I spend a lot of time on Twitter.
Sometimes I’m on Twitter for purely professional reasons; other times, it’s all personal. Often – intentionally – the line between work and play blur (I think this is a good thing, but that’s for another post).
Kristina gives me a hard time for the amount of time I spend on Twitter. There are times when it interferes with our interaction. That is no good. In fact, that’s really bad. Really bad. Without getting too much into our personal lives, suffice to say that I’ve “cut back” on the amount of “non-working hours” I spend on Twitter. No brainer really as my relationship with Kristina is more important that all the other stuff. Without a doubt.
But I got thinking, what would my life (personal & professional) be without Twitter?
**UPDATE 2/22/10: Turns out great minds think alike. See what Scott Stratten wrote today, What If I Didn’t Use Twitter?**
Life Without Twitter (Professional)
Professionally, I use Twitter out of the Blue Sky Factory account (@blueskyfactory). My job as Director Community requires me to listen, reply, interact, engage, etc with prospects, clients, fans, evangelists, and anyone interested in the email marketing or social media industry. No – my job is not simply tweeting all day long, but Twitter does play a role. Some days – when a lot of people are talking – a large chunk of my day is back and forth on Twitter. This often occurs when we are at an event (speaking), write a killer blog post, upload a cool video, and/or present a content-rich webinar. But what would happen if we didn’t have a Twitter presence? What if we had one yet didn’t monitor it closely or engage with people?
- Less buzz – Without Twitter, fewer people know of us, fewer recommend us, and fewer leads roll in.
- Fewer online discussions – Twitter has helped to increase Blue Sky Factory’s visibility in the email/social space. The more we engage on Twitter, the more we are viewed as a legitimate thought leader in the community.
- Fewer speaking opportunities, guest posts & articles – It is becoming more and more common that I’ll “meet” someone via Twitter, develop a relationship and trust with them, and eventually be asked to speak at their event, post on their blog, and/or be quoted in an article. This all matters. It leads to inbound links (hopefully, right Chris?), public recognition for Blue Sky Factory, and ideally more qualified leads.
- More time – Like any other tool, Twitter can be a time suck. It takes time to engage. It takes time to respond, to track, to measure, to build relationships and trust. The key is figuring out the best way to balance and budget that time. (No. I do not have the answer. Sorry!)
- More focus – Very similar to the time point above, Twitter messes with focus. It’s an interrupter. I’ve learned to turn it off for a few hours if I really a project/call/email etc really needs 100% focus. Trust me, it helps.
Chris Penn said it best a few weeks ago. The only marketing metric that matters is qualified leads.
Life Without Twitter (Personal)
First off, I know that I would not die without Twitter. Not only would I not die, I’d certainly be more productive. I spend a ton of time in Twitter. There is no denying that (Again, ask Kristina). So, what would happen if I just deleted my Twitter account?
- No job at Blue Sky Factory – I talked about how Twitter helped me get my job. While others have reminded me (rightfully so) that Twitter didn’t get me my job, the relationships I’ve build did … I still think it helped.
- Fewer friends – I’m not talking about “online friends” here. I’m referring to real, human, face-to-face friends and colleagues. Twitter makes it easy to connect with like-minded people. As I’ve said before though, the real magic happens in the face-to-face.
- Fewer real-time updates – Much of the news I read now comes from what I see on Twitter. A lot of this content is fresh – often talked about before the mainstream media picks it up – often even before blogs. I’m not suggesting this is good or bad, but it’s the truth.
- Fewer opportunities – This one may be a bit tough to measure; however, I was recently interviewed by someone at Southwest Airlines. I was recommended by Christi Day – the voice of Southwest Air’s Twitter account. She trusted me based on what she’d seen me write about SWA on Twitter (as well as here on this blog).
- More time and focus – See above.
So yeah, clearly life would go on without Twitter. I mean, it did go on before Twitter, right? Much like we all lived before phones or cars or email or Facebook or the Internet. So, life would continue just fine.
How about you? What would your personal and/or professional lives look like sans Twitter?