Friday, August 19, 2011

What a Twit?

by Shannon Milholland, Social Media Director

When asked if I was on Twitter, I wondered if the inquiry was a veiled insult.  Was I just called a twit?  Did my so-called friends think the world would better served if I limited my thoughts to 150 characters?  Most importantly, why would writing shorter thoughts benefit me?

I eventually dipped the tip of one wing into Twitter.  My first 450 characters felt like a twanxiety or twanic attack but I persevered.  Eventually the little blue bird taught me some valuable reasons Twitter should be a part of every writer's platform.

Twitter Teaches You to Be Yourself

The more I tried to be cute, pithy or engaging, the less interested the tworld was in my thoughts.  When I engaged the real Shannon, I was twinteresting.  Know who you are and tweet authentically.

Twitter Rewards You for Being Considerate

If you make Twitter all about you, few followers will engage on more than a surface level.  Make your tweets about them and be amazed as good things come your way.  Celebrate your friend's successes.  Boast about other's informative articles.  As mama might say, "To have a twiend, you have to be a twiend."

Twitter Encourages You to Be Open-Minded

Has this happened to you?  You write a blog you feel like only your aunt and her bridge club read.  You have a Facebook club liked only by people you're already "friends" with.  Blogs and Facebook are based primarily on circles of relationship.  You get the highest response from your closest friends, lesser responses from casual friends and little reponse from acquaintances and strangers. 

Twitter expands your circle of influence to the size of the equator as quickly as you're willing to grow.  However, you have to be willing to actually engage the world.  Traditional relationships are based on alignment of interests, belief and standard of living. 

Are you willing to follow an urban rapper or a country bumpkin?  Are you willing to learn about sky diving or couponing?  Are you confident enough about your own beliefs to entertain different political or religious points of view? 

Open your mind and expand your twinfluence exponentially. 

Is Twitter for you?  It is if you want to reach multitudes in an abbreviated time frame with your message.  I'll be your twit, if you'll be mine!

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Shannon can be found tweeting as herself and Southern Writers Magazine.

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