I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about the value of Twitter for businesses. Clients not engaged in social media practices generally have two reactions to Twitter:
1. It’s silly, or;
2. It’s daunting.
Neither happens to be the case. Twitter is one of the most powerful communications platforms on the web. It’s instant, its personal, and it breaks through the nonsense. When initial communication has to be conducted in 140-character bursts its vital to be, in the words of AP reporter Rene J. Cappon: “Pompous, pendantic, and plain.”
Twitter is also easy to set-up and understand. An account can be created within minutes. But that’s also a danger. Twitter isn’t for every business. Like all social media platforms, businesses need to carefully consider why they want to engage with it. It’s important to craft a strategy first.
I’ve been surprised by the number of companies that leap into social media on a whim or from peer pressure with absolutely no plan in place – from starting blogs, to creating Facebook and MySpace Pages, to opening Twitter accounts. And then they are dumbfounded when their social media interactions end up in failure.
Retail establishments would never open a new store without a plan in place. Businesses don’t announce new products or services on a whim. Partaking in social media is a business decision – and needs to be approached in the same way as a public relations program or a marketing campaign. You need a strategy, a tactical plan, and a way to measure success.
Twitter is about engagement, conversation, and interaction. If that sounds right for your business (and why wouldn’t it?) then Twitter should be a consideration.
Here is a slide presentation that outlines 10 compelling reasons why Twitter can be an important resource for businesses. There are probably dozens more. Twitter is a nascent social media platform that is changing and evolving every day. People and companies are using it in new and creative ways. I hope you enjoy the presentation – please feel free to share or download it.