Today's business executive is overwhelmed by interactive tools, ranging from Web sites to Facebook to LinkedIn to blogs, which can all be used to market products and services.
And then came Twitter, a micro-blogging tool made famous by actors such as Ashton Kutcher, who tells more than 1 million people a day what he's doing at any given time. My clients are asking me what Twitter is and how it can help their businesses.
Twitter allows people to broadcast messages of 140 characters or fewer to others who choose to "follow" them. More than 10 million people use Twitter.
Joel Comm, author of the new book Twitter Power, does a good job of explaining what Twitter is and how to use it as a communication tool. The following is an interview with Comm.
What is the profile of a Twitter user? The latest statistics are strong toward middle-aged professional males, though recent adoption by high-profile celebrities and influencers such as Oprah and Ashton Kutcher have brought a younger and female demographic to the site. I believe usage will continue to broaden across both age and gender, while appealing to a tech-savvy middle- to upper-middle class.
What is the difference between blogging, micro-blogging and Twitter? In order to have your blog or micro-blog entries viewed, people have to visit your site. Because Twitter members "tweet" (post) to the same site, there is a community and network that individual blogs and micro-blogs don't enjoy. It's much easier to have your message seen in a community context of a large site such as Twitter.
There is a four-step process to building relationship that leads to sales: Like me, know me, trust me, pay me. Twitter is not just like real life. It is real life. You cannot circumvent the process of relationship-building and expect great results. The good news is that for the engaged businessperson, Twitter allows you to move people through the relationship-building steps much faster and more efficiently than traditional means of marketing.
It's important to remember that while many people who may follow you on Twitter are not local to your area, the odds are that they are networking with others who are in your area. Since third-party endorsements are very effective, Twitter can help connect customers with businesses in their area very effectively.
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