Why do men Twitter and women talk?
May 2009
Dear Karen,
Karen KimberleyIt seems that I know more men who 'twitter' than women.
So is the old adage 'men talk and women gossip' true?
Why does Twitter appeal so much to men? A recent 'Tweet' I received said that 'Brevity is the soul of Twitter' and I guess that could be one of the reasons. Twitter is concise, direct, simple and gets the word out to a lot of people at one time - as a broadcast method Twitter could grab the attention in a way an old fashioned 'all staff email' may not....
It appears that men are also being tempted with the urge to use Twitter to gossip and even the great and the good such as Magistrates are being caught out using it improperly!
Once the message is out there anyone can pick up your tweet, check out your website and decide to 'follow' you. I decided to name some of the unwanted followers 'stalkers' and may need to remove some of the more unsavoury ones! And beware - when I decided to follow Downing Street they decided to follow me - Big Brother is with us.
But the advantage is that once people start visiting your website, more business may accrue and also, hey presto, Google loves you and you are at the top of the search engines! 
Are your people ready for social media?
Recent research we did for a large well known corporate client investigated whether their people understood remote communication tools in social media like Facebook and Twitter, and if they had an appetite to use them in the workplace? You might think that this would be a distraction for many at work and admittedly for some it would be.
But it also would be a way of engaging with audiences that ignore traditional methods of communication and encouraging more viral communication between departments that traditionally work in silos. People often crave an insight into what the CEO thinks - and a blog is a perfect mechanism for a quick weekly diary update.
The interesting thing the research showed was that even 'thirty something's' counted themselves as an 'ignoramus' about social media and people were resistant to something that has the power to make communication more innovative, useful and fun. The remote audiences however were crying out for fresher simpler innovative ways to communicate with the UK and it seemed that with the resistance they had thrown the baby out with the bathwater. 
Susan BoyleTools like WebEx, YouTube, Second Life and SMS which could bring communication with global audiences to life had been put in the same basket as Facebook - as something a bit 'tacky' and not really suitable for the high end market they were in.  
The problem is for these corporates stuck in the traditional mould is that their competitors may well be taking up these speedier and more innovative tools and racing ahead when engaging people around the world....
Look at how quickly an unknown like Susan Boyle can become a global name - what benefits could that bring when launching a brilliant new product to your market place or a key message to your most important stakeholders?
Social media is here to stay
Social media is here to stay. The generation coming out into society expect to find it in the workplace, in some form, as a tool to do their job. Companies are realising the power of social media and how it can impact the bottom line.
Integrating social media into a good communications strategy - and where it's appropriate - can deliver powerful results. 
Lorraine DonaldColleague Lorraine Donald says "Social media tools - used well - can open a whole new world of options and opportunities to create the sort of quality two-way dialogue with audiences that business has been trying to achieve for decades.
"They're an exciting new range of channels and tools - which complement existing communications techniques. Just like email didn't signal the end of paper publications - social media tools simply bring more options and more opportunities to explore.
"But it's not for everyone. It's vital to take a step back and think through what will work for each organisation, each audience, each communication goal. Not all organisations have yet evolved the right culture, structure or even the technology to make the most of social media tools. As always, it's still important to clarify the message, use the right channel, excel in delivery and measure the outcome - and make sure communications whatever the method, actually help achieve the goal."
Lorraine helps clients explore ways of using social media in their communications strategies to help them achieve their business goals. If you want to know more, contact us for an informal chat and we will be happy to help.
Karen Kimberley's company is based in Taplow near Maidenhead. She coaches people inside companies, to change things inside themselves, to improve their communication and performance. For more information contact Karen on Tel 01628 509593, Mobile: 07785 566468, e-mail kk@karenkimberley.co.uk, and visit the new website www.karenkimberley.co.uk
Changing People Inside

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