I, on the other hand, love, love, love Twitter. I follow an eclectic group of people who give me daily inspiration, as well as all kinds of resources, information, news, and laughs. I've heard others say that it's great for those lonely souls who work from home, it's a portal to the outside world; and I couldn't agree more. Not only that, but I feel it's introduced me to a slew of people that I otherwise might not have ever met.
So it was with great interest that I read Suzi Craig's (one of those, I probably would have never met her without Twitter folk) latest post, aptly titled Fear and Lacking in Social Media.
The notion that Facebooking and Twittering and Digging and all the rest will waste everyone’s time is true and false. It can be a time suck if you let it. Just like any type of outreach, you need to focus your time. But, the rules of engagement cannot be all business - these are social settings. Play, make mistakes and relax. You are building relationships and learning from other people and that takes time and effort. I think it is a liability to not play in online communities, whether you’re a recognizable name or bathroom hog Bob. People will talk about you but if you’re not there, how can you respond? Also, this stuff is not going away. The more you blow it off, the more it will bite you in the ass. You can’t hide so give in and learn.
Our fear is focused in all the wrong directions. You should fear getting left in the dust by your competition who has better relationships with your customers. Fear alienating your audiences who want to have experiences with you in a variety of environments, not just the ones you dictate. Fear NOT doing anything, versus doing something. Make mistakes. Let your lawyers scream and roll their eyes. Then, get your company together and talk about a strategy about engaging in online communities. Put some parameters around how they should engage online as a representative of your company, then let them go. If something bad happens, respond, fix it and learn. Repeat. If something good happens, respond, share it and learn. Repeat.
Amen, sista. See y'all on Twitter.