One hundred million investment dollars tells us that Twitter is not just for kids. I’m not talking about Twitter’s ability to sell ads or stage a Linkedin-style IPO, but the presumably informed institutional investors who’ve decided to bet their money on Twitter’s ability to crowd source the direction of the Dow.
If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably already read the stories about the UK hedge fund whose sole strategy is trading based on millions of Tweets. The idea is that by determining the mood of people based on their Tweets, we can gauge the sentiment of the world for the day and hence whether people will buy or sell en masse. Yes – what Lindsey Lohan says on Twitter impacts the stock market.
Time – and investor returns – will tell us soon enough whether or not this idea is a good one. But what I can tell you now is that Twitter is in fact a useful business tool. Some get it – lots don’t. Just last night, in fact, I received strange looks from half the dinner table when I told them how useful Twitter has become for me both as a source of personal branding and knowledge gathering.
But like any tool, Twitter is only useful if you take to the time to learn how to use it. Yes, you can just create a Twitter handle and start entering what you had for lunch. That will get you a lot of followers if you’re like the aforementioned starlet. But for those of us in slightly more professional careers, using Twitter effectively takes a little more planning.