I had a chat with my brother recently and ...like you do, the subject of communication reach in social media came up ;-). When he asked me about twitter, I urged him to open an account and start tweeting! "Yes but, what is twitter?", he asked. Just repeating a twitter definition seemed very obvious.
I remembered watching Biz Stone in an interview at the Colbert Report saying that one of the reasons that twitter has a 140 character limit, is because a txt SMS is 160, so in order for twitter to send out tweets (as SMS updates) it had to be less than 160. The extra 20 character space is for the @username and other network info.
So, I think twitter as being, not just a mini-blogging platform, but an open SMS pool, where you SMS "OR" answer to "what are you doing?"; BUT everyone can see it, and reply back. It is a compilation of thoughts, news, information, and advertising all together.
Tweets as public SMS is like searching for tweets in your area. TwitterFon lets you search for users ranging from 1km to 100 km of the current location, by GSM localization.
So; one of my new twitter strategies will be to tweet messages like sending an SMS to a friend; well, maybe around 500 friends for now! Every tweet is one more contribution to the big twitter feed, and since people search for information and trends on twitter, your tweet can contain something that others might find interesting or useful.
IMHO my very simple twitter advice is:
Messages should contain interesting news or information about you.
- what are you up to
- what are you about to do
- your views on current issues (trending or not)
- links to articles and information you find interesting
- offer & ask for advice from the twitter community
- always interact with people you find interesting
- monitor subjects and links that interest you with twitter search & other twitter monitor apps.