As I have become more active on Twitter over the past year it has become very clear that a lot of SAP professionals either don’t use twitter or aren’t utilizing it effectively. In this article I hope to clearly show the value within Twitter as well as describe “what’s in it for you”.
What is Twitter? – Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read other messages from other users called tweets. These tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters that are displayed on the author’s profile page. Over the past year the amount of individuals working within the SAP ecosystem, networking and content being shared and on Twitter has grown by leaps and bounds. That said, it is only in its infancy as I would estimate there are less than 1000 active SAP twitter users.
What’s in it for me? – Some common questions I get asked are ‘why should I waste my time on twitter”, “What’s in it for me” and “How can I find time to spend on twitter”. Listed below are four key benefits that twitter will give you and trust me, after a month of using Twitter you will be able to easily answer the three questions above.
1. Networking– There is something very unique about twitter and its ability to bring people together and help lay the foundation for a more meaningful future relationship. I often get asked what type of SAP people use twitter and I think it would surprise you that SAP Executives, ASUG Executives and Members, SAP Mentors, SAP Industry Analysts and Senior consultants have found the “value” and “free time” to be active twitter users. Twitter is a great tool for networking as well as communicating within SAP.
2. Industry Events – All SAP industry events are now well covered real time via twitter with SAP monitoring and in some cases even reacting to the “tweets” during the presentations. There is an unbelievable amount of free information, links, replays to sessions, insider information, pictures, and commentary within each conferences twitter stream. I will admit that it is a very unique experience following a conference via twitter but it can almost feel like you were actually there. I don’t want to discount the value of attending SAP events in person but this is another way to be involved. There are a lot of SAP industry events yearly and it is important to stay informed on SAP and its products.
3. Information – Regardless of your SAP role, having access to current and relevant information is a key piece to being successful. While I personally use Google Reader (RSS) as my main tool to stay current on SAP information and there is an excellent article on RSS from Jon Reed in the Mentors Quarterly, over the past year I have started to use Twitter to occasionally find new content or even better, new sources of information. It is important to note that a majority of the content found on twitter can be accessed by different means but it another tool so you don’t miss anything relevant. You will be pleasantly surprised by the amount of SAP information that is exchanged daily within Twitter.
4. Visibility –Twitter is a great way to get visibility within the industry and talk about your SAP career, company, project or general accomplishments. Are you speaking at an upcoming conference, did you publish a new blog or article, did you just read an interesting SAP article, did you just solve a SAP problem, read an interesting OSS note, go live on a complex implementation, if so people are interested and want to hear about it. Twitter is a great medium where you can share your SAP information with the community.
Just like anything in life you have to give Twitter a fair chance which means committing to spending 15-20 minutes a day for at least a month and a good place to start is by reading How to find and follow SAP Content on Twitter. Twitter has brought me a lot of value and my goal is to spread the message to the SAP community as everyone can benefit from Networking, Industry Events, Information and Visibility.
I am a big believer that social networking for SAP professionals is only in its infancy and that twitter is only going to continue to grow in popularity and importance. You all have a unique opportunity to be an early adopter and trust me you will find it very valuable. If you enjoyed this article and want to give twitter a try please feel free to follow me on Twitter at @SAP_Jarret