Blackberry and wireless keyboard. I strive to make each letter, symbol and punctuation mark count.
My Twitter strategy is simple: I want to be engaging, helpful, entertaining and informative. Who doesn’t?
What I tweet and retweet
- Job leads. I’ve shared hundreds of job leads for PR and marketing gigs.
- Instant feedback. I’ve tweeted rants and raves for hotels, airlines, retailers and consumer product manufacturers. I find companies that “get Twitter” often respond faster by tweet than phone or email support.
- My company’s news. I’ve given updates about Rhudy & Co., my fourth child, and links to our company blog about PR, marketing and communication topics. I’ve connected with many journalists. As a result of Twitter, USA Today quoted me in a December 2011 article on company holiday cards.
- Celebrity connections. My favorite tweet ever came from The Beaver, AKA, Jerry Mathers. Here’s what the former childhood star tweeted to me:
- Contests. I’ve won stuff thanks to Twitter, including registration for a social media conference registration last year. The registration was valued at $1,800. I’ve also won a few gift cards from random places.
- Passing it on. I’ve retweeted links to countless articles, blogs and digital content. I like to share community news and ways to give back through Virginia nonprofits.
- Pictures. I’ve posted tweet pics (or pictures via Twitter) of random hot rods, funny signs and stunning architecture.
I plan to keep tweeting.
Jonathan Rhudy thinks Twitter is like old-school headline writing. You need powerful verbs and descriptive adjectives.