Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Twitter for business - build your own marketing channel

Twitter has seen a lot of media exposure recently - the majority of which has been good, compared to the negative press about Facebook recently. One of the big questions is what use is twitter for business and how best to make use of it.

As a communications tool, Twitter can be used both externally and internally.

Internally, twitter can provide a channel for managing fast status updates and for example information on current team news, locations, contactability. Twitter allows for updates to be maintained as private - meaning that you have to be invited to be able to view them, which is a perfect solution for managing team or business communications in a way that can be extended to include your clients or external partners.

Externally, Twitter can provide a great way for your customers to follow your activities and for you to follow and identify with your customers. It is a great place to announce new products and services, and making sure that each status update that you post contains a URL for your site can be demonstrated to generate direct web traffic. To extend the reach of your own Twitter network, you can also identify similar interest groups following other compatible organisations and follow their followers. This will likely encourage them to follow you back (the Twitter popultion are by there very nature gregarious) and so expand the reach of your status updates.

Twitter also publish good documentation and an API that allows you to embed your Twitter feed onto your web page or to build custom pages or applications that use Twitter as component.

Like blogging twitter can be used to increase the traffic and awareness of your business and it's products or services, and more importantly, as a tool to identify and engage with your customers.