Twitter Is A Sports Bar

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Connect With Me On TwitterI talk to a lot of people, both individuals and companies who still don’t really understand Twitter and how it’s supposed to be used.  And simply telling them that it’s for conversation rather than blasting your stuff out to everybody who can read doesn’t seem to ever work in getting my point across.

So I’ve come up with a real world analogy to better understand how Twitter can only work if used correctly… through real conversation.

3 Major Uses Of Twitter

There are 3 ways you can use twitter.  Each producing a much different outcome than the other.  But only one of these 3 uses of twitter will produce the outcome you desire, unless you’re some kind of psycho stalker.

Here’s the scenario:

“You just got off work and you’re on your way to the local sports bar for a drink and to check out the local hotties.  As you’re enjoying your beer at the bar, you spot the most amazing girl you’ve ever seen.  You’ve got 3 things you can do…”

1. Observe & Leave Alone

You prop yourself up against the bar and whisper quietly to yourself, “Damn, she is fine!” Then you continue to watch her all night, never making a move to go speak to her.  Eventually she leaves with another guy, and you go home to spend more time with no one but yourself.

In this scenario, you are observing.  The relation to twitter is simply watching others have a conversation.  You don’t choose to follow anyone, or participate in a real conversation, you scan others profiles and read about what they have to say to each other.

2. Make A Feeble Attempt At Being Social

You prop yourself up against the bar, whisper quietly to yourself, “Damn, she is fine,” and take a shot of whiskey.  Then you scribble your number down on a scrap piece of paper, non-chalantly make your way over to her, and without a single word, slip your number into her back pocket.  She doesn’t even notice, and again, you go home to spend time with yourself.

In this scenario, you make an attempt at being social, but in the wrong way. The relation to twitter is following others, never saying a word to those you follow, and blasting out your latest product or offering every chance you get.

3. Engage In Real Conversation

You prop yourself up against the bar, whisper quietly to yourself, “Damn she is fine,” take a shot of whiskey, and walk boldy up to her.  As she makes eye contact you say, “Your eyes are as blue as window cleaner.”  It’s probably not the best thing you could have said, but you’re trying, and she giggles.

You spend the rest of the night talking about both of your likes, dislikes, your careers, and anything else that comes to mind.  You being a relationship and she’ll remember you the rest of her life.

In this scenario, your akward attempt at making a real attempt at connecting work.  And this time it may have been akward, but as you do it more and more, it will become second nature, and you’ll find yourself becoming more and more successful each time.

The relation to twitter is following others, but making an attempt at engaging in conversation with each and every person you follow.

When you truly care about what others have to say and join in the conversation, you’ll notice that others will come from all over because they want to be a part of that conversation.

Being real, causes others to realize that there is more behind a company, product, or service than the cold corporate exterior.  They soon will realize that you are just as real as they are.  You laugh, hurt, sing, and cry just like they do.

Twitter is exactly like a sports bar.  What you make of it, will determine what it makes of you! Rather than asking others to follow us on Twitter, shouldn’t we be asking them to join us in conversation?

So how do you use Twitter?  Are you engaging in conversation and listening to what others have to say, or using it as another tool to talk about yourself?

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Leave a Comment »6 Comments
  • Reply » Eric Schechter September 10, 2009

    Great analogy Steven.

  • Reply » Natalie Michelson September 17, 2009

    LOL, what a fabulous metaphor! And so so true! A lot of people I know when they first get on Twitter (I guess because they are used to Facebook or something) are very timid about engaging random people in conversation… but that really is what Twitter is about. Great post =).

  • Reply » Henriette September 18, 2009

    I loved the way you deliver this article, the metaphor way of explanation really make this article good to read. I just now realize what I am doing with my twitter. I’m kind of just watching others have a conversation and scan and read about what they have to say to each other just like what you mentioned in you Step 1 the Observe & Leave Alone.

  • Reply » Chris Peterson September 22, 2009

    Analogy is cool! I think it would make it much more simpler for non-twitter-users to make sense of it & choose whatever they are comfortable with. I am sure they would choose no. 3. But it also shows that you empathize with non-twitter-users & can help them to understand it better. It’s great output, Steven!

  • Reply » Pendants October 10, 2009

    hi,
    thanks for sharing the idea’s.your sense of describing is very great.
    i am new to twitter and i was wondering how do you look and see if people commented on something you put

  • Reply » Michelle April 19, 2010

    I loved the way you deliver this article, the metaphor way of explanation really make this article good to read. I just now realize what I am doing with my twitter. I’m kind of just watching others have a conversation and scan and read about what they have to say to each other just like what you mentioned in you Step 1 the Observe & Leave Alone.

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