The 5 Most Important Skills Twitter Teaches Us
January 24, 2012
Wes Davenport in Fan Engagement, Twitter, social networking


Picture this: one day, a company comes out of nowhere to introduce a service that renders Twitter obsolete. Overnight, all of those hours you spent cranking out tweets are useless. Or are they?

Let’s face it: Twitter is not so much about our follower counts, retweets, or mentions. Those are just numbers. Here’s the real deal: Twitter prepares us for the future by teaching us valuable, real-world skills.

So even if Twitter dies tomorrow, here are the five most important skills we can learn from it.

1. Networking

Twitter is simply a tool we use to nuture our social and professional networks. Effective networking involves keeping track of what your colleagues are doing. That includes industry figures, friends, clients, and fans. Furthermore, we keep our networks fresh by staying engaged with people.

2. Engagement

Suddenly, social networking isn’t just about connecting. Now, it’s about engaging. Basically, real engagement just means we talk with our fans rather than at them. Now we’re treating followers like real people! Artists are speaking directly to fans instead of issuing a blanket press release written by someone outside of the band. Musicians are using this skill to resolve problems, show appreciation for kindness, and display interest in others’ personal lives.

3. Communicating Succinctly

Believe it or not, communicating succinctly is an incredibly valuable skill. After all, college journalism classes devote much time and energy to the art of the headline.

Twitter’s 140 character limit forces users to communicate efficiently. Concise communication helps people understand what you want. It lets them know exactly what you’re asking them to do.

4. Seeking Out Best Practices

There are thousands of articles that advise us on the best Twitter practices. Absord them. Implement them regularly. Before you know it, you’re conditioned to seek out the best practices in other areas of your business.

5. Adaption To Change

Forces outside of our control can change the whole playing field in an instant. Look no further than your own Twitter feed. New trends and opinions are constantly flowing in and out the landscape.

It’s not just important to take notice of these changes. The deeper skill is recognizing which changes apply to you, and how adapt your business accordingly.

It seems unlikely now, but the forces of change can bury Twitter alongside MySpace and Google Buzz. Depending on your perspective, that’s the wonderful thing about change. It doesn’t discriminate, and it can happen in an instant.

So going forward, take the larger lessons of Twitter and apply them to your music career.

Wes Davenport is the publicist for Nashville electro-rock band Vinyl Thief. He writes about ways modern artists can thrive at his blog. Follow him on Twitter @wesdavenport for more music industry insights.

Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (
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