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Social Media Matters: 10 reasons to get on Twitter

By Amanda Ponzar @LivingUnited

Coworkers or clients often say, “Why should I waste my time on social media?”

Here are 10 reasons why Socialsocial media, Twitter especially, is definitely worth your time:

1.) Get breaking news fast. I knew about the Boston marathon bombings and Navy Yard shootings before my coworkers. A client called me today to ask me to tweet about her news; I had already read it on Twitter & retweeted. In comms/PR, this is important.

2.) Take part in global conversations – whether it's Social Good Summit, Clinton Global Initiative, GivingTuesday, Golden Globes, SuperBowl, Fundchat or World Economic Forum in Davos (which is going on this week – follow #WEF14), you can learn what's happening and share your perspective. Today I heard only 11% of heads of state, less than 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs & only 12% of large nonprofit CEOs are women. Plus, only ~15% – or 1 in 7 WEF attendees – are women. We must know this and work to change it. You better believe I've tweeted those stats a few times! More facts here: 

3.) Follow the leader. You can follow and engage with presidents, celebrities, comedians, authors, world leaders, CEOs, even the Pope, all on Twitter. It's a great way to learn, laugh and be inspired.

4.) Get a job. Recruiters often use LinkedIn for hiring so if you're not on LinkedIn, you almost don't exist. Hiring managers often check Twitter & Facebook plus conduct Google searches to learn about you and see if you know how to use social media, blogging, etc. Don't tell me you're a social media expert if you have 5 Twitter followers. Your online reputation is important – which also means you shouldn't post anything you don't want the world to see.

5.) Connect with clients. Some of my best Twitter conversations are with clients at the many Fortune 500 companies I work with. It's great to see what they are talking about, whether CSR, coffee, SuperBowl or an award their company won, and they often reach out to engage me so I can promote it on Twitter. Starbucks, UPS, General Electric and many other major brands follow me on Twitter.

6.) Engage media. Whether it's traditional media like The New York Times, CNN, CNBC or The Guardian, or a Millennial Talk Show Host who has a regular Tuesday Twitter chat like Chelsea Krost, they are almost all on social media and you can get them to cover your story if you take interest in their work, follow the individual reporters and intelligently respond to their posts and particpate in their Twitter chats, Google + hangouts, etc.

7.) Amplify the message. It's great to use your website, blog, newsletter, etc. to promote your product or raise awareness of your great cause, but to really get the word out, you also need to use social media, with the appropriate hashtags and Twitter handles, whether #WEF14, #Shutdown or #SuperBowl.

8.) Complain. Social media has given consumers great power. Now, if you have a problem with a mega brand, you can often tweet or contact them through social media for immediate responses and quick resolution. Pizza Hut responded within three minutes and gave me a free pizza. Same with Fresh Express when I found a praying mantis in my spinach bag. (Yuck!) Be sure to thank brands online when they do a good job. I love @Starbucks & @Frappuccino and they know it. @Amazon is great too & always resolves any concerns. 

9.) Maintain a living rolodex. When I can't find someone's phone number or email address, I often send a direct message through Twitter or a note through LinkedIn. It's a great way to stay in touch and have access to your connections quickly. 

10.) Have fun. Whether goofing with friends or by following celebrities, you'll laugh out loud by some of the funny photos & posts on Twitter & Facebook. You'll definitely smile more.

As I've said before, I'm not a celebrity or CEO, but I have more than 1k business connections on LinkedIn plus more than 800 Twitter followers and a Klout score that was 61 today. If you're not part of the social media conversation, your voice isn't being heard. So join in. Get started by following @LivingUnited on Twitter!

Read my other posts:

LinkedIn: Social networking to get noticed: 

How to double your twitter followers:


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