Set On the Pathway To Success

Volume 8, Issue #25, 14th Dec 2008
Publisher Irena Whitfield

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Today's Feature Article

How to Use Twitter for Business And Publicity
Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound


It's an unlikely name for a social networking site that some of the largest companies in the world are using for customer service, crisis communications, customer retention and one of the cheapest and most powerful marketing tools on the planet.

The free microblogging service allows users to write messages, up to 140 characters long, directly at the site at, via instant messaging, or through third- party applications such as Facebook.

What is Twitter?

The service asks the question "What are you doing?" While many people respond with things like "I'm taking off for lunch at Panera's" or "I'm trying to repair my printer," others have found a wide variety of ways to use it as a valuable business tool.

Twitter is so named because the flow of updates is like the chirping of a bird. When you send an update, it's called a tweet. The people who tweet are called twitterers or tweeters, not twits. And when you rebroadcast a message that has appeared earlier, that's called a retweet.

When you sign up for Twitter, you get a page where your updates are published, as well as those of the people you follow. The concept of following is similar to adding friends on other social sites. Other Twitter features include the ability to send direct messages to your contacts and to mark tweets as favorites so you can find them easily later.

Why Twitter Is Successful

One reason for Twitter's success is the wide array of methods you can use for posting updates.

In addition to the web-based interface on the Twitter site itself, users can take advantage of instant messaging or mobile phones to send updates to their home page. In addition, there are several Twitter mashups (web applications that combine Twitter data with other data) that enhance the functionality of the basic web interface. These tools allow you to update Twitter from your desktop or from unsupported I'm clients, to post links to photos, to search for particular keywords, to update Twitter from your blog, to use it with other social networking sites, and to track updates around particular topics.

How Businesses and Nonprofits Use Twitter

Businesses and nonprofits are experimenting with dozens of ways to use Twitter. Here are just a few of them:

As a crisis communications tool.

  • To announce new products and services.

  • To promote your new articles and blog posts.

  • To follow journalists who Twitter and find out what they think is important.

  • To respond to media coverage, good or bad

  • To monitor what others are saying about you and your brand

  • To comment on journalists' articles--particularly journalists who you are targeting

I'll bet you can come up with at least three ideas on how you can use it. I hope you'll follow me on Twitter by clicking on the "Follow" button under my photo. I'll follow you, too.

Then tweet about how you're using Twitter. I'd love to see what you're doing.

For dozens more ideas on how businesses and nonprofits are using Twitter, see Special Report #52: How to Use Twitter for Business to Network, Promote, Sell, Recruit & Profit by clicking here.

Start Your Own Home Business


People like to imagine that because all our mechanical equipment moves so much faster, that we are thinking faster, too.
Christopher Morley

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