I have to admit, at first I really didn’t get Twitter. Why post short messages or “tweets” about what I’m doing? Do people really want to know that I have an interest in skeet shooting? Do they care that I just landed another big client? I don’t think so. A closer look at Twitter changed my mind on how it can be used and its benefits.
Twitter, is one of the many new social media programs. Twitter can help you connect to any community; your friends, colleagues, or business associates. It allows a member to type short messages of only 140 characters. People that are following you will then see your post. It’s easy to follow people. Once you locate someone you want to follow, just click the follow button. They will get a message that you’re following them and they can reciprocate or not.
So, how does Twitter benefit your business? I have used Twitter for market research, brand management, problem solving, networking and promotion.
An excellent way to build Twitter followers and network is by posting questions. You can post questions on any topic; software programs, marketing situations, books, marketing topics, etc. As your Twitter followers answer the questions you build relationships.
You can use Twitter to conduct research by searching for terms and reading posts of others using that term. For example, we were researching tools to manage our client’s pay–per-click programs. A quick search on PPC in Twitter revealed a list of people posting on the subject. I posted some questions regarding the software we were considering and quickly received reviews, suggestions and opinions that were very beneficial.
In another post, I expressed my frustration with a software program, mentioning the company by name. I quickly received a message from the company’s CCO asking me to email him directly on the problem. By posting the name of the company on Twitter, I received help immediately after weeks of frustration.
Twitter can be a great tool to manage your brand and promote your business if done correctly. If you answer and ask questions, you will be starting dialogues with others. These conversations help you to build a network of people who will in turn listen when you post messages and help when you need it.
Social media doesn’t have to take hours of your time. It can be something you do at set times during the day or week. Short burst of using Twitter can benefit you by building your community, monitoring your brand and subtly promoting your services.
So, for business or personal reasons, take the time to learn and use Twitter. It could help you in your career or promote your company.
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Follow Patricia Hughes on Twitter.