Alyssa Milano: 140 Characters of True Character
I remember a time when if I wanted to share my appreciation for someone who inspired me through their celebrity, I’d have to write a letter in hopes they’d write me back. [p.s. Stick Stickly NEVER wrote me back!] But in reality, snail-mail or even e-mail at times is too time consuming for even the most warm-hearted person to answer everyone quickly and efficiently…
Skip ahead to today, and now that problem is a thing of the past, all thanks to Twitter. Who we can directly connect with in 140 characters, is nearly limitless. For those who think you are familiar with Twitter (but really aren’t) Twitter is more than just 140-character update about breakfast, traffic and bad dates.
Twitter is your own “Instant Messenger” for information and conversation, with a global audience.
Twitter provides an open and equal place for connections where we all can gain respect by being able to passionately and sincerely share what we believe in; and allow people to speak with us openly, even if they are a celebrity.
Communication, information and passion are the factors which bring people to follow one another on Twitter, (not just celebrities), because on Twitter we can all listen and talk…and talking is what makes Twitter tick.
So what does this have to do with Alyssa Milano?
Well, if you could say there’s one ideal person who is “doing it right,” when it comes to Twitter, it’d be Alyssa. She’s like a good friend who sends you a funny YouTube video, shares a cute pic of her dogs & she inspires us to do better via her Tweets. But most importantly, she talks with you.
She doesn’t just tweet other celebrities, or talk to herself on Twitter; she talks to the people who make a difference, you.
Responding on Twitter through the @Reply (at reply) is essentially Twitter 101, but it is the one thing most celebrities, brands and even some average people forget. Most people tend to stop carrying on conversations once they become “established” on Twitter, for various “reasons.” However, if you just send updates about your day to Twitter, that’s like just talking to yourself in a mirror — you look crazy.
Alyssa is different. She is a celebrity, yes — but that doesn’t make her not want to talk to other people. When I asked her what was the best thing about getting on Twitter everyday, she simply stated “Feeling connected to the world.”
She doesn’t pay some PR company to write her Tweets, nor plan them out a month in advance. She’s real and true and reacts to the world events like the Iran Elections, Haiti Earthquake and BP Oil Spill like everyone else, with lasting conversations and viewpoints.
You see, Alyssa values her conversations and opinions a lot (especially when it comes to baseball.)
But for Alyssa it’s not about breaking the latest story, or being first to find the next “Bed Intruder” video — but it’s about using social media to inform and have fun socially; and she’s not afraid to use it.
You’ll often catch Alyssa “sneaking up” on an unsuspecting fan who isn’t expecting Alyssa to read their Tweets, and drop them a cute one-liner that more than makes their day (it’s happened to me a few times!)
She’s not just fun, she is continually engaged in philanthropic causes, and seeing those causes through to fruition with an unrivaled intent. You’ll find her warmly-soliciting help to raise money and awareness from her followers, with @replies and tweets.
Then, you’ll also find her profusely thanking her followers and friends who helped her on her endless endeavors…which is the best way any person could use social media.
For her birthday last year, Alyssa didn’t flaunt a lavish party, or only tweet pictures from an exotic vacation — she Tweeted her friends and followers and asked for money, for charity.water.
Her birthday gift from over 1,400 people brought in over $90k for charity.water. In 140-characters Alyssa brought about change to so many people, it was unreal to witness. The best part was, after the goal had been met, she had the character to thank the individuals who made it possible. She thanked everyone from $1 to $3,700 donors in @Replies, Direct Messages and in a Blog Post.
She thanked you.
Despite a genuine and candid approach to being open with the world, the way Twitter is meant to be used, some people remain skeptical of Alyssa’s authenticity. While claims of being “fake” are at best annoying, dealing with imitators and others being extremely negative must be next to damaging.
I asked Alyssa about dealing with the consistent attacks from people who deny her authenticity, she said:
“Occasionally, there will be someone that thinks it’s funny to be hurtful. I think people forget that there is a human on the other side of the computer screen.”
But despite the attacks she’ll receive those masked behind the veil of online anonymity; Alyssa maintains a brave and cheerful face for her 1-million+ followers.
In a word, you can sum up Alyssa’s use of Twitter as, natural. So, if you aren’t already on Twitter, or want a good start—Alyssa Milano is the ideal candidate to have a welcome introduction into Twitter…and no matter how long after this is published, if you check her out now (@Alyssa_Milano) I’m sure you’ll catch her providing not only a good conversation but “Peace, Light, Love” and lots of laughter.
Thank you, Alyssa!
To read more, visit quarterlifemag.com.
Published on September 5th, 2010 at 2:30 pm by Paul Eulette