Andy Green's Blog

A web-workers world…

Getting the Best Out of Twitter

In case you haven’t heard of it, Twitter it is a relatively new social networking tool that lets you connect with friends and keep in touch it in real time. People have called it “micro-blogging,” because the messages you send and receive from people you “follow” (and who follow you) is limited to just 140 characters. This is pretty limited, but at these short little “bursts” of messages can also make you pretty creative.

Twitter can also be a time waster, but it’s also become a valuable marketing tool. Why? Because you can basically communicate with people in shorthand without having to plow through lots of words to get your message across. Instead, you can instantly tell someone who’s following you what they want to know.

· Use “micro-blogging” to advertise your business

Most of us know what blogging is by now, but you might not know what “micro-blogging” is. Basically, it’s what Twitter does, with its 140-character limit. Again, being limited to 140 characters with a message requires you to cut to the chase and get your message out. No laboring over perfect sentence structure, no using hyped up text to try to get people to go to your website. Instead, it’s really just a basic, bare-bones communication method that lets those who are interested in you and what you do find out more. And of course, you can use Twitter to help drive people to your blog or website, where they can find out more information about what you sell.

· Network with other like-minded people

In many cases, Twitter can remove some of the heavy-handed formality that comes with so-called “business” meetings. By having a “meeting” in this sort of informal, quick as lightning exchange, people not only get down to business right away, but they also are less constrained by social “niceties,” if you want to put it that way, and can have a little fun, too. In a lot of ways, it’s a good icebreaker that gets business partnerships or a hook up with a potential client off on a really good foot. You might call Twitter the “backyard get-together” version of a business meeting, and it lets people relax and have fun right away, which is really only good for business relationships or for getting your products or services sold.

· Got a niche that you need to keep up on, instantaneously?

Twitter is actually a great way to find out about your particular niche in the marketing or business industry; with Twitter, you can find out from friends of a like mind that something’s happening before any other news sources find out about it. This can give you a leg up on your competition, or at least make you tops with your customers.

· It can save time

Twitter can save you time because keeping up with people this way might mean that you have to use your e-mail, instant messaging, RSS feeds, etc., less often. It’s quicker than any of these methods to send or receive something, and takes less time to use, too.

· It’s just plain fun

Keep up with friends this way, too. It’s as great for casual conversation as it is for business. In fact, it really was meant originally for casual use and has only recently been evolving into a means of actual business communication.

Some caveats:

When you first begin to use Twitter, you’ll likely find yourself overwhelmed by the plethora of pure chatter you encounter that doesn’t mean anything to you. That’s okay; you can learn to ignore these people and screen it out so that you only get what you want to see.

Finally, Twitter can be addicting in a bad way. Make sure you turn it off and reengage with real-life on a regular basis. It’s fun to use, sure, but only if you use it as an asset, not as an addiction.

With that said, why not try Twitter? It can be a blast (both professionally and personally) if you use it right.

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February 12, 2009 - Posted by | Social Networking | , , , , ,

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