Twitter is not for the faint of heart. That being said, can Twitter be useful for business? It depends.
One of the newest social networking sites is Twitter. It sounds like a movement birds make. In fact it is a quick way to send messages to your favorite people via the Internet. Due to its popularity with people all over the world, many entrepreneurs wonder if Twitter can actually help them grow their business.
In order to answer that question we first need to find out what exactly Twitter is? It is a social networking site which allows people to keep in touch with friends, family, and others. Through a series of short posts, important information is sent to a person’s followers. Those short posts are called “tweets.”
Twitter has been used by people to send messages to their friends. The posts can be 140 characters long at most, which allows for quick, precise exchanges of information. If you wanted to let your family know that the reunion this year is in New England, and they needed to volunteer to do something, it would be easy to send them all a tweet at one time. When someone logs into their Twitter account or views your Twitter profile page, they would then see the message. They can then respond to you by posting a tweet of their own.
Twitter is real time communication for people who need to contact others right away. Some wondered if Twitter was just a fancy way of texting someone on the computer. Send a tweet to your husband to say dinner is moved to 7:30. Tell a friend you’ve just bought that blouse you saw last week. If you only want to allow certain people to see the messages you are sending, you can easily mark your profile and updates as private.
Although many use Twitter as a more personal way to communicate, even more treat it as a virtual water cooler to connect with all types of people the world over. It seems as if tweeting would get boring after a while. Not so. With talkative friends you could be tweeted to death in a matter of days. Many actually find themselves losing precious time in their day chit-chatting with those with similar interests.
For the skeptical folks who want to know if tweeting will eventually tank, businesses have found a use for the social network that can increase their utilization and visibility on the Internet. First, let’s say that you have an office of fifty employees. Sending a memo every time there is a big announcement creates a lot of paper to file or leave for the trash man.
Businesses can now use protected Twitter messages to keep employees updated on departmental changes as well as company wide agendas. Employees can subscribe to the company feed set up on Twitter. Whenever there is something important posted, they will be notified.
The same goes for small one-owner and Internet businesses and their customers. Customers can subscribe to the company feed to learn about new products and other useful information. I use it frequently to announce new listings for my eBay store. New businesses can create interesting tweets that produce interest and can be re-posted by others to help get the business or owner noticed.
However, keep in mind that while the majority of Tweeters are pleasant, some can be downright snarky and catty. Having an unmanageable amount of followers takes away from building relationships. Therefore some unfollowing is necessary. Many followers take offense at being unfollowed and will then Tweet not-so-nice comments. Other Tweeters will try to undermine your Tweets and links by saying your link contains a Trojan. Rather than comment on your blog post and leave their name, some will blatantly Tweet a nasty remark. At times it takes all the joy out of Twitter.
Twitter fills a niche in the social networking sector and is here to stay. Businesses have found a way to make Twitter work to their advantage, whether they are work at home moms longing for adult interaction or reaching out to a broader audience to increase profit.
Is it for you? It’s up to you to decide.