Today’s blog post is written by our newest member of the Purple Blog team, social media expert Anne Reuss
I’ve always considered myself a social person, an extrovert — somebody who enjoys meeting people — a social butterfly, if you want to be cliché. When Twitter was in its infancy, my father warned me it would continue to become epic and I should get right on it. I did — and tweeted a grand total of two times. That was more than three years ago.
Fast-forward to mid-October 2011, where I stumbled into social media work and I was tweeting for my boss. It took me a week to grasp Twitter slang, mannerisms, and tools to help facilitate and analyze tweets. Within a few weeks, I found myself constantly imagining what it would be like to be in my boss’ shoes — interacting and exchanging information to a large community. I know much more now than when I was addicted to StumbleUpon (from the news to hidden treasures of web 2.0) and before joining Twitter. And I will tell you at one point when I was madly working on Twitter and scoping out new “friends” for my boss, I realized when I took my break I found myself always imagining my next nifty 140 character tweet. That’s when I knew it was time to get my own Twitter account.
And I did – now you can tweet and mingle with me @AnneReuss! In only one month I have accumulated a following of more than 250 and made valuable connections that I can share my ideas and receive feedback from, learn of other people’s dreams, and have continually improved my social media knowledge so I can consult others.
But that isn’t the best thing.
It’s the humanity of Twitter.
As a Deaf person, I have no barriers on the web. Social media levels the playing field. My personality and skills shine through my Internet voice and lets me mingle with countless individuals (this is where I wish I could *emphasize with face*). You can find your niche. In fact, I encourage you to discover yours. You probably would find your way easier on Twitter knowing who/what you wanted to find and share information with. There are many tweetchats (they’re like parties!) to attend. If you contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’d be glad to share the tweetchat schedule.
If you find yourself uncomfortable encountering or getting followed by new people, you can set your account private. I chose to keep mine open so I could increase my exposure to content, make connections and make a presence. I want no limits. Because of my effort to engage, I have found a Deaf graphic designer that will be helping me with a project, and I wound up becoming a guest blogger for Purple after having the honor of talking with Ken Herron, vice president of marketing for Purple, on videophone.
Many say Twitter is valuable or “worth it” – that’s the truth – but it’s in your hands to make it valuable. Maybe you’re a mother seeking out parenting tips and you can choose to follow only like-minded mothers, tweet your own tips and make someone’s day. Are you a soccer fanatic who follows European soccer but wish you had more fans to chat with? How about a recent college grad with a degree in photography and you’re on the job hunt and want your work noticed? All are feasible by joining Twitter. Now isn’t that awesome?
About Anne Reuss
Anne Reuss is a social media consultant at Networlding, developing training strategies and facilitating communications to build real connections. She’s an entrepreneur and rocking her English degree credentials on “100 Steps to Success” – her blog on starting a business. She strives to prove that communication goes beyond being able to hear and speak English – because being deaf isn’t detrimental in the wide world of web and work. Madly driven and focused in noisy settings, she’s educating people on the under-appreciated beauty of social media: the humanity of it.
Anne just happens to be a 4th generation worker in the communications industry and harbors a desire to go skydiving. Mingle with her at @AnneReuss.