Thursday, March 14, 2013

Canadian Coaches & Twitter... Why Twitter?

Phase 2.

If phase 1 was to call coaches to action, then phase 2 is simple...  show them how.  If the objective is greater collaboration and beginning the process of evolving with technology and Twitter is the identified first step given it's simplicity, it's time to educate.

As of July 2012, Twitter reported over 500 000 000 users, that's 500 million for the mathematically illiterate.  That's a large potential market.

It's good over the web and on your smart phone.

Why Twitter?

In this age, people want their information in an immediate answer.  Cardinals in the Vatican selected a new Pope today, my phone alerted me via Twitter well before I got home, well before I had access to a TV, well before I visited a news website on my computer, well before I read a newspaper, and well before a newsletter could be issued.  Information moves faster and the cheetah of information transfer is Twitter.

There is a distinct reason that low-level newspapers are dying... there are only two reasons to read a printed newspaper today... 1) high quality editorials from the best available journalistic analysts or 2) you're a metaphorical dinosaur who is the equivalent of a old person who won't use a computer because you can hand write faster.  Life is priming to leave those dinosaurs behind, knowledge via information is traveling too fast for you to keep up.  The only use I have for a newspaper is to line my guinea pigs' cage.

When it comes to the swimming community, so many clubs publish newsletters, which are slower versions of newspapers and I believe I've made my feelings about newspapers are well established.  The information in Newsletters is dated pretty much on date of publishing.  On the next level, clubs have websites but in Canada the vast majority of swim club websites are utter garbage but that is another issue for another time.  Information on a website is completely dependent upon people coming to the website, that kind of information does not push out information (barring an ancient RSS feed), it's good but people are moving towards a model where information comes to them.. that is Twitter.

Twitter pushes out posts on websites and blogs.  Twitter sends out pictures in real time, so if your club is anywhere, ANYWHERE, one can post photos on Twitter so followers feel like they are with you, with the club, without having to be there.  It increases identification with the community of your club, increases brand loyalty, and if you're a club with other local clubs where finicky families float from club-to-club based upon who is coaching their child year-to-year then brand loyalty is a very important attribute to build.

In the immortal words of the O'Jays (with a significant h/t to Jalen Rose)...

Give the people what they want... information.  Now.  Push it to them, make them take notice, and it is that information and understanding of and from one another that leads to strong bonds and an amazing foundation from which to build better everythings.

Get out there, sign up for Twitter on the web.  Download the app on your smart phone.

Then the next question, phase 3 is... Twitter How?  That is to come...

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