The latest social media craze has hit the business world in the form of Twitter. It’s been around since April 2007, so it’s not exactly brand new. But over the past 9 months it has been picked up by businesses, big and small, all over the world and is fast becoming a rather nifty marketing tool.
But what is Twitter exactly, and how it is being used in business?
Twitter is officially described as a “micro-blogging service.” It allows a user to send and read other users’ updates, similar to mobile phone texts and instant messaging, but with only 140 characters (the micro part) per tweet (a tweet being one twitter message).
The blogging part comes in because it is driven by a RSS feed, which allows you to read and send your twitter feed in to any medium you desire, for example as a text to your phone, to a widget on your website, to your status update on your facebook page.
But so what?
This sounds all very technical and geeky but what on earth has Twitter got to do with your business?
If you are running a business from home and looking for ways to engage with potential clients, then Twitter has everything to do with your business.
The Internet is no longer a place for teenagers and “them young folk.” The Internet has moved in to, what geeky-tech people like to refer to as, Web 2.0: the next stage of using the Internet where conversations online have never been easier or more important to marketing your business.
Social Media (which is another one of the techy-geek phrases!) refers to the online tools that have moved the internet in to this second phase.
Tools such as facebook, LinkedIn, blogs and online forums are all important Social Media tools that allow you, the business, to showcase your expertise, reach out to potential clients and start to engage in conversations which ultimately win you business.
And this is where Twitter fits in.
Twitter can be used as a marketing tool to generate conversations, irrespective of whether your potential clients understand how to use Twitter or not.
Why is Twitter fast becoming the most talked about online marketing tool?
1. It’s simple. Having only 140 characters takes away the pressure of writing long articles so you can share thoughts, ideas and tips quickly and easily.
2. It’s to the point. 140 characters means you have to write what you mean & don’t get bogged down with flowery, over the top language.
3. It’s quick. Type, click, send and you are published.
4. It can be automated. Feed your blog postings in to your twitter account and set up your tweets in advance using an application called TweetLater and you can be tweeting throughout the day without being there to do it.
5. It’s mobile. Tweet via text messaging or wifi on your phone and it means you don’t have to be desk bound to keep your marketing messages flowing.
6. It’s interactive. Twitter’s feed capabilities means that potential clients who have never heard of twitter can still benefit from your tweets via your website, blog or updating your online networking status.
Having used Twitter since August of last year, I have to confess to being hooked. Yes, it can be addictive and after a few weeks, I had to put processes in to place to ensure Twitter didn’t end up absorbing hours of time and stopping me from focusing on my business goals.
But Twitter is not just a fad that will come and go. It is certain to grow and develop so it can integrate in to other applications, such as the latest link up with LinkedIn, and there is no doubt that more and more businesses will jump aboard the Twitter train to use it to grow their brands and win more business.
Are you ready to dip your toe in the twitter-water?
About the Author: Karen Skidmore helps self-employed professionals and home business owners to create successful (and profitable!) business from home. To subscribe to her free email newsletter and get access to practical advice and marketing ideas that will move your business forward, visit www.CanDoCanBe.com