In high school, during those adolescent days of discovering freedom through juvenile activities like chinese firedrills, lawn-forking, and water balloon fights at camp, we had a good time pulling pranks on people at intersections.
Here’s how it went. When our carload of hormonally imbalanced youths pulled up to a red light, provided there was enough time, one of us would hop out of the car, look startled, and run forward pointing into the sky. We would stop, and look amazed, like we were watching Godzilla. The inevitable reaction from the rest of the cars around us was as expected. They would look up, as though there was something we had spotted in the sky. We were entertained, and their attention was captured for a split second. Some laughed, some ignored us, some just thought we were idiots. One person fired a pistol at us (no, not really.)
In San Francisco, there is a man who sits alongside the sidewalk in a busy pedestrian area hiding behind twigs that he holds in front of him. When an unsuspecting ped-o-person walks by, he jumps out from behind two branches usually scaring the crap out of people to entertain them. People who know, watch and are entertained. He earns tips by entertaining and some people like him and some people don’t. But he gets their attention for a split second.
Twitter is a world wide sounding board. It’s like that intersection where we would hop out of the car and point to something. It’s a place where the things that I do on a regular basis can be published without any effort, like pulling up to that intersection and saying, “hey, look over here.” Those who wish to look can. Those who aren’t interested can listen to someone else.
The one way that I have seen Twitter provide value for my business is additional exposure. All of my online publishing platforms have a Twitter plug-in installed. Any time that I post a new article, the blog notifies Twitter, and anyone who is following me will see that there is a new Tweet that points to a new article on my blog. At that point, they can either click through and see, or ignore the Tweet (the act of sounding off on Twitter.) The people that are visiting can subscribe to my feed so they never have to visit the site again, or they can read and participate right there on the site by leaving comments or interacting with me directly.
Now that you are able to search Twitter for specific key-words, it’s possible for you to intercept the Tweets of people you would normally not have known about to find others who are interested in the same things you are. Interested in aerobatics? Set up a search and you’ll be notified when someone tweets about it. Are you an aspiring chef who wants to know when someone is tweeting about Creme Brulee? Creat a search and you’ll know who’s talking about it. You may be surprised by what you find when you click through someone’s tweet about a topic you’re interested in. It’s allowing us to create micro-niche-groups comprised of small groups of people in far-distant places.
Inevitably, every time I post an article, someone, somewhere follows my Twitter account within 15 minutes of the posting. Today I received 3 new followers after posting an article, most likely because something in the Tweet triggered their saved search to notify them that I had “tweeted” about their preferred topic.