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Twittering from the Field and the Bench

By: Pierce Mattie
Posted: July 6, 2009, from the July 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

In the land of miracle potions and lotions, should cosmetic chemists, labs and R&D find themselves in a state of twitter?

Lately, it’s hard to ignore the buzz and momentum that have been building around the microblogging site Twitter. Journalists are on Twitter, celebrities are on Twitter, there are even doctors twittering from the operating room.

Social media sites, as exemplified by Twitter, have quickly become the 21st century’s version of word-of-mouth, quickly putting brands on the map and generating conversation around products and services. While jumping on the bandwagon may seem easy enough, there are definitely guidelines to follow to get the most out of connecting and networking for the sake of transparent communication, especially if it involves your latest cosmetic creation.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a free microblogging service where “tweets” are sent out in 140 characters or less. Tweets can include a wide variety of topics such as your thoughts, conversations with your followers, links to pictures, inclusion of RSS feeds from your blog as well as links to video clips, news articles and Web sites. Twitter can be used direct via the Web, SMS (short message service) via your mobile phone or other third party applications such as TweetDeck, Twirl and Twitterrific.

You begin by following those you may already know, those you want to get to know better and those who may benefit from the knowledge you provide via your Twitter stream. For the most part, those you follow will follow you back, and soon enough you’ll find members discovering you through search and shared followers’ profiles and tweets.