Explaining Twitter to the Uninitiated

Often times we can be so immersed in our social media-drenched world, that we forget that not everyone has heard of key sites like Twitter. Ok, maybe they have heard of Twitter, but perhaps they really don’t have an understanding of what it is and how it works.  Twitter has been around for five years and had grown to be quite an integral part of social networking and marketing strategy.

I was recently reminded of the notion that not everyone resides in my digital world during a workshop that I gave on Social Media For Business.  It was an introductory level class, meant to be more of a broad overview on several key social media platforms, rather than a deep dive on the intricacies to running and managing each platform. Tweeting for several years now, I provided a basic definition that was still a bit over some folks’ understanding because they lacked experience with the platform

Left to distill Twitter down from my more advanced definition on the slide deck, I learned a valuable lesson: always be prepared to explain a concept at multiple levels. With that thought in mind, I came across this blog post today by Mark Collier entitled, “So What the Hell is Twitter Anyway.”  I discovered it, most appropriately, as a link on a Tweet in my stream.

Collier believes that the best way to explain a concept is to show how it works and I wholeheartedly agree.  He does a nice job of outlining the many key uses for Twitter, and contrary to the uninitiated belief system, none of these tout sharing what you had for lunch!

Mark shares that Twitter can be used as a:

  • Networking Tool
  • News-feed
  • Personal Search Engine
  • Crowd-sourcing platform
  • Chat room (think hashtags and sponsored discussions)

You can read the full article here and begin to harness all of the power that Twitter provides.  I leave you with a similar question that Mark asked of his readers:

How do YOU explain Twitter to non-users?

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2 thoughts on “Explaining Twitter to the Uninitiated”

  1. Thanks for the comment Mike. I just read your blog post about Twitter- nice job! Great read for people trying to understand the many uses of Twitter.

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