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Why Everyone Should Be On Twitter - Even Your Dad

[In light of several news stories discussing Twitter’s outreach to the masses, Black Sheep’s own Lindsay Bosslet dedicates this post to her dad.]

Like we mentioned above, several news sources this week have covered the expansion of Twitter in their attempt to reach more mainstream internet users. We’ve told you time and time again that Twitter is an excellent social media platform that can be used to connect you with your audience, to establish a strong personal brand that solidifies your authority on a particular subject matter and to give real-time updates that make you or your business a little more approachable. And we stand by it.

But let’s face it – that doesn’t apply to everyone in the world. There is a certain portion of the population who we might want to reach, but who don’t really have that much to say (yet) and most importantly, who don’t understand why Twitter could help them in the first place. Case in point, my dad.

Let the record show, these sunglasses and mustache are NOT being worn ironically.

My dad is not on Facebook, but he spends a lot of time on the internet and on his iPhone. Through these devices, he checks weather, reads the news, stays in touch with his friends and family, investigates sports forums, looks at cars and boats, maintains his engineering work and even watches YouTube videos. My point is, he has varied interests (which make him a TARGET for marketers like us) and he’s not a complete Luddite. But, I’m sure he’s never even considered joining Twitter.

Here’s why he should.

1. Customized news feed.
My dad could aggregate every news source he currently tracks and customize it based on topics, writers and content. That means he could find out about the latest in V8 engines, a depressing analysis of the Astros farm system and how many inches of rain are predicted for next week without having to click a thousand times to find it.

2. Very specific information.
Some people like cars, but my dad loves them, inside and out. He does any mechanical work he possibly can, and spends a lot of time on threads discussing parts and procedures. If he wanted, he could use Twitter to find people who tweet about his specific make and model and provide advice. He could even talk to them directly and ask questions or propose solutions to the many experts who live on the twitterverse, waiting for someone just like him.

3. Pressure-free.
I think a lot of people are intimidated by Twitter because they don’t really have anything they feel compelled to say. That’s fine! You can be on Twitter and no one will ever punish you for keeping quiet. So if my dad wants to passively receive information without sharing or responding, it’s okay. That puts the pressure on us (marketers and business owners) to share interesting content and to give him the tweet that makes him hit RT. Until then, he’s still a part of our daily outreach.

So, when your parents or your not-so-in-the-loop friends say things like “Twitter is stupid,” or “What is a tweet?” or “There is no way I will ever be on Twitter,” don’t roll your eyes or smash your iPad over their heads. Explain the benefits of joining in terms THEY understand (food truck updates, concert news, animal videos, discounts) and let them know how much easier their lives could be.

In the end, if the marketers of the world want to truly capitalize on this phenomenon, we need access to everyone and Twitter recognizes the need for change. The rest is up to you and, of course, my dad.

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