So what on earth is Twitter and why should I care?

I was out with friends last night who aren’t part of the Twitter scene and make fun of me for using it because to them it all seems a bit pointless.. “I heard it was just Facebook statuses throughout the day and I don’t care what someone has had for lunch”
My cries (not literal cries) of it’s a bit deeper than that didn’t seem to cut the mustard.. so here is a presentation that Stephen Davies of PR Blogger and 3W PR gave at the ‘Don’t Panic – Guide to Social Media’ event recently in London that goes some way to answering their questions more coherently than I could!
View more presentations from 3w pr .

Why is Social Media like Ice Cream?

By now, this isn’t something new, you could say it’s a bit of a classic. The collection of Common Craft videos are incredibly simple and effective in explaining something that’s perhaps actually quite hard to explain, eg RSS or Twitter.

The two examples mentioned above have been viewed 713,946 and 219,074 times respectively and that’s just on Common Craft’s homepage. Bearing in mind they’ve been published on countless other blogs also so they are actually quite conservative figures.

Check out the video below and see whether it makes any sense of this whole social media thing.

So why is Social Media like Ice Cream? In 17 steps. Can you add any more to the list? Let’s make it a Top 20.

Source – Willem van der Horst whose blog is incidentally titled ‘Ice Cream for Everyone

1) it has tonnes of variety
2) the best is usually not mass produced
3) freshness counts
4) it’s neat to mix flavours
5) it’s best when shared with others
6) flavour preference is very tribal
7) it comes in different formats – cup=video, cone=audio, cake=blog
8 ) it sparks passion, emotion and positive thoughts – we enjoy it
9) depending on the environment, it has a long or short half life
10) it’s more than just bits and bytes/bites
11) the winning brands usually have a good story
12) the worst tended to forms tend to get burned/freezer burned
13) tastes better with authentic ingredients
14) you gain incredible loyalty when users feel in control (i.e. Coldstone Creamery)
15) some people don’t like it, some people gorge on it
16) it’s practised and consumed differently by country
17) it’s a good way to waste time and gain weight
18) Your addition?
19) Your addition?
20) Your addition?

How to use Twitter to find your next job.

It was particularly apt that I came across this WSJ article entitled ‘Twitter yourself a job’ today of all days and also incidentally via Twitter. I came across it through Mitch Joel who was retweeting a message from Steve Rubel (phew, that was some mouthful!)

FYI – retweeting is the art of broadcasting a message on Twitter that has been written by someone else but you feel will be of interest and value to your followers.. think of it as a kind of mini chain mail but one that has a use and purpose and doesn’t tell you that you’re going to die if you don’t send this email to 20,000 people in the next 12 seconds.

So why is it apt? Why should I care? Here’s why.

I’m starting work as a Social Media Strategist for Consolidated PR as of tomorrow, Monday 5th January 2009. I was hired through Twitter. No recruitment agencies involved, no external costs, no bells, no whistles. Just me, @PBizzle and Twitter. Well, a mutual friend recommended me to @PBizzle who then sent me a message and it all went from there.

That’s a pretty big deal when you think about the costs of recruitment for one new hire for the average company who would typically be looking in to advertising the position online, advertising in specialised print publications and on top of that, getting a recruitment agency like Reed on the case also. It all costs and learnings can be taken from this. You can eliminate all of those costs in one fell swoop and be seen to be a very forward thinking company at the same time.

You’ve probably seen a fairly heavy emphasis towards Twitter related content recently and that’s because although it’s starting to garner mainstream attention, there’s a lot of people out there who don’t get it. I’m trying to help, to provoke thoughts, to provide a sounding board. I’d be very rich if I was given £1 for every person that’s asked me “Why Twitter?” I’m not saying I ‘get it’ but I’ve been using it fairly religiously for the past few months and it seems like I’m learning something new about the tool daily.

How I did it and how you can do it too.

Due to my limited experiences thus far in the Digital / Social Media / Online PR realm if you’re looking at this and not involved in the slightest with any of the above then it can still be applicable to any industry. Replace Edelman for example with a company of your choice in said industry. They however, may or may not have a presence on Twitter.

