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Twitter’s Hot …

Twitter is one of the fastest growing forms of social media, topping the charts earlier this year with a 1382% growth rate reported in February 2009 by Nielsen Online. Even more interesting are the demographics … at the time of the study, nearly 42% of visitors were aged 35-49, and almost 2/3 of visitors were accessing the site from work. This data backs up what we believe: social networking tools like the SAP Community Network (SCN) and Twitter are a great way to build your business network and to be more productive, more efficient, and to pack more of an impact, by connecting with experts, peers, and mentors.

 

For Companies and Individual Professionals

While businesses might take some time to determine the right strategy before establishing a corporate Twitter presence, it’s a great way for individual employees to connect and grow both personally and professionally. As Twitter’s best practices note: “Instead of approaching Twitter as a place to broadcast information about your company, think of it as a place to build relationships.”

 

Connect via SCN, at TechEd, on Twitter

SCN encourages relationship-building through our online communities (in the discussion forums, blogs like this one, our wiki spaces, via the points/recognition program…), at physical in-person events like SAP TechEd 2009, and even through the use of third-party tools like Twitter or LinkedIn. In fact, Twitter is going to be out in full force at TechEd ‘09 – check out a full listing of the ways we’ve incorporated Twitter into the daily events at “Twitter at TechEd”.

Among the highlights:

  • Watch live events on your computer: Streaming video broadcast of events like the Phoenix keynote session with SAP CTO Vishal Sikka and author/futurist Ray Kurzweil and streaming video interviews from the Community Clubhouse
  • See the conversation stream: Along with the session updates on ticker plasma screens scattered throughout the event floor, we’re using part of the screen to show a feed of the #SAPTechEd09 Twitter conversation.
  • Participate in the discussion: Special events include a live Twitter feed – while you’re watching the General Session Keynote or Demo Jam live, join the action by participating in the tweet stream.

 

Sneak Preview @ SAP TechEd

Here’s a bit of a teaser of what you can expect to see …

SAP CTO Vishal Sikka with Twitter questions and comments on the right portion of the screen:

 

The plasma agenda screens throughout the TechEd Phoenix convention center, with Twitter feeds at the bottom of the screens … showing #sapteched comments

 

Screensavers on the hundreds of hands-on laptops in Phoenix:

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After TechEd …

Then, extend the connections you make at TechEd or in SCN by following new friends, fellow SCN members, and SAP Mentors on Twitter and by sharing your insights and expertise. Here are some of my tips to help get the most out of tweeting, and I’ve listed a selection of resources at the end of this post which I’ve found helpful for those who might be new to it.

  • Share your knowledge. Twitter is a great forum to reach a wide audience whether you’re seeking help for a project you’re working on or offering your expertise to a peer. You can also share articles, interesting perspectives, commentary, speaking engagements – anything that others in your field might find useful.
  • Remember the Golden Rule – Do unto others…The Golden Rule covers the basic courtesies, like avoiding personal attacks and using proper grammar, but this also includes newer courtesies like retweeting messages you like, responding to questions addressed to you, using direct messages when appropriate, etc . Don’t forget, everything you post is public and searchable.
  • Explore third-party applications. The Twitter API allows developers to create applications that make posting and receiving updates easier, such Twhirl which shortens URLs, cross-posts to other social network sites, finds tweets with your username, etc.

 

Here’s Where to Get Started – or Get Fully Connected  …

If you don’t have an account yet, check out a blog post from Chip Rodgers (@chiprodgers) about how to get started on Twitter. Chip lists a good assortment of accounts to follow (including mine – @markyolton), and here are some of my other favorites:  

  • List of SAP Mentors
  • @artmarco (Marco ten Vaanholt)
  • @mbechauf (Michael Bechauf)
  • @timoelliott (Timo Elliott)
  • @sapnetwork – receive a notification any time anyone posts a new blog on SCN

 

Special New Twitterer to Follow

Finally, I’d like to welcome the newest addition to this list, Zia Yusuf – EVP of the Global Ecosystem & Partner Group at SAP (and my boss, so be gentle…).   I invite you to follow him at @ziayusuf.  I suspect Zia will share some interesting insights and perspectives. 

 

More Resources

If you’re new to Twitter, the following blogs, guidelines, and reports may be helpful to you – both as an individual getting into micro-blogging, or as you evaluate Twitter as a platform or channel for your company.  If you have a favorite, feel free to include a link to it in the “comments” section below. 

I hope we’ll see you in-person at SAP TechEd’09 this year … next best: in Twitter. 

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6 Comments

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  1. Marilyn Pratt
    For watching specific users in a group list on Twitter without using Yahoo Pipes with RSS feeds, I use TweetDeck as my client.  This way I can follow all folks, but designate my “SAP Folks” to a column that I watch even more closely.  You can set up multiple groups (for example sustainability tweeters and tweets, SAP mentors,SAP aggregates).
    I love it when people use the hashtags for #bpxslam09 which highlights the BPX Process Design Slam  (shameless plug) Process Design Slam Tweets
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    1. Mark Yolton Post author
      As soon as Zia’s out of a meeting this morning I’m going to tackle him in the hallway, hijack his Twitter account, and un-block his account.  (… or maybe I’ll just ask him nicely and helpfully show him how to un-block.)  Either way, he’ll have an open account soon! 
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