Is Twitter really worth messing with? I say yes.
The value of Twitter is the ability it gives you to engage with others. You can post your own personal take on something that’s happening in your world. You can share information about things your care about. You can respond to a tweet or you can pass along someone else’s tweet to your followers by “retweeting.”
Your tweets present you and your personal brand to the world in a unique way. You may choose to focus on one aspect of your professional or personal life or you may present a wider view of you and your work.
I tweet on @davidcraigstl as a PR person, a media person and an observer of everyday life in St. Louis. I provide links to my PR blog posts, including this one. I also provide links to my movie reviews and my posts I write on the blog for my client Hope Hospice. I tweet information about my PR clients. I tweet information about other organizations I am involved with.
(I also tweet on 8 other Twitter accounts—with more to come—using Hootsuite, helping generate engagement and awareness for the entities that those accounts represent.)
A major benefit of my personal Twitter activity is that it helps improve my profile among certain media members. When I call and the writer/reporter/broadcaster mentions a recent tweet I posted, that’s a good thing.
Yes, Twitter can suck up valuable time. It’s easy to scroll through your timeline a few times a day, see what’s up with folks, catch a news item or two, click on a link or two to read a blog post and get off track. A couple of minutes of break time from serious work can suddenly become a half hour of time spent consuming the output of others (even if you are not tweeting).
But is it worse than taking a phone call that goes on and on with no real result? I get those calls. You do, too. Is it worse than a workplace conversation that eats up time and serves no purpose except for socialization? That’s hard to say. Time management is a serious concern that takes into account many components including social media.
Bottom line: Twitter is another tool in your communication tool chest. When used properly, it can be of great value. When misused, it can result in wasted time and effort.