If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you are trying to understand what the big deal is about Twitter. And you’re probably wondering, “Can Twitter really help my business?”
The answer is, “very much so!”
But, what is Twitter again?
Twitter, like Facebook, began life as a tool for college students. Allowing only 140 characters per message, a “Tweet" was used to update friends and family in a casual way via the tagline "What are you doing?”
It has since evolved, and, what at first seemed to be about as far away from the world of business as it can be, is now considered a “must have” marketing tool for any serious business, large or small.
Here’s something you need to know. Each day 5 to 10 thousand new people join Twitter, and it currently has around 5 million users, according to the State of the Twittersphere report. That’s a lot of opportunity waiting for your business!
How it works:
• Twitter allows you to post short updates (AKA Tweets) as often as you want; they are limited to 140 characters.
• Follow other users, and you’ll be able to read their tweets.
• When they follow you, they’ll read your tweets.
• A business should follow everyone who is following them, because when they follow you, it means that they want to engage in a conversation. This is an opportunity to make a connection with your existing or prospective customer.
Can you see the potential yet?
Here are a few more reasons why you need Twitter for your business:
1. Your message can reach hundreds and thousands of people instantly, so you won’t have to chase after customers. They will find you—for free.
2. You can grow your reputation as an expert by offering advice and/or referring people to interesting business-related articles. As long as you go easy on the self-promotion, people will come to trust your advice and will be more open to visiting your website to find out more about you and your business.
3. You can provide coupons and special offers in a matter of seconds with a Tweet.
When it comes down to it, Twitter provides tiny snapshots of what's going on in your business world, all day, every day. The limited number of characters per Tweet means there is no over-thinking or having to craft everything perfectly. It's about having relaxed conversations with your customers, your potential clients, and your peers in a no-pressure environment.
What could be more useful to your business than that?
Lastly, here are some of our favorite Twitter related services, which makes tweeting even more fun:
• http://twitpic.com lets you share photos on Twitter.
• http://cheaptweet.com/ scans Twitter for the best deals, coupons and sales that people are tweeting about.
• http://twitterholic.com/ gathers data and updates a list of the most popular twitter users. Who’s the most popular Twitter user? Our new president with 346,422 followers.
• http://www.crazybob.org/twubble/ searches your friend graph and picks out people who you may like to follow.