Twitter - Not Just for Socializing
Twitter is a great way to socialize. It's like a big coffee house or gathering where people can share information. It's a good way to stay in touch with friends with whom you don't have time for a long phone conversation or visit. And as the world grows smaller, people who live in different cities, states, and even countries can hold conversations on Twitter as if they are in the same room.
But Twitter is not just the latest thing in personal communication - it's also causing something of a revolution for business owners and consumers.
Not too many years ago, posting ads, garnering contact information via mailing lists, and so forth was the "latest thing" in online business promotion. But Twitter is beginning to make things like pay-per-click advertising look old fashioned. Tweets occur in real time, making it an up-to-the minute medium.
For example, if you are the owner of a sandwich shop, you can tweet your customers when you have a new sandwich or ingredient available (maybe a special deli meat or something else your customers have been waiting for). You can tweet this information a few minutes before noon, when business people are thinking of where to go to lunch. Since Twitter is in real time, you can attract your business right away.
That's just one example. The business aspect of Twitter is diverse and growing. Here are some other aspects of Twitter as seen through a business perspective.
1. Market research
This is something that can be laborious, but Twitter makes it faster and easier. You can research your potential market or audience and see what they are tweeting about.
One of the things that the social and business aspects of Twitter share is the personal contact. Tweets are like conversations. You use conversational language that conveys information in a few words. Your face or familiar image will show on your avatar when you tweet. It gives the personal contact that business consumers appreciate.
The trend now is away from conformity and toward individuality - your own quirks and personality can make you stand out in the business world, and Twitter is a good way to promote that individuality.
Starting out as a follower is a good way to get in with the Twitter crowd. This is true with socializing, but it's also true from a business perspective. Follow fellow users who have interests similar to yours. Start conversationally, not necessarily in a promotional way - you want to chit-chat before attempting any marketing or promotion of your business. It's something like mingling at a party and networking - you want to be easy to talk to and friendly first.
Twitter users are growing by leaps and bounds, and it can be a great way to promote your business. Some may think of Twitter as a big time waster, but anything that truly grows your business is not a waste of time.
Of course, Twitter can be a time waster if you don't use it in a focused way. So here are some tips on how you can use Twitter to grow your business. But first, let's look at why Twitter can be a boost to your business.
What Makes Twitter So Great?
Twitter is a way for you to get your ideas across to a large number of people quickly. It's also an excellent way of receiving new ideas from other people. Prospective and existing customers appreciate the personal contact that Twitter provides. Twitter gets your business name out there and generates traffic to your website. And it's free!
Here are some tips on taking full advantage of Twitter's benefits for your business.
1. Get your name out
Most business owners do not like cold calls, and most prospective clients do not like them, either. But Twitter is a way to "cold call" people and introduce them to your business in an easy manner. People will hear about your business who might otherwise never know about it.
2. It's all connected
The thing about Twitter is that all users are connected. If one person likes a link you send around, that Twitter user may become a follower, and he or she may then send your link around to his or her followers, and so forth. (It's called "retweeting" when someone tweets something you tweeted.) The number of people who see the link then increases exponentially.
3. Helping others
You can gain a reputation as an honest person if you contribute to your fellow business owners. Retweet other's links that you agree with and like, and do for other tweeters what you would like to have done for you. This builds a good reputation and boosts your business - people are drawn to honest and helpful business owners.
4. Consider TweetDeck
TweetDeck is said to make the Twitter experience more manageable and understandable. It is an application (also free) that shortens URLs, helps you search for particular tweets, and also helps you read tweets.
5. Learn about your market
Twitter is a good way to discover trends and stay in touch with the latest happenings in your business market. Use Twitter to find out what's going on in your market's realm.