Twitter is one of the fastest-growing blog sites on the Internet. The basic idea behind Twitter is to give people a free online forum in which they can update a network of friends, family, associates and co-workers about their activities in a brief message (i.e. “I’m bored at work right now and can’t wait to eat that pizza in my fridge at home!” or “Weather is bad in Philly today – wish I was on the beach”).
Because the messages are so short (less than 140 characters), it is referred to as “micro-blogging.” People seem to like Twitter for its ease of use and instant connection into people’s lives. Even small businesses have gotten into the act, using Twitter as a popular marketing tool.
Before you get started, here are some basic terms you will need to know:
- Twitter – the overall service/web site that provides free accounts to Internet users
- Tweet – The short messages you type for the public to see (remember, they must be no more than 140 characters)
- Twitterati – Members of Twitter/ power users of the site with large followings
The first way to use Twitter as a marketing tool is to increase the level of awareness of your business and services. By posting regular messages about your sales, events or personnel, you can give a human face to your company. In addition, regular tweets also inform customers of business updates and provide a chance to interact with you personally. Finally, tweets inform bloggers and techies about your company, which can influence online reviews of your products.