Whenever I ask clients if they have a Twitter account the reaction is pretty much the same across the board: “Why do I care what people are having for breakfast”. Poor old Twitter – it seems that most people think it is a dumbed down version of the Facebook “status” update.
And to be honest, in my early tweeting days, my own behaviour and observations of those I was following mostly supported this line of thinking.
I have since had a lesson in using Twitter for business and have thus discovered the amazing power of Twitter for connecting with individuals I would never have a chance to meet in everyday life. These individuals are thought leaders in my industry and they use Twitter to disseminate some truly useful information. Where before I would use Google to search for industry related information, Twitter now drops it at my feet. As a consequence I have been able to keep tabs on movements out there in the web and design world much more easily that if I waited till I had the time to go looking for the same information. This is a good thing not just for me, but for my clients as well.
On top of being exposed to some seriously good resources I would ordinarily never come across, I have also connected meaningfully with other individuals in my industry. And these connections have resulted in me utilising the services of individuals who are serious jets, and conversely, people who have found ME on Twitter have been able to use my expertise to the advantage of their business.
I think of Twitter as networking without the time commitment or the pressure. With the added bonus that it allows you to extend your reach much further than traditional networking and allows you to connect with some seriously cool, talented and generous individuals.
“But I don’t have time to spend on Twitter.”
Me neither. I’ve got an iPhone and generally speaking I go on Twitter when I am waiting in a queue or while I am the passenger in the car. It’s a great time killer and any useful web links I find on there that I don’t have time to read, I email them to myself to read later.
So how do you use Twitter for business? Well that’s a post for next week but in the mean time, get yourself a Twitter account. You don’t have to use it yet, but at least secure an account in your name.