Monday, February 02, 2009

@kateo Wins the Shirt – Make Twitter Matter

I got an iPhone on Saturday. While that's reason enough to write an extended blog post in itself, that's not where we're headed.

One of the reasons I opted for the greatest invention ever was so that I could maximize Twitter – really use the service to grow my personal network and my business, CoolPeopleCare. Granted, you don't need an iPhone to do this, just like you don't need the iPhone to email friends, listen to music, find a nearby restaurant or hang a shelf, but for me, it would be a big help.

A little twistory
I signed up for Twitter once I started hearing about it, like a lot of people. But I didn't use it (remember, there's a difference between having and using when it comes to social media). Eventually, I synced my Facebook statuses and tweets with one another, updated both using BlogIt on Facebook, since I spent more time there.

As for CoolPeopleCare, for a while, we automated a summary of our daily articles with a shortened url, but we realized we weren't really adding much value (or seeing much of a benefit). So, we pulled back, went silent for a while, and began to strategize.

Ask the whole wide tworld
With my shiny iPhone in hand, I began to wonder how I'd manage the entire Twitterverse. I signed up for an unlimited texting plan, so I could read everything that way. Or I could check out some apps.

But which ones do what? I read some reviews and blog posts, but I quickly realized the best way to get the info I sought was to ask the experts - or - the twexperts.

So, early on Sunday, I sent out a tweet:
what's the best iPhone twitter app? Looking for a free one to install by sundown. Best suggestion gets an @coolpeoplecare t-shirt.
And the results came back. Quickly. Recommendations for free and paid aps. I gave the free ones a whirl and found some things I liked. And then, @kateo came through with:
@samdavidson Depends on your needs, but I think you maintain multiple IDs? I went through 3 apps before finding Tweetie. It makes that easy.
Granted, I asked for a free ap, but kateo provided a paid one. So why did she win the shirt?

Tell me what matters
Granted, kateo was at an advantage because she knew (or at least assumed) that I managed both my personal twitter account and CoolPeopleCare's. So, based on her assumption, she delivered what I needed.

She didn't just shout out an answer to the Twitterati, she easily explained the why behind the what of her recommendation. She offered something relevant. She said something meaningful.

So what can we learn from this?
You can consume and participate in Twitter in a variety of ways, whether you want to keep up with people, have a private conversation with hundreds of witnesses, or stir up some buzz. And, whether you're tweeting from your phone, your PC or anything else, the methods may vary. What's important is that you say something worthwhile.

Whether you're a writer, a nonprofit, a consultant, or a big business, strategy in social media matters, and it really matters on Twitter. There's lots of ROI, as Beth Kanter points out best, mainly because 'I' can be defined in many ways (like insight).

The bottom line is that you can do/say what you want. But you'll have more fun and make a bigger splash if you want to do/say something that matters to the rest of us.

Strategize that.

More posts about using Twitter:

Comments (4)


9:10 AM

Damn! Could Cool People Care be a better business if it sold its iPhone? Could you care for more people in more ways? If you sacrificed your iPhone, would it allow you to care in a whole new way? Could a $200 iPhone + $20/month data plan be priceless?

1 - iPhones cost $199, not $200.

2 - Data plans cost $30 a month, not $20.

I understand you may not care about the facts, since you're unwilling to link your name with what you say, but a little research can go a long way.

3 - Cool People Care does not own the iPhone. I do. So, it's not theirs to sell.

4 - I assume your snarky comment is in reply to my suggestion that you sell your pipe organ? Sorry that I touched a nerve. However the point of my pipe organ post was to encourage communities to maximize resources. If I only used my iPhone to text message people, then, yes, I should sell it and get a cheaper model. But if I can maximize its utilities in order to accomplish more than with any other option, it's worth the expense. That may/may not be the case with your church's rec center that is for church members only.


7:42 AM

Ooh! Even worse. Sounds like I touched a nerve of reality. Since you are all for challenges like selling pipe organs, would you consider something radical like selling that iPhone to sponsor a child for 17 months at

That sounds like a good idea. He/she will be a good brother/sister to the child I currently adopt through Compassion.

Thanks for the inspiration!