Building an online brand identity means succumbing to every social networking site that you a) never heard of before, b) vowed never to join or c) are too embarrassed to sign up for under your own moniker. As a twenty-something marketing professional, I have been well versed in the online community well before Facebook was even a twinkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye. It is this knowledge that has kept me from joining most social networks, well that and the cool points I am sure to lose amongst my group of friends who have bonded over poking fun at certain sites.
However, it’s amazing the extent to which a person will succumb to personal, peer criticism in order to gain the online adulations of strangers. Luckily for me, my friends are only deducting a couple of cool points because I am choosing to traverse the social networking world for the good of our website design firm, Rhyme & Reason Design and not for myself. Among the sites that I snickered and poked fun at before I had a business to grow, is Twitter.
I am not going to lie, I heard of Twitter and because the name gave me the heebie jeebies I chose to turn a deaf ear to any discussion involving tweets. However, when your electric bill relies on selling online brand identities to the population, you have to be willing to practice what you preach. Which meant immersing myself in the world of tweeting. Unfortunately, since I had decided to avoid all things related to tweeting, I had a lot to learn and was forced to send out a mass status request to my facebook friends. Yes, I was leveraging one social network in order to utilize another. Amazingly, few of my friends actually knew much about the tweeting world, maybe because in our mid twenties we are too old for the next big thing or too familiar with George Orwell’s 1984 to attempt a tweet. Nevertheless, I did receive a few responses.
One college friend offered the amusing analogy below:
“It’s like if facebook updating and blogging had a mildly disabled child together, one that could only speak 140 characters at a time.”
While my 17-year old niece provided me with a well-thought out and researched thesis, below is an excerpt:
“Twittering is a form of microblogging in which you post 140 character messages on where you are or what you’re up to, and other people can follow these ‘tweets”. Your followers can choose to receive them as a text message and also you can post them via texts! The original idea was actually for it to be completely text message based so if one of your friends tweeted something like “off to dinner at such-&-such-a-place, anyone care to join?” you would receive it on your phone then possibly go to meet up with them. Actually, the fact that it was text message based led to the limit of 140 characters! Now though, most people read them online or in a phone application instead of receiving them as texts.”
Armed with information gathered from peers and the Internet, I now feel I am ready to immerse myself in the world of Tweeting. Feel free to pardon my tweeting at http://twitter.com/RhymeAndReason3 – of course I will be hiding behind the shield of Rhyme & Reason Design, cloaked in a robe of anonymity.