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My 30 Day Twitter Experiment

I am not on Twitter.  I realize as a 25 year old in the PR industry, this makes me somewhat of a freak.  I have several reasons for abstaining from Twitter, so let me explain a little bit.

First, I completely understand the value that Twitter has, especially in our increasingly digital, consumer-centric culture.  I dabbled in Twitter projects for clients at my previous job, and I really do believe that all of my clients should have a presence on Twitter.  But, I just never felt like it was really for me personally.  I was first introduced to Twitter a few years ago in its early days.  I was visiting my family in Ohio, and my sister’s then-boyfriend was talking about it at dinner.  He signed up and only had a handful of followers, and listening to him talk about it, it honestly seemed kind of pointless.  The only person he had any interaction with was someone he didn’t know who randomly started following him – I believe her username was something along the lines of “HotBabyCakes” – and eventually she started sending him messages asking to meet up.  We all had a good laugh about it and I moved on with the firm idea that Twitter was definitely not for me.

Obviously a lot has changed on Twitter since its early days, and my opinion of it has changed too.  But, I’ve still had a hard time thinking it’s for me.  After all, what am I going to tweet about all the time?  The standard joke is that all people tweet about is what they’re eating for lunch that day, and I can’t see myself sitting there Tweeting “Having some salad now!  Mmmm.”  Plus, it seems like some tweets can cause much more harm than good.  Kanye West, Courtney Love, and even social media guru Peter Shankman have all experienced this first-hand.  For someone like me with minimal filter between brain and mouth, Twitter seems like a ticking time bomb.  And besides, I’m incredibly stubborn (as most of my family, friends, and especially past boyfriends can attest to), and once I decide that something isn’t for me, it’s pretty difficult to change my mind.

But then a few weeks ago, one of my clients started asking me questions about Twitter chats.  Luckily we have two very social media savvy ladies in the office (shout out to Jackie and Kim), so they were able to answer my client’s questions.  However, I was reminded that it’s my job to know every PR tool inside and out – Twitter included.  Even if I’m familiar with the general principles and know what a hashtag is, I can’t really talk the talk unless I walk the walk.

Finally, the straw that broke the camel’s back came yesterday when I was sitting in on a webinar by Scott Stratten, author of the book UnMarketing.  He was talking about various marketing tools, and his comments about Twitter were eerily familiar.  He said when he first learned about Twitter, he checked it out and afterwards thought “Jeff had tuna for lunch today? Whoopdeedoo. This isn’t for me.”  But, he had the same realization that I did when my client asked me about Twitter chats.  So, he decided to fully commit to Twitter for 30 days before completely dismissing it.

So that brings us where we are today.  I am officially on Twitter - @kbrownsberger if you’re interested in following.  I still have some reservations about it, but I want to give it a shot so that I can be the best PR professional that I can be.  I’ll post again after my 30 day experiment with what I’ve learned.  And, if you find me Tweeting about my lunch, just chalk it up to a beginner’s Twitter learning curve.