Chances are, the first time you heard about Twitter – you thought it was a pretty idiotic idea. Something about a site that lets people share 140 character updates about what they are doing or thinking about in any particular moment inspires this kind of reaction. Seriously – most people just don’t live that interesting lives.
Yet over time, if you haven’t experienced this already – you likely will soon … the curiosity or social pressure or sheer frustration of hearing all about Twitter will cause you to create an account. Once you do, you’ve reached what I have often called the first phase of “Twitter acceptance.” Here are the rest of the phases:
1. Denial - "I think Twitter sounds stupid. Why would anyone care what other people are doing right now?"
2. Presence - "Ok, I don't really get why people love it, but I guess I should at least create an account."
3. Dumpling - "I'm on Twitter and use it for pasting links to my blog posts and pointing people to my press releases."
4. Conversing - "I don't always post useful stuff, but I do use Twitter to have authentic 1x1 conversations."
5. Microblogging - "I'm using Twitter to publish useful information that people read AND converse 1x1 authentically.
Twitter is and always will be a tough thing to explain to someone. The business benefits of it can be even tougher. But as you start to “accept” the site, you start to uncover some of the hidden potential of it to be useful for your business. From connecting directly with customers and potential customers to broadcasting special offers – there are many ways to use it. All hinge, though, on progressing through the levels outlined in this chart and finding the right voice for your business. If you can do that, you’ll find the real value of Twitter for your business.
Rohit is a founding member of the 360 Digital Influence group at Ogilvy, one of the largest agencies in the world. He is author of the best selling new marketing book Personality Not Included, a guide for small business on how to be more authentic, keep your customers and inspire your employees, which has been published globally in 8 languages.