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July 30, 2010

Why do you care what everyone else is having for lunch?

In this post, Brenda answers a common question about using Twitter for business …

The most common criticism I hear from businesses when talking about Twitter is this:

Brenda Haines Why do you care what everyone else is having for lunch?

In presentations, I’ll explain that Twitter isn’t just about trading dining experiences. (Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind a good restaurant recommendation!)

Twitter provides a new way for you to do things you were already doing, but more efficiently and with a larger audience.

For example, last week, my friend @singlewluggage shared (in real life) how excited she was to meet up with a travel blogger she’d met on Twitter and originally connected with while traveling halfway around the world. She then asked (probably somewhat rhetorically) why Twitter users are so willing to help one another.

Her question reminded me of tales others in the Oshkosh Rotary Club have relayed over the years – stories of meeting other Rotarians in airports while traveling ’round the world and immediately feeling a shared connection over a commitment to service. In fact, a Rotarian once told me that wearing a Rotary pin was like sending a broadcast signal that fellow Rotarians were welcome to introduce themselves and make new friends.

Twitter users are simply doing what Rotary and other offline social networks have always done: connected people with shared interests. So, if you joined a service club to meet others who are interested in service, you can do the same thing on Twitter. If you’ve teamed up with others to raise funds for a non-profit, you can do that on Twitter. If you’re part of a book club for fun – or a professional learning circle, you can do all of those things on Twitter, as well. Twitter is just another connector, allowing you to find and relate to others who share your interests. Travel writers have long connected when traveling around the world. Twitter just helps them do it more efficiently and with a larger audience.

So, what does this mean for your business or organization?

What are you doing now that you could do more efficiently or with a larger audience by using Twitter?

– Brenda