Are You Following Me?

A New User’s Guide to Twitter

 

I am a nascent Twitter user and completely fascinated by how easily it has been to become…dare I say it…addicted.

 

 

In just a few short weeks I have attracted several hundred followers, not massive numbers by any stretch compared for example to Barack Obama (who has over 600K followers), but exciting nonetheless for a budding Twitterer like me.

 

I brag to my husband, who is not a Twitter user, about how many people are following me. I want him to sign up, get on board and read my tweets. Every day I ask him, “Are you following me?”

 

The first time I asked him that question he laughed and replied, “I know that phrase. As a teenager growing up in New Jersey, I hated when my little sisters hung around with me. If they ever dared to tag along behind me and my friends, I’d turn on my heels, puff up my chest and growl at them, ’Are you following me?’”

 

Times have indeed changed. Today anyone who is using Twitter wants to be followed—maybe even by their little sisters. Individuals of all ages, hobbyists, business and professional groups are part of the growing trend of social networking. No one is left out. Even churches are building community and spreading the Gospel with Twitter. It may be a fad, but it’s fun, informative and highly effective.

 

I was recently asked to explain Twitter to two friends of mine who happen to be senior executives in two different fortune 1000 companies. When I mentioned I was sending daily tweets they asked curiously, “What exactly is Twitter?” So I told them: A quick and easy social media tool consisting of short messages of only 140 characters (not words) that can be delivered to and from your cell phone. The distinguishing factor is that it’s instantaneous so small bites of information can travel very fast.

 

I explained that I liked Twitter because I always had great ideas of resources that could be useful for the DeFinis Communications community, but these ideas rarely made it out of my head. With Twitter I can easily send short messages right on the spot.

 

“But why would anyone follow you?” they asked, amused.

 

I told them that for people who are interested in public speaking, my tweets are useful bits of info—quotes, links to great speeches, unusual facts, skill tips—reminding them of unique ways they can improve their presentation skills. It’s a way for me to stay in touch with our community, people we’ve worked with over the years, new people, and anyone who is interested in the topic and wants to stay in touch with a community of like minded people. I love having followers, and I never puff up my chest and growl at them to go away!

 

Had all this social media technology been around when my husband was a kid he may not have had to deal with the problem of his sisters tagging along behind him. They would have probably been connecting with their friends on Facebook, MySpace, and yes, Twitter. And if we really stretch our imaginations and picture a gangly teenager from New Jersey actually using Twitter and being nice to his little sisters, well, we can imagine that instead of growling, “Are you following me,” he would so nicely say: “Thanks for the follow!”

 

Twitter - www.Twitter.com/DeFinisComm

LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/AngelaDeFinis

Facebook - www.Facebook.com/Angela.DeFinis