Follow the Tweeter

What in the world can you say in 140 characters? The answer: A LOT!

According to an article that I read, one of the most common reasons that people don’t use Twitter is because they think there is nothing to say in 140 characters (I admittedly thought the same thing when I first joined). The rebuttle to these reasons is that Twitter is a conversation and can actually be a very valuable tool.

Twitter is a great social medium for people to keep up and find out more about topics that interest them. Who you choose to “follow” is completely personalized to you! Sports teams/figures, entertainment news, political figures and job searches are just a few of the people and topics that you can get involved with. If you are looking for a job, you can follow an account that tweets about job openings in your field. Many live TV shows suggest tweeting during the show and they will display what you have to say (Dancing with the Stars) or even answer your questions (Giuliana & Bill).

Sometimes long pieces of information (like some blog posts) can take people longer to read and Twitter gets the message out in 140 characters which can be a good thing. Your interest in topics will grow the more involved you are with Twitter and you can even get involved with all sorts of conversations.

Here are some ways to get the most out of Twitter:

  1. Use the hashtag “#”: The # is a great way to get involved with topics you are interested in. Say you are a big AmericanIdol fan; you can tweet something like “#StevenTyler has a crazy outfit on #AmericanIdol tonight.” You can click on your hashtag is and see who else is tweeting about American Idol or Steven Tyler. People can see what you have to say and start a conversation.
  2. Check out trending topics: To see what people are talking about around you, check out the trending topics around your city. People might me talking about the latest baseball game or the new iPhone. Get involved with a great cause that you are passionate about and see what the latest news is. Maybe you’re really interested in your animal shelter. Maybe they have some news you want to spread or you want to tweet about them. Use your # to share your thoughts or retweet their tweet to spread the word. You can look and get involved with worldwide topics as well. Pretty neat isn’t it?
  3. Put some thought into your bio: Personalizing your bio with your interests encourages people to follow your tweets. If you are interested in healthcare, put it in your bio. It will be a useful tool when Twitter users want to see what you have to say. If you love Nascar, put that in your bio too and you will get more followers also interested inNascar. A bio is a short but really great tool to connect with the world.

To read more about getting the most out of Twitter, check out this article in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/04/technology/04basics.html 

Social Media: How to Make a Difference

Social Media: How to Make a Difference

“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi

If you could make a change in the world, what would it be? Maybe you would like to see world peace or stop world hunger. Maybe you would like to start smaller and raise money for a local shelter or get the community more involved in “going green.” Regardless of the change you want to see, you can make it happen! Everyone can make a difference in the world, whether it is big or small.

Social Media has given the world so much more than a simple status update. Those updates can be anything from what you are doing on the weekend to learning that life on another planet has just been found. In today’s world, WE make the news and WE can make a difference.

Through Facebook, you can let friends and family know about events in the community and learn how to become more involved, join groups that you are interested in, and watch videos to fill you in. Through Twitter, you can let your followers know about important issues in a short Tweet. Through blogs, you can bring more awareness to the world about the news and your stance on various topics. These are just some of the social media outlets that can be used to make your voice known.

My Experience: In the Spring of 2011 I saw a post on Twitter from a celebrity that I was following for Arm The Animals. I have always been a very strong animals rights advocate so I decided to check out the organization. Arm The Animals is a company that designs t-shirts to generate awareness and raise funds for struggling animals. I thought that if I could buy a t-shirt and a percentage would help animals shelters then ABSOLUTELY! After purchasing the t-shirt and posting about Arm The Animals on Twitter and Facebook, one of the founders reached out to me. He asked if I would tell my friends about the company and let them know about the cause. I was so excited to be able to spread the word and make a statement for something that I believe in. Since then, I have continued to let people know that they can support a great cause by wearing a cool t-shirt. Although I probably didn’t change the world, I know that I am a small part in spreading awareness for a very important issue. All animals deserve to be treated well and have a loving home and I will continue to support Arm The Animals and be involved in way to help animals.

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So there you have it; everyone can make a change, big or small. Make the most you can out of the Social Media that is accessible to you. Today the sky is the limit and you can be the change you want to be in the world. Go out there and tell people what you think!

More ways to make a difference with Social Media:

http://blogs.volunteermatch.org/engagingvolunteers/2012/02/29/5-ways-to-use-social-media-to-spark-social-change/

http://www.armtheanimals.com/

http://www.mediaministryblog.com/2011/07/social-media-is-changing-the-world-are-we/