Twitter: Legitimate Business Tool or Fluff?

Updated: June 22, 2010

Twitter has tremendous potential and should be viewed as a social media tool that can help you to increase your business, and hence, your business's revenue, in many different ways.

There is a great misconception about Twitter and that is that a large group of people are just sitting around discussing their most recent shoe purchase or the fact that they are sitting on their deck, sunbathing. That is only a part of how people use Twitter.

People who are not very comfortable with Twitter yet may dismiss it as fluff compared with other social media channels. That couldn't be further from the truth. Twitter allows you to interact with a very large number of people at once, including industry thought leaders; share industry-related headlines; and find out easily what your competition is up to. It is an extremely helpful and useful tool for your business.

Twitter allows you to share valuable information that can have an impact on individuals in business as well as the companies themselves. It is very important to start to think of Twitter and its usefulness from this perspective. Once you do that, there is tremendous untapped potential that can have wonderful implications for your business. Additionally, an excellent feature that you should take advantage of for your business as often as possible is Twitter's search feature. You can search Twitter on a very wide range of topics, which you can then communicate to others. It is a good idea for you to have Twitter in your toolbox in order to keep it at your fingertips.

When you use Twitter as part of your social media marketing strategy correctly, it is very powerful and will help your business a great deal.

The following are some tips on how to use Twitter for business purposes:

· Make sure to have a plan in place: In order to be able to achieve the best possible results for your business, you need to have a plan in place and really follow it. A plan in this case is a social media strategy on how you will leverage Twitter for your business. You need to have an extremely clear idea of what you will tweet about for your business, the frequency of your tweeting, whether your tweets will serve to brand your business, how your tweets will drive traffic, etc.

Many business people have the problem of not having enough time in their day to accomplish everything that they want to accomplish. It is very important to put yourself on a schedule for when you will be communicating for your business through Twitter. If you don't do that, other things will start to take precedence and before you know it, you will have forgotten to use Twitter altogether. Whether you choose to tweet once a week, twice a week, or three times a week, it doesn't matter as long as you stick to a consistent schedule.

· Make sure that the appropriate people are targeted: There are many ways to focus your Twitter interaction on the appropriate location, industry, keywords, etc. It may help you if you build a list of followers who fit exactly what and whom you are trying to target. If you want to really reach people with your marketing messages, you need to find a way to do it as easily and quickly as possible.

· Make sure that you communicate: Twitter has the potential to become your central communication tool online. You can connect your tweets to your LinkedIn account and post your tweets on your Facebook page and Facebook fan page.

You can categorize your tweets separately: branding tweets, informational tweets and follower tweets.

  • Branding tweet: A communication without a link. You might use a quote that you find valuable to share with others or you might ask a thought-provoking question.
  • Informational tweet: A communication that allows you to share information that others have shared with you. It might be in the form of an article, an interesting application or a new social media tool.
  • Follower tweet: A communication that includes a link. The purpose of this tweet is to compel people to click on the link. This is an excellent tweet for sharing blog posts, articles and driving someone to a landing page.

· Make sure that you pace your tweets: One good way to slow down the pace of your tweets is if you filter them through LinkedIn or Facebook. In LinkedIn, your lastest tweet will show on your status until you post a new tweet and in Facebook, your latest tweet will remain on your wall for three or four days.

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