Why Twitter?

I often forget that there are a lot of people out there who don't use Twitter or other forms of social media. Some people just don't want to learn, but many simply don't see the use in it. It's for those latter people that I write this post. Here are the top 5 reasons I use Twitter:

Customer Service Thanks to a program like Tweetdeck, I track specific keywords related to my business and my day job. Thanks to this tracking system, I caught a conversation where someone said they used to be subscribers to the Great Canadian Theatre Company but hadn't been in years because they saw a "terrible Joni Mitchell play" that made them lose interest. This play was produced almost 8 years ago and a lot has changed at the theatre since then, including a move to our new location on Wellington Street.

I immediately got in touch with this person to offer them free tickets to opening night of our next production (which at the time was blood.claat: one ooman story). He was shocked that someone would actually take the time to listen to a complaint, gladly accepted my offer and had a wonderful time at the theatre with his fiancé.

Twitter made it possible for me to discover that such a complaint existed and do something about it.

First Hand News Coverage Though the information can at times be incorrect (see for example "Gordon Lightfoot is dead" hoax), for the most part Twitter has been a great place for me to get first hand, breaking news on a variety of topics. For instance, it was on Twitter that I first learned about Charles McFarland stepping down as Artistic Associate with Third Wall Theatre (I was also the first to Tweet it back) and how I found out about the City of Ottawa's Arts & Heritage Cultural Advisory Meeting, a discovery that has led to some very interesting research at work. Lots of events will also live tweet what's going on for those who cannot be there. That's how I knew all about the National Arts Centre's French and English Theatre season launches.

New Connections Twitter has served as an introduction to many theatre practitioners in Canada and across the world. Thanks to this introduction, whenever I've found myself in a different city like Montreal or Toronto, I've had the opportunity to meet these people and make new business connections. I've also been able to meet some great people in Ottawa as well. People like @suzemuse, @cherylgain & @snobiwan among others.

Stay Connected Many of my "real life" friends are on Twitter. This gives me an opportunity to stay connected and see what they are currently doing. This has led to easy spontaneous meetings for coffee or drinks. If you're not following them already, you should say hello to @patgauthier, @HMsurfacing, @nadinethornhill, @SterlingLynch, @evanthornton, @catrionaleger among many many many others. Oh and @krisjoseph is always good for a laugh, but you probably knew that already.

Contests There is always someone having some sort of contest on Twitter and sometimes a quick reply is all it takes. So far I've won movie & theatre tickets, Easter Brunch @CanadasNAC & free passes to @ottawafolk. and those are the only things I can think of right now off the top of my head.

Again, these are my own personal reasons for using Twitter. What are some of yours?