1. Sign up to Twitter.com, most have their name @joebloggs, a nickname @joeyb or the name of their blog for consistency @joesblog. Mine’s @litmanlive to tie in with the blog. Using your name is the easiest for people to remember I reckon but I always seem to do things the hard way..

2. Write a bio. I don’t follow people without a bio. It might sound rude but I’m selective with the people I follow. I don’t follow everyone that follows me. Similarly, I like to follow people who share the same interests, more often than not work in the same industry or have a website that I visit regularly. There has to be some common ground or why am I choosing to follow them?

3. Think about the people who inspire you in the industry you’re looking to go in to. A few, if not quite a few of them will be on Twitter, dependant on industry.

For example, some of the first industry people I followed were:

@wadds, @bmcmichael, @chris_reed, @simoncollister & @dirkthecow

Similarly, who do you want to work for? Same applies. Do they have a presence on Twitter?

4. You don’t have to have a blog, but it shows another side of your personality to a potential employer. Put a link to it in your bio. One of the biggest drivers of regular traffic to my blog is my Twitter profile. With a blog, employers can instantly see what interests you (what you write about) and often reveals a lot more than any CV can.

5. Be yourself. Be true. Be genuine. Don’t write about things you don’t know anything about or say you can do things you can’t. It will become evident sooner rather than later. If you talk about the things that interest you then an employer would hire you for being you. They call it being transparent.

6. Bring something to the table. Have an opinion. What do you think about topic X or topic Y?

7. Help people out. If they have a question and you can answer it, don’t hold back, go for it. They’ll thank you for it and it’s a great way to build relationships with like minded people.

8. If someone follows you, say hi, they won’t bite. I engaged in random conversation a few times with my soon to be manager. Completely unaware that a few months later he’d be hiring for a suitable position.

9. Get job alerts on Twitter. Examples, Add EdelmanHR and keep up to date with positions available within the company straight in to your Twitter stream. Journalism.co.uk will also deliver all sorts of jobs, from Entry Level to Editor and ranging from freelance to contract to permanent!

10. Finally, I don’t wish to try and put a square peg in to a round hole, I’ve been there myself. All this online micro blogging malarky is not for everyone. It takes time to get in to, for some, weeks, months or a year! If you think it’s for you then it’s definitely worth the investment.

Would you recommend Twitter as a resource for job finding like WSJ?

My original motivation for joining Twitter wasn’t to find a job through it, I was interested in a new way of communicating, a tool which is a round the clock way of getting answers to questions from all across the world. It’s always on and always useful!

As I was finishing up with this post here’s something you should also take note of when joining Twitter.

4 Mistakes to avoid when using Twitter.

Brilliant advice.. from a 10 year old, they start ’em young don’t they!

Here’s a few more links you should check out.

Using Twitter for finding a job

Living Under a Bridge – Job offer in 5 days

6 tips for Twitter job hunting

Job searching on Twitter

Social Media Influencers in 2009.

I came across this through the wonder that is @jmacdonald and think it’s fantastic. I love predictions, because they are just that. Ideas, thoughts, views on the future. They aren’t gospel, no one is going to lose their jobs if their predictions don’t come true (well, actually, 600,000 might in 2009!) but when people / publications / companies of authority speaks out, others listen.
In the embedded slideshare presentation by TrendSpotting below and where the original article can be found here, such figures like Charlene Li, Rohit Bhargava, Jeremiah Owyang and Todd Defren are included, along with many more.

Are there any influencers that you think have been missed out?

Who are your ones to watch in 2009?

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: social media)

Lunchtime catchup with Jamie Burke of P2PR.

So I caught up with Jamie Burke, MD of Brando Digital and blogger at Social Glue the other day, who recently set up the P2PR community. Since launch it has been a runaway success, with active participation from it’s members.

We talked over lunch about all things Online PR, social media, paid for blogging (Chris Brogan) and of course ROI and the almighty echo chamber.

To view the video, click my face.. be nice ! (or alternatively you can click here if you can’t bring yourself to do it!)

There’s a whole host of videos also on the community, all of which can be found here.

As always, interested to hear your thoughts and feedback on the topics discussed. Hopefully you can take something away from it.