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.