This is a question geared more towards those that are not yet familiar enough with the platform of tweets. I could, and will, write a whole different series of blog posts on Twitter.com, but there is one point (and one advertisement) I would like to make in this post about what excites me most about Twitter that LinkedIn lacks: immediacy.
Tomorrow, Tuesday April 21 at 20:00 EDT, I will be on my first Twitter realtime chat discussing and answering questions on using LinkedIn for small businesses for one hour. This is being hosted by John Sternal, and Steven Burda and myself are appearing as guest expert panelists. A real-time chat over tweets, you ask? What on earth is that?
Let’s first take a look at what you can do in real-time on LinkedIn. Nothing. LinkedIn just doesn’t offer the same sort of interactive services that the MySpaces and Facebooks have because it is a “professional” site. This is a branding issue. LinkedIn obviously has the ability to do this but chooses not to.
Twitter, on the other hand, is immediate in that you can tweet a comment and get instant feedback sometimes. This could develop into a deeper conversation and then a relationship, which on LinkedIn may take a few emails and the waiting in-between. And the people that I follow and communicate with on Twitter are the same types that are on LinkedIn. It is ironic that Twitter, and not LinkedIn, is the best vehicle to use to give small businesses advice on using LinkedIn!
So, if you are on Twitter.com and have never joined one of these, or if you have never tweeted before, now is the time to register at www.twitter.com. Once you register, you will need to go to TweetGrid and choose a 1×1 grid. You can then log in using your username and password, and afterwards do a search for the #smbiz content. Then all you have to do is follow us at the time of the chat and tweet away your questions and comments!
Some explanation on the above for the confused:
- Twitter has an open API. This means that anyone can create an application that utilizes the tweeting platform. This is very different than LinkedIn. In fact, if any website asks you for your LinkedIn username and password, report them to the authorities! But for Twitter, this is the norm, and you should not worry about entering this information. TweetGrid does not store your password, and it is a reputable site.
- Twitter does not allow you to do real-time updates on searches. In other words, you can do a search for #smbiz by clicking Search at the bottom of Twitter.com, but you will have to refresh this everytime you want to see the latest information. You will be prompted in realtime when there are new matches, but you will have to manually ask to display them. TweetGrid updates itself in realtime, so you can just sit back, watch the tweets, and learn! Since this will be happening over the course of an hour in realtime, it is recommended that you use TweetGrid and not the standard user interface that you might be used to using.
- The #, which is called a hashtag, is often used to categorize your tweets so that they are easily searchable on the tweeting platform. Everytime someone asks a question or makes a comment on our chat, they will always be placing the term #smbiz somewhere in the tweet. In this manner, a realtime chat can be realized by simply following this term!
This is going to be a first-time experience for me that I am very excited about. So, if you want to experience the power of tweeting, or you just want to find out more about how to best utilize LinkedIn for small business, please follow along and join the chat!
For more detailed information on this chat, please go to the sponsor’s Understanding Marketing website here.