Tweet Me in Quincy
To me, it is completely evident that Quincy has a problem. It is perpetually 5-10 years behind internet technology. There are of course some exceptions to that statement, but for the most part I think a void is definitely present. There is no good reason why Quincy can’t be “up to code” with larger cities more technology savvy.
In this day and age, the ability to be more in the know with technology is not only a personal benefit it can also be a powerful tool. Social Media along with the major social networks such as Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, Twitter, and many others are simply changing the capabilities of a person to be involved with society. Rather than giving a broad history of social media, I’d rather focus on one site particular and express the benefits it has to offer a community.
Twitter is a somewhat peculiar site that allows an individual to create a single page with a brief biography and enter in a “tweet” or microblog entry of 140 characters or less. You can “follow” or add other twitter users and via a simple array of allowing you to see their “tweets”, if that same person is following you they see your updates as well. Once you acquire enough followers a social network begins to establish itself all in 140 characters.
I’ll admit this sounded a bit bizarre to me at first. Lately, I have started to see the power of this simple but affective means of social media. Businesses have begun to establish marketing strategies through twitter. Let’s imagine we own a coffee shop. Perhaps we don’t have the time or capabilities for having much of an online presence such as a website. If we sign up for twitter, which is free, and accessible through any internet browser, our next step would be connect to people who are local, potential clientele. Using a service (www.search.twitter.com) we can search all “tweets” or updates across twitter. We could run a search for “Quincy” Among all the results for “Quincy Jones” or “Quincy Mass.” We could add or “follow” any people who mention Quincy Illinois in their post. This person will receive a notification that we are following them they then have the option to follow us. We just touched base with a potential customer. As we continue this process and build a local network of twitter users we increase our ability to promote ourselves through our own future update tweets. For example, say we’re having a special on a cup of coffee and a muffin, we can simply post a “tweet” update to our twitter account and suddenly our message is visible to all those people following us.
I think it’s also important to stress that Twitter is very well promoted for mobile phone users. If you own a phone such as an iPhone or a blackberry with web access you are able to use twitter. This capability enables people who are already out running errands or in a position to swing by the ability to see what we have going on whether it’s a new menu item, or a sale of some variety.
This example of a coffee shop is just one of the many types of businesses that stand to gain from the free means of utilizing social media for marketing. Bars, boutiques, even colleges stand to gain from having a presence in a social network such as this. There is literally no cost in using this medium. The only expense is the time spent is setting yourself up and the very very easy act of maintaining it.
The biggest hurdle to clear when establishing the utopia of a local social network for Quincy is finding enough people to populate it. I have personally been on twitter for over a year now and through it I keep up with friends and happenings from St. Louis to Oklahoma City to here in Quincy. Qtown utilizes twitter to find potential readers of the site as well as to stay in tune with what’s happening in the community. The unfortunate reality is that many businesses are in a tight spot due to the economy. One of the first things to go in cutting down costs is to eliminate advertising budgets. With tools like Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and many others, business owners have a completely free method of advertising. To be successful in tomorrow’s world an online presence is needed. Maybe you’re not ready to invest in a website, then why not utilize the free tools available NOW. It’s time to embrace the technology at our fingertips and grow Quincy into a modern technological environment. We simply can’t afford to be the town that technology forgot.