Twitter + BenJerrysTruck = I’m Hooked

My family won’t let me talk about the Ben & Jerry’s truck visit to my office anymore, so I’m taking to the internet to tell my story.  (In their defense, it IS all I talked about the day before, the day of, and the day after).  I realized last week that it was the last week of August and I hadn’t seen the Ben & Jerry’s truck driving around Boston giving out free ice cream throughout the month yet.  I told a few of my coworkers (all Ben & Jerry’s fans) and we semi-panicked that time was running out and began tweeting and DM’ing the truck like crazy to please, please, please visit our office.

Anyway, long story short, they came!  They came!  They came!  They came!  Bearing Boston Cream Pie and Milk n Cookies flavors and coupons, they came!  Okay.  I’m okay now.

Thanks to this episode, I will say that now I “get” Twitter.  I had been on Friendster, MySpace, and most recently, Facebook since the early aughts, but only started a Twitter account last year, updating it infrequently.  While I was following the @BenJerrysTruck and tracking the truck’s movement (slightly obsessively), I began to read other people’s tweets and started following people I liked.  I felt like I was the first to know about special things (though I know I wasn’t the “only” one ;)). Today I started following TJ Maxx because I saw that a friend was and, damn it, I want a chance to win that handbag by retweeting too!

Now I’m hooked.

Before this I had preconceived notions that Twitter was too promotional.  Who cared what I was saying?  Why should I care about what someone else wanted to tell the entire world in less than 140 characters?  Turns out there are people who care about what I say and turns out I want to know what other people/places have to say, whether it’s promotional or not.  Twitter users can see what ideas their friends, idols, and favorite places have to say or offer in brief, digestible snippets.

I’m not the only one to hop on the bandwagon:  A very recent compete.com survey found that 31 percent (of 3,119 surveyed) report checking out Facebook fan pages or Twitter feeds of retailers, up from 17 percent in the third-quarter 2009 survey.  If my math is right, that’s almost double in less than a year.

As you can see, the reasons to engage with twitter are many!  You can probably tell that from my own examples.  And, it goes both ways.  If people are looking to learn about what’s hot in SEO, about life @451Heat, or random awesome recipes, they can follow me at @mlspriest. It’s really about finding that one “hook” (in my case, Ben & Jerry’s) to see how Twitter might work for you.

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