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Twitter, I have grown to appreciate you even more…

February 11, 2009

Since my last post about Twitter lots has happened. First of all I got older… but who really cares. Seriously, now I feel confident that I found a place for Twitter in my daily routine. Twitter definitely passed the test of time for me and somehow, somewhere I manage to have Tweetdeck open throughout my day.

I now follow approx. 300 folks on Twitter. A fair number of them are brands I monitor to understand how corporations practice the “ambient listening” technique. I follow a handful of influencers in social media and user experience design to stay on top of latest buzz in the field. However, there is a large number of folks I found attractive on Twitter simply because I was drawn to their every day life stories they felt compelled to share with me. These folks come from all walks of life. There is a social media enthusiast from Sydney, Australia, a future film star and fashionista for NYC, a Red Cross activist from Washington, DC who has a cute puppy, and a small business owner who never fails to make me laugh. Monitoring their daily tweets is as valuable to me as following social media celebrities whose tweets are often impossible to understand due to the shear volume of conversations they carry at the same time.
I am happy to announce that I am finally past the stage of anxiously trying to attract as many followers as possible. Shel Israel said it best in his recent blog post that your worth on Twitter is not measured by the number of followers you attract and even suggested that we all should loose some of them. Go read his blog post if you still struggle with it.

I entered what Barbara Gibson calls the advanced Twitter stage. I listen much more than I tweet. I get to know folks, start a dialog and try to bring value to them with every tweet that I send. I am more comfortable talking about the company I work for, but try to be mindful and respect the fact that others might not be as passionate or engaged as I am in what’s going on at Pitney Bowes.
In my pursuit to help Pitney Bowes customers on Twitter I discovered the true power of human touch. Yes, I still get folks who are mad and do not want to speak to me or even block me after I reach out to them offering to help. However, I’ve had many memorable encounters with customers who were genuinely happy to hear from me and even though I could not get to them fast enough to resolve their issues they volunteered to share their valuable feedback with me and reached out to others to let them know about their positive experience. That’s so rewarding.

I am also having a blast showing my co-workers and friends how to use Twitter to their advantage. It’s a pleasure to see most of them finding their own network of like-minded individuals to engage with. In some cases they grasp the sharing aspect of Twitter quickly and are not afraid to engage in conversations. In some instances they proceed with caution and end up tweeting in private to their small networks for a while before “going public.” Either way they end up talking about Twitter with their friends and coworkers and recruiting Twitter users of their own.

Finally, because of Twitter I recently experienced my 10 minutes of fame when asked by Shel Israel to share my thought about Twitter and how Pitney Bowes is using it for their social media outreach . Shel’s latest project involves writing a book on Twitter and how businesses (both B2B and B2C) as well as individuals can benefit from it. Shel uses his blog, Global Neighborhoods,  as a sounding board for bouncing topic ideas, posting his interviews and book research and gathering feedback from his readers. I definitely learned a lot from his blog by reading the stories of individuals behind IBM, Sodexho, Zappos and United Linen’s tweeter accounts.
Look for his book titled “Twitterville” in September.

What’s ahead? I don’t know. Twitter is full of surprises. That’s what makes me anxious to open TweetDeck every morning.
Happy tweeting and lets’ connect on Twitter.
@anetah

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