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I talk about Twitter every day to at least one person. I remember, before I started to use it, that it seemed pretty irrelevant to my life and business. I couldn’t understand the flexibility and potential of a platform that limited your messages to 140 characters. It seemed little more than a one-dimensional chat room and a play toy for people with time to waste.

But my curiosity got the better of me about a year ago and I began to venture out into this slightly intimidating world. It is really a kind of communication miracle, in my estimation. So many possibilities. Before going into the nuts and bolts (in a future post) of how to get started with Twitter for your business, pleasure or inspiration, I should give you a few reasons to use it.

How many communication tools can you name that will do all of the following:

  • Customer Relations Tool: Answer questions, address customer dilemmas, or do surveys to find out what customers are thinking. Enhance your credibility.
  • Reputation management: Research your brand, products or area of interest on the web…. what are people saying about you?
  • Lead Generation: Search for people that show interest in your topic area or product and plug them into your network.
  • Supply Chain Management: Keep everyone instantaneously connected on a private or public network… even by text messaging updates to mobile devices.
  • Promote Events: Publicize workshops or concerts. You can put all event coordinators/assistants on a private Twitter account to receive instant updates by mobile phone
  • Issue Advocacy: Want to gain awareness for obscure but important issues. Put it out there on Twitter and direct viewers to your blog or site.
  • Fund Raising:  I have personally seen instances of non-profits raising money for worthy causes.
  • Product promotion: Keep fans up to date on product updates and new features.
  • Sales: What’s happening now: members-only deals, weekly discount, anniversary special or two-for-one sale.
  • Generate Traffic to blog or site tell them when you post a new article on your blog or product on your ecommerce store.
  • Managing and scheduling employees: Create a private company Twitter account and keep everyone in touch by text messaging tweets to their mobiles.
  • Brainstorming and research : Ask for ideas from others in your area of expertise. See what others are saying about a service or product for which you’re in the market.
  • Customer Interaction: Interacting with your customers or prospects directly (follow us for tips).
  • Create a News Feed: Create a Daily (or hourly) news feed about your topic area. Readers can check in over the web or by mobile device.

And, of course,  the infrastructure for all of this is free (so far) and instantaneous. Such a deal!

Twitter (along with other services) represents the beginning of an entirely new dynamic paradigm on the web. Sure it will eventually fade or morph into something else…like all communication media inevitably do… But this one is worth your attention.

Twitter is truly a genie in a bottle. But you need to know how to set it free. The next post will explore how to build and develop your Twitter community and how to begin using this innovative resource to fulfill your wishes.

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