5,000 Tweets … So What's the Point?

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.