Many people don't understand Twitter. It's definitely not for everyone, but it's a medium that cannot be ignored.
At this point, your business should be on Twitter. If not, stop reading this article and register at twitter.com so no one else grabs your company name as a user name. You shouldn't use Twitter if you don't have a plan, so if all you get out of this article is to register your business on Twitter, then that's good enough.
While LinkedIn is all about business, Twitter often times is not. Yet, what you or your business does on Twitter could have a greater impact on your organization.
Some companies or industries are often hot topics on Twitter, thus making it easier for businesses to communicate with their customers or potential customers. For example, internet connection issues are a common everyday problem and a source of frustration. When resolved, they're also common for someone to tweet about their frustrating experience. Comcast has done a good job taking this negative customer experience and transforming it into a positive one by providing solid customer service on Twitter. Twitter is a natural fit for a company like Comcast. But what about those companies or industries that aren't being mentioned that often on Twitter? There is still plenty of opportunity.
All businesses are part of a local community or multiple communities. Find those communities on Twitter and become a part of them by following those people in that community, replying to others, and retweeting content that you find appealing and interesting. Answer direct questions about your company, products, and/or services. Above all, be yourself even if you are tweeting for a brand. All these actions are critical to build a following and good reputation on Twitter, but that's just the basics. If you want to take your Twitter efforts to a new level, transform your Twitter connections into "real life" connections by meeting your connections for a cup of coffee or lunch. You will expand your network and strengthen your Twitter connections, who might even become advocates for your brand or organization on Twitter and elsewhere.
While LinkedIn is all about expanding your network through your existing connections, Twitter is more about expanding your network through your own efforts and initiative. Because of this, it's a very attractive social network for entrepreneurs who always need to expand their customer base. This might be very difficult for some, but for others it's a new way to enhance a brand and build a network in a non-traditional manner.
About the Author:
N. Todd Wickersty is co-owner of Business Bullpen, a web application development, design, and online marketing firm in Charlottesville, VA. Before starting his own business, Todd spent most of his career helping sales and operations teams get the most out of technology at Accenture, America Online, and Live Nation/Musictoday. His ability to bridge the gap between business and technology has enabled him to successfully grow Business Bullpen into a web solutions firm that clients can trust and rely upon. Todd holds a MBA with a concentration in InformationTechnology from Virginia Tech along with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies.You can find him online at Linkedin and on Twitter.