What is Twitter.com and how can I use it to help my business?
Unless your Amish or have been living under a rock for the last year, you've probably heard of Twitter.com. But what is it? What does it do? Who uses it? And why should I care?
Well, depending on who you ask or where you look, you'll hear Twitter described as a social networking site, similar to Myspace or Facebook. As a micro blog, a real time friend feed, a hot new Web 2.0 property or an addiction waiting to happen. My favorite metaphor for Twitter is the proverbial Water Cooler. That place where friends stop for just a few minutes to catch up on what happened over the weekend or for updates on any up coming events or any other major happenings trough what are known as Tweets.
Limited to 140 charactors, Twitter was origianlly ment to be a micro blog to help keep friends in the loop as to "What are you doing?" Though like most of the more popular social networks, Twitters popularity, as well as the fact that it is free, has rocketed it into the lime light of the internet markering world. With a global reach and no limit on the amount of friends that you can add, as well as the dozens of software and automation tools, has made Twitter an internet marketing wet dream.
Don't get me wrong, Twitter is not just a big network of spam and advertisements. In fact there are quite a few celebrities and big box companies that have an account. Even a few politicians allegedly have accounts on Twitter.com. I live in a very small rural town and even many of our local "Mom & Pop" businesses have a Twitter account. Many of which offer some type of benefit or perk for following them. Even Google has a Twitter account!
So why should you care about Twitter? Well for starters, it's the 60th most visited website on the internet. They just turned down an offer of $500 million to be purchased by Facebook. And as I said earlier it is free and just about every one from all walks of life are on Twitter. If you have a traditional brick and mortar store you can use Twitter to keep your customers up to date on any promotions or special items you may have on sale. Or to inform your followers of a new item, product or service that you may have recently started to offer. If you have a virtual store or any other type of online business Twitter can be leveraged for free traffic to your websites or as a way of building relationships with your prospects.