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Why Twitter?

30 April, 2015

Twitter for Business: Being 10 compelling reasons you’re twit not to tweet … !

This post is aimed mainly at people in business (either self-employed – or employees of an organisation) who have yet to be convinced that Twitter has any business benefits – as I am always meeting people who just do not get it! Mike and Neal – I am thinking of you for example (though you are not the only ones!). This is an attempt to let you know what you are missing!

Of course – if you are a visitor who has come here as a result of one of my tweets … it means  you already appreciate the benefits of Twitter …  so I am in a sense “preaching to the converted”!  Nevertheless …  if you have friends like mine who are not on Twitter then you may care to send them a link to this post – and I will see if I can convert them! Read on and see if you agree!

I am convinced the problem is largely due to the name! “Twitter” has an image problem – it just doesn’t sound “businesslike”! The name conjures up a flock of birds “twittering” – an inane chattering with no meaning or substance!

Calling it “social media” doesn’t help either – with its connotations of teenagers using it to keep in touch with their mates.  In its early days this may have been the case – unfortunately it has led to some people having an outdated understanding about the huge potential Twitter presents for anyone in business. (Plus of course teenagers have moved on to other platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Whisper and Yik Yak – to name but a few!)

I am always surprised by people who still have the “old fashioned” view that it is a time-wasting irrelevance, full of “idle chit chat” and banal, inconsequential ramblings. Either that or they have heard about the misuse of Twitter by “trolls” who vent their disapproval on other users, or people who use it subversively. (See my previous post where a friend said he believed it was “a dangerous vehicle for stupid, ignorant and anti-social bigots not to mention psychopaths and terrorists” and that he thought it should be shut down as a result because it doesn’t make the world a nicer place!

Clearly I disagree! By that reasoning …  should we also shut down all other forms of communication which permit the same misuse… mobile phones, email and the internet?  Why blame it all on Twitter??

No – while there is undoubtedly misuse – and there are people who use it in a trivial way …  the beauty of Twitter is that YOU ARE IN CONTROL! You do not have to see anything you do not like, or be bothered with boring tweets! The other main advantage is the brevity enforced by the 140 character limit. While seemingly a disadvantage (how can anything meaningful be written in so few words?) it actually forces users to be concise – plus the fact that irrelevant tweets can be scrolled past in an instant, saving time! Subject matter that needs to be elaborated on can always be written in a blog with links on Twitter summarising the content, and pointing you to where you can get more information.

Bearing this in mind …  here are my top 10 reasons for being on Twitter – from a business point of view. Any one of them I feel is a good enough reason for signing up! Taken together I hope they provide a compelling argument for any nay-sayers to sign up straight away!

1) Information: Twitter keeps you aware of developments in your own areas of interest: new ideas, new products, new trends and the activities of your clients and competitors. Knowledge is Power!
2) Networking: if you wish to form business relationships with potential customers or associates – you can appear on their radar and make them aware of your interest by following them, commenting their tweets and retweeting some of them. Done subtly, it’s lead generation by another name.
3) Marketing, Advertising, PR and SALES!  Twitter allows you to get your message across as to what your service or product benefits are. It also helps improve your SEO and drive traffic to your website.
4) Visibility:  tweet regularly and cleverly to attract the interest of your potential customers. If your competitors are tweeting and you’re not … then they exist and you don’t!
5) Control: Twitter not only helps you paint a picture of what you do, it allows you to manage your internet presence, shape the perception of your brand and show off your offering in the best possible light.
6) Rapport: Twitter allows you to “humanise” yourself and show your personality! So don’t just tweet business and promotional messages – occasional tweets about the “interesting” things you do can help build up a picture of “you” as a person – or as an organisation. (But please – no tweets about what you had for breakfast!) (Unless it’s on top of Mt. Everest ….)
7) Awareness: Twitter can provide real time market intelligence – allowing you to monitor your marketplace, keeping you “up-to-date” and able to react to trends and developments.
8) Market Research: Similar to the above – Twitter also allows you to monitor your own reputation, seek feedback and improve customer service.
9) Credibility: Subtle tweeting of your activities and successes can reinforce your brand awareness, and help establish your credibility. Join in debates and discussions in your subject area, and post links to articles, websites and blogs (especially if they are your own blog posts!). Don’t over-do it – and be wary of automated tweets!
10) Fun! If all the above seems a bit “heavy” – let’s not forget Twitter allows you to show a sense of humour – so occasional tweets (and retweets) that are funny, interesting or unusual should also be a part of your Twitter “mix”!

And finally … I thought I should point out that the phrase I used in my opening paragraph “you’re a twit not to tweet” does not mean you have to post tweets….  On the contrary – many of the benefits above can be gained simply by having a twitter account in order to “lurk” –  that is to be able to look in an keep up with what’s happening in the world you are interested in. Though frankly – if you are in business you will undoubtedly be someone who wants to “engage” with your clients and associates … and I am sure it will not take you long to dip your toe in the water and post a comment – even if it means just re-tweeting someone else’s tweet – which is always a good way to start!

It’s all summarised by a Twitter devotee that I follow (@joshcoffy) who recently wrote: “Twitter generates insane amounts of traffic, subscribers, sales, and brand advocates for Flight Media — every month.”                 You can’t argue with that!

Have I left anything out?  Do you have other benefits of using Twitter to share with me and my readers? If so – I ‘d be delighted to hear them! Please post a comment in the box below – or drop me an email!

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