As I have blogged about a few times, there is no social media network that is debated more than Twitter. Most people simply say ‘I just don’t get it’ which is fine – neither did I for the first six months. Once someone signs up, starts playing around and exploring Twitter something interesting happens, they begin to see the benefits. I have endeavored to outline a few of the key advantages to using Twitter for business and here goes:
One of the chief benefits of Twitter and indeed all of social media is that your messages go out instantly. If you need to flog tickets to the game you can’t go to tonight, Twitter will be the quickest route. If you have three empty rooms in your hotel for the weekend, just tweet out a half price offer and you will get the bookings flow in.
On top of that, you are able to instantly communicate with customers, to instantly see what your competitors are up to and what the current trends are in your industry.
Nobody can argue with the fact that Twitter is the place to be for online networking. Anyone that signs up for Twitter is expecting to learn, share and make new connections. This means they don’t really mind you striking up contact as long as it’s done in an authentic and non-promotional manner.
Think back at all those networking events you have attended offline, I bet they generated pretty decent results for your business – just like Twitter will do.
Access all areas
Social media brings human communication ever closer and Twitter epitomizes this. Where else can you see what Lady Gaga, Nick Clegg and Richard Branson are up to in real time? People like these are typically surrounded by an army of gatekeepers that prevent you from having any direct contact – Twitter nicely sidesteps this and allows you to get in touch in an instant.
To put that in a business context; you will be able to follow and tweet with procurement managers, CFOs, HR directors, basically anyone that typically gets inundated with sales calls will be contactable on Twitter with no gatekeeper in the way.
Traffic back to the ranch
The fact that you can get people clicking back to your site and/or blog is probably the main driver for most companies using Twitter. Done right, you will be able to attract a targeted audience to engage with your blog content, to get in touch with enquiries or even place an order on your site straight away.
I don’t think traffic alone should be a reason to get on Twitter as people see through that very quickly and simply respond with ignoring or unfollowing you. Traffic back to your site will be a by-product of your authentic engagement with an audience.
Listen and learn
Twitter is instant and you get access to everyone; this means you are able to get news straight from the source in real time. If you listen to the right people in your industry, you’ll be able to stay very well informed and probably ahead of everyone else. So before you start tweeting out your gospel, it’s best to take your time and listen.
It’s a fact that most bloggers, PR people and even journalists use Twitter as their first port of call for news. You should do what the professionals do; monitor the right Twitter accounts and you’ll keep yourself ahead of the pack.
Whilst most would argue that a blog is required to establish thought leadership, I would say Twitter comes close second. You can showcase your skills of identifying and sharing great content, of interacting and engaging with others and generally helping to solve problems – all the hallmarks of a thought leader.
An example of someone who is constantly providing inspiration and solving problems on Twitter is Malcolm Levene, who has very loyal followers and a true reach. Malcolm blogs as well but Twitter seems to be a channel that works really well for him.
See the value yet?
It took me a few months to get it but I did see the light in the end. Twitter is a very powerful tool that can render great results in business when applied correctly. If I haven’t converted you yet, please drop me a comment and say so (or just tweet me)!