I was talking with my brother’s girlfriend last week about a sewing project I just finished up and told her she should follow me on Twitter because I would be posting some pictures. She answered in slight distaste, “Oh…I don’t know anything about that stuff.”
I admit I was a little taken aback at her response. Even my brother, the self-described lover of all things virtual, wasn’t interested in joining “the club.” I was at that point faced with the realization that there are plenty of people out there who still think social media outlets like Twitter are for the no-account, self-absorbed people who seem to think everybody cares that they just walked into KFC and ordered a bucket of chicken.
As it turns out, they couldn’t be more wrong. Twitter, among other social media outlets, is an untapped resource for many a small business and sole-proprietor alike. Getting your name out to the public used to entail walking endlessly around shopping center parking lots and inserting your flyer underneath somebody’s windshield wiper, or tacking a mildly appealing sheet of paper to a grocery store corkboard; both of which went greatly unnoticed. Now you can get the job done with 140 characters or less! With the rapid increase of web development, the Internet is becoming a go-to marketing resource for most everyone. Electronic isn’t a lonely word anymore, it’s fast becoming a way of life. Just look at major booksellers; they sell e-readers alongside actual books as they boast about long battery life and colored screens. When you sign up for newspapers and magazines now, there is always an option to just get it electronically. It’s faster and easier to simply look something up than to take a drive to the store.
Twitter has come a long way since its inception and is fast becoming a way to interact with like-minded contemporaries and professionals, to meet new people, learn about trends, market yourself and your products, and to simply get your presence known—a way to tweet out “Hey, world, here I am, I’ve been here all along and I’ve got something to offer.” But don’t just take my word for it. The statistics speak for themselves. According to MarketingGum.com:
- In 2007 the average was 5,000 tweets per day.
- In 2008 that had grown to 300,000.
- In 2009 tweets per day averaged 2.5 million.
- In 2010 that number was 35 million tweets per day.
- In the month of March 2011 alone, 140 million tweets were being sent on average per day.
- As of June 2011, users on Twitter are now averaging 200 million Tweets per day.
How’s that for getting yourself out there? While it can be said that among those statistics, there are plenty of goofy things being bantered back and forth, with an average of 200 million tweets per day it stands to reason that there is just as much serious tweeting going on. And with those statistics there are enough people tweeting that the right group is bound to see what you have to offer and what you’ve got to say; you just have to look for them and be diligent in your networking. Just setting up a Twitter account will do nothing for you, it’s the equivalent of walking up to your car with the intention to go to work, but never getting inside and starting it. Time and resources are the two most important investments you can make if you’re hoping to be seen by the public eye. Why not let Twitter be one of the resources you utilize? It’s free and gaining popularity with every passing month.
So unhand those windshield wipers and put down the pushpins. Open your mind to all the possibilities social media has to offer. And don’t be surprised if your network grows to proportions you never thought possible.