Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the followers. That’s why information on Twitter is short, to the point and effective. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. You can access Twitter via Web, Desktop Applications and even SMS. While the service costs nothing to use, accessing it through SMS may incur phone service provider fees.
I started using tweeter some time ago. Surprisingly after few days of posting some tweets it started getting indexed in Google. While Google continues to dominate the world of “search”, it has a long way to go in offering real-time search capabilities.
Twitter is a powerful communication platform providing social networkers the opportunity to post updates in real-real time. The growth of twitter has been so phenomenal that Google also started paying attention and it is indexing Tweets. Many Twitter pages and individual tweets can be seen on the first page of Google.
Then I started learning more about it. Rather than using it just as a social networking platform, if used properly, it can benifit you in so many ways including by boosting your personal brand and enhancing website traffic. I want to list down some of the methods by which Twitter can benefit us:
- A Powerful Tool for Obtaining Information / news. Twitter users often link to useful sites or articles and can be a source of scoops and alternative news. This is very useful for active social news participants as they can subscribe to Twitter feeds for specific websites/conferences, which allows them to receive and view content quickly.Twitter can be quite an effective search tool for researching any kind of information. The results can complement other methods or sources of information. Twitter has a wide range of users, who constantly update Twitter with new information on different niches.
- To reinforce Personal Brand and awareness. Twitter is a social media platform which has the primary advantage of developing a social brand that is well-connected and accessible. Due its vast usage, Twitter can be a used for promoting your products and services and establish your brand. If you have established business you can use Twitter to enhance your brand image. On the other hand if you have a smaller business with limited brand awareness then Twitter can be excellent for promoting and establishing your brand among enormous audience.
- Get Feedback. Twitter provides you with an opportunity to join a group of interest by following others who are influential within your niche. Twitter also allows businesses to communicate with customers and receive feedback in a casual and cost effective manner. It can prove useful in understanding and obtaining consumer opinion about new products or services or new ideas. You can also use Twitter to communicate new ideas with people and test public opinion. Bloggers sometimes use Twitter to discuss ideas for new posts.
- Use it as HR tool to Recruit People. Want to hire a good web analyst, web designer, or programmer? Send out a tweet asking for recommendations. This is a very quick and easy way to hire freelancers or even companies based on familiar recommendations.
- Marketing Opportunities. Twitter can be used in promoting your products and services. It is a cost effective method to increase awareness about your products or services. You can use it to inform customers about any new announcement or special offers. Twitter offers all the advantages of traditional text message marketing and more. It can prove to be a useful tool for conducting market research by better understanding of potential or existing customers.
- Boost your website traffic. Twitter can be used to direct traffic to your websites. If you tweet about your website, the message will spread faster and further as other active users pick it up and re-tweet it. Bloggers often use Twitter to inform their audience of any new posts on their blog by posting links on Twitter. Thus Twitter can be seen as a traffic generation tool. The placement of links within profiles and conversations can direct visitors to a specific website and is especially powerful if you pitch to early adopters and influencers.
- Make new friends. Twitter has a built-in function for you to befriend and track the messages of other users. This is a simple way for you connect with like minded people outside of your usual circle. A Twitter association can be developed into a long term acquaintance.
- Spreading Social Network. Twitter is an excellent tool to help bloggers share links to content which is of mutual interest to like minded people. On a personal level Twitter allows one to communicate with friends and family or close network of connections. On an organizational level Twitter allows colleagues who are not co-located to communicate with each other or businesses to communicate with their customers. With Twitter it is also possible to target a specific niche or audience by following others from your industry. It can thus allow a business to build contacts within the industry. Communities have developed around many of Twitter groups or niches. Twitter can be used to establish reliable and long term relationships for future benefits such as testimonials or peer recommendations.
- Get Votes. Send a link to your stories you’ve submitted in other social news sites like Digg. Your followers might vote up the stories if they agree with it. This allows you to acquire more support for your efforts on other social media websites
- Event Updates. Twitter can be used as a means to inform event participants and latest event happenings/changes by entrepreneurs. This is a stress-free way to broadcast information. Businesses have also used Twitter effectively to measure the performance of campaigns.
- Promotion. Twitter can be used as a promotional tool to announce offline endeavors or upcoming online events (webinars, virtual tradeshows etc). If you are an e-commerce site, perhaps you have a deal of the day or seasonal offers where you can promote these deals. The fact is you do not want to be too promotional, but Twitter does present the opportunity to promote your products or service and brand to your friends.
- SEO Boost. If you have good content on your website and you want to drive additional traffic to this content on your website, you can use Twitter to do so. A quick tweet with the URL can help drive additional traffic to a preferred landing page on your site to help persuade the conversion on your site.
- Find future Prospects online. Twitter allows you to interact with potential prospects and your target audience. While you do not want to be in direct touch all of the time, Twitter does allow you to engage with your prospects by re-tweeting their posts or responding to something that they may have tweeted about. Discretion and tact is needed in this area.
- Twitter and Mobile. Since Twitter is very simple to use and is limited to 140 characters, mobile use with Twitter is also easy. You can both send and receive updates what you and your friends are doing on the go using a simple SMS. Twitter can be a great mobile communication tool. As we know in business, this can be a pretty powerful thing.
- Offer live exposure. Twitter’s message size limit prevents detailed coverage of events but it can allow you to provide real-time commentary which may help to spark further discussion or interest on the event as other Twitter users spread the message. Very useful for citizen journalism.
In short, Twitter allows you to monitor how influencers think or feel, you can also get into their attention zone via active networking. For businesses, Twitter is another channel which connects current and potential customers with your product or brand. It allows deeply infiltration into the lifestyles of interested participants, which helps to build brand persistence/loyalty. So twitter can be used a tool to achieve simple aim of tracking and directing attention from various groups of your interest and in turn drive business.