I was reading a question in Toplinked about a week ago regarding Twitter. I believe the actual question was " "Raise your hand if you don’t really get all the hoopblah about Twitter". I think I was the 100Th person to comment on twitter (The first 90 or so evidently didn't get Twitter either). Of course, after I commented I checked the little box to notify me of future comments on the blog. Over the last week I have been absolutely amazed at the number of comments that say things like this guy "I don't get it either. I think it may work for some business' better than others. I get followers that I have no idea why they would want to follow a local sign shop. I don't even tweet that much. "
It seems that most people that I talk to have this misconception that Twitter is only about letting your "friends" know what you are doing. ITS NOT! I will be the first to tell you that I know that none of the 300 or so followers I have on Twitter care about what I am doing at this very moment, I don't blame them because I don't really care what they are doing right now either.
There are 6 huge benefits of Twitter for a business:
1) Information sharing: Twitter has proven to be a phenomenal way to get information out to the masses. You probably first noticed Twitter during the elections in Iran. Remember; the Government shut down everything they possibly could to hide the rebellion that was occurring in Iran but they couldn't stop Twitter! Studies I have seen indicate that most of the successful Tweeters share links. And that's another power of Twitter.....
2) Links. Links allow you to drive followers to your website, blog, FB page etc... easily.
3) Search: A third power of Twitter is Search. If "Green" was the word of the year for 2009, "Search" could be the word for 2010. There is a silent war going on right now in regards to search. For as long as I have been using the Internet, Google has always been where I go to "Search",now there is Twitter Search and FB Search, the Search possibilities go on and on. Google and Bing even index Tweets now for easier "Real Time Search".
4) Acquisition and connection: A fourth power of Twitter is the opportunity to identify customers and get this.....connect with those customers on a deeper level. Dell gets it, Best Buy gets it, these are 2 companies that actually have a staff of people that do nothing but Tweet about their products and services and build stronger relationships with their customers. I have not been much of a Best Buy fan in the past, (they didn't do anything wrong) but since I have been following them on Twitter, I have a whole new experience with them. I say "them" because BestBuy doesn't seem like an "it" anymore, and its because of Twitter.
5) Apps. If "There is an App For That" on the iphone you can bet there will be one for Twitter. Developers are working overtime to design programs like TweetBeep, FutureTweets, Hootsuite, Seesmic etc... all for the millions of Tweet-aholics.
6) Service. If you are one that expects great service, (like I do,) get ready for an increase in great customer service. I mean disgustingly great service. Not only in restaurants but at large corporations and mom & pop stores too. Programs like Tweetbeep that allow you to monitor keywords will also allow business' to be able to respond immediately to customer complaints. Soon you will be able to Tweet about a poor experience and get an immediate response from the headquarters of that particular company (that scares the heck out of that 15 year old hostess at your favorite restaurant and it will show when she tells you 15 times "your table is almost ready".
Look for companies to include the consumer in the experience in the future as well. Tweet contests are surely coming where companies large and small will encourage tweeters to tweet about a great experience.....they may even reward us for it with 10% off our next purchase! Hooray!!
Companies like Dell and Best Buy are making money with Twitter, and its not a little either. I read a fantastic article today about Dell's success called "Want to Make Money on Twitter? Take a Look at How Dell Does It"
I feel confident enough about Twitter to say that those companies that dont embrace Twitter and all its possibilities will run the risk of being the next Blockbuster Video. Because their competitors will embrace it. Netflix took Blockbuster's lunch money and their is very little they have been able to do about it. Now Blockbuster is saddled with debt and trying to catch up. Here is a free tip......Don't be the next Blockbuster.
At this point you may be saying, "well I'm not a company, I'm a Realtor or Loan Officer." Well last I looked, you were independent contractors. Smart Realtors and Loan Officers will look at their occupation as a business and run it as such. People still do business with those that they like and trust, Twitter can be a fantastic resource to help you reach that end. @MyTitleGuy
Join my Grass Roots effort to take service to the next level here. http://activerain.com/groups/IDS