How Can I Use Twitter For Business?

Filed in Uncategorized by on January 20, 2009 2 Comments

So exactly what is Twitter?

Wikipedia describes Twitter as “a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users’ updates (otherwise known as tweets), which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.”

That’s a pretty good way to explain it. I think I would also add that it is more like a text based telephone than a micro-blog. Of course it is a telephone conversation that anyone can listen to. But I think this is the power of Twitter. And Twitter for business can be very powerful.

Twitter gives you an opportunity to be transparent as a business allowing you to build a case for yourself or your company through dialogue.

My friend Lee from Common Craft made this short video explaining Twitter in everyday language.  This is ” Twitter In Plain English. ”

My experience with Twitter

I thought Twitter was really stupid until I gave it a try. And then I still thought it was stupid.

My problem was misunderstanding how it can be used as a tool for business and communications. But I’ve really changed my mind on this. And now Twitter has become indispensable to me and our business.

The tipping point personally came when I was recently speaking at a conference in Las Vegas. If you’ve ever been to the Las Vegas Convention Center, you’ll appreciate the fact that even a smart guy like me was able to get lost. The building is a small city and navigation can at times be very difficult. In order to find my way around I pulled up Twitter on my cell phone and tweeted out a quick message asking for directions. Within moments I had an answer from a stranger who was following me and was able to easily find my way to the conference hall.

The tipping point for my business came when clients began contacting me from seeing Tweets. I decided right then and there to begin taking this Twitter thing seriously and have developed some strategies for how we are using Twitter in our own company.

Things your company can do with Twitter

Twitter for business?

Yes.

While Twitter can  be used for actual business communications, it is important to remember that this tool isn’t for everyone. It should be used wisely like any tool online. I would say that about 80% of businesses can use Twitter to:

  • Listen to what people are talking about in your market or industry
  • Break news related to your industry or customers
  • Link to insightful articles that will help your clients
  • Offer quick tips to help people with particular problems
  • Conduct surveys to get instant feedback
  • Spread knowledge by re-tweeting other’s posts
  • Ask for customer service feedback and engage those folks

Twitter is one of the most interesting and fastest growing online applications for personal and business communications. Even if you decide Twitter isn’t for you,  at least give it a try and do some experimentation. There are a lot of opportunities to harness Twitter for your business.

Joel Mark Witt is a producer, speaker, and new media leader who writes about social media and its impact in the business world. He is also the Founding Director of Folk Media. Send him an email: joelmarkwitt (at) folkmedia.org or follow him on Twitter.

*Photo by seyDoggie

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  1. How Long Can You Go Without Tweeting On Twitter | Joel-Mark-Witt.com | January 21, 2009
  1. Colin Devroe says:

    That is really a well thought out list Joel. After reading it I compared it to how I’ve used it in the past, and the companies I’ve been involved with have, and we’ve used every one of those uses. Well done.

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