Twitter and Social Media — What Should it Be?

Date August 22, 2009

It was around 2005 when I first started getting into this new age of social media. I found podcasts first. I liked the podcast hosts and wanted to get to know them further. I found them through their online forums that they’d talked about on their shows and then the initial group of us all discovered Twitter in 2006. This was a time where everything was fresh, new and exciting. The possibilities were endless for social media and what it could leverage for each of us! I made some amazing friends. We shared our lives, our thoughts and stances on all different subjects.

That was 2006 and this is now 2009, where much has changed. I still see people giving of themselves, though not nearly as much. What I see more of is people promoting whatever it is that they’re into: their jobs, their new money-making scheme, but even more-so I see links. They’re everywhere and I have to tell you, I’m tired of it.

I miss the days where the value that you brought to the table was shown openly in the social network. Someone would make a statement and everyone cheered or responded right there. I didn’t have to see your “call to action”, click the link and then read it on your blog. The value was clearly right there. Instead, so much of what’s out there feels like email: spam. I realize that junk mail fills the mailboxes outside of our homes and spam fills our email inboxes. I really don’t enjoy seeing so much of it in my communication stream.

One example of value are the small business tips I post on my Twitter account Monday – Friday. I decide what I want to write about (sometimes with a little help from my friends), figure out how in the heck I’m going to condense it into 130 characters (10 of the 140 characters are consumed by the hash tag and what number tip it is for the day) and then just post the tips to Twitter. I don’t require anyone to go to my blog or my company’s blog to consume the data. I give easy and actionable advice that you can take right from that message and use for your business. That’s the value I try to bring to the table.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking you having a blog or the promotion of it. Obviously, I have one myself and I know that not everything can be said in 140 characters or less. My point is that I don’t feel social networks should be used solely as a way to promote a person, a product or a brand. If you’re going to be on a social network then you should be there adding to the the value and not the noise. Bring something to the table that I can actually use, something that will mean something to me. That right there is what proves you’re valuable and as a result promotes your brand, product or service that you’ve associated yourself to.

You’re right, it’s not traditional media but what about this medium is traditional? We’re here to reach out to consumers, business owners and each other in ways that haven’t been explored. So why should we continue to do it in the same way that’s always been done? Let’s break free of the traditional mold and get back to actually communicating!

Let’s make Twitter and all of social media become a culmination of solid thought, communication and value. When it comes down to it, isn’t that what we want when we’re being social in social media?

What do you want social media to be?

4 Responses to “Twitter and Social Media — What Should it Be?”

  1. Becky McCray said:

    Here’s another example of sharing value, while still bringing it back to your blog. @SheilaS is writing a series on her travel blog going through all 50 states. Here is the Family Travel in Oklahoma post.

    The value, in the sense you discussed, is the way she is taking submissions: She’s asking people to share their contributions on Twitter or Facebook. Her intention is to encourage people put their family friendly travel destinations and tips out in the open, so everyone in their network benefits from the sharing of information.

    Ultimately, she compiles it all into blog posts. So it’s a value win all the way around.

  2. Twitter Trackbacks for Twitter and Social Media — What Should it Be? | Kim Fenolio [kimfenolio.com] on Topsy.com said:

    [...] Twitter and Social Media — What Should it Be? | Kim Fenolio http://www.kimfenolio.com/2009/08/22/twitter-and-social-media-what-should-it-be – view page – cached It was around 2005 when I first started getting into this new age of social media. I found podcasts first. I liked the podcast hosts and wanted to get to know them further. I found them through their online forums that they’d talked about on their shows and then the initial group of us all discovered Twitter in 2006. This was a time where everything was fresh, new and exciting. The possibilities were endless for social media and what it could leverage for each of us! I made some amazing friends. We shared our lives, our thoughts and stances on all different subjects. — From the page [...]

  3. Spielor said:

    Wow! ;)

  4. suzereno said:

    Can Twitter really Be Useful For my Business?

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