As most of you already know, Twitter is social media platform that allows “micro-blogging” or, the creation of short messages 140 characters or less. Messages are made via an application on cell phones or tablets or through Twitter’s website. Twitteris a social platform because it enables users to friend each other by reading each other’s messages or “Tweet” updates. It also has a private messaging feature.

Twitter is basically similar to an IRC channel and some experts call Twitter a slightly slower version of an instant messaging service.

All in all, Twitter presents its users a fragmented experience of other users’ ideas, opinions, news, updates and more. The service is structured for transparency: users can effortlessly follow thousands of other users and watch or chime into conversations being made among several users at one time.

For business owners and marketing professionals, Twitter can be used as a simple tool to create messages that promote businesses and products. Doing these methods require engagement with other users and followers.

Besides being used as a tool used for publicity, Twitter is inherently social. It allows individuals to communicate with their personal friends and acquaintances. Leisa Reichelt, the Head of User Research at the Government Digital Service in the United Kingdom’s Cabinet Office, says using Twitter creates a sort of “ambient intimacy”.

“Ambient intimacy is about being able to keep in touch with people with a level of regularity and intimacy that you wouldn’t usually have access to, because time and space conspire to make it impossible,” said Leisa Reichelt.

A General Overview of Twitter for Marketing Purposes

There’s thousands of articles and guides available that discuss how Twitter can be utilized for marketing purposes. Most of them can be described in one phrase: following and pointing attention to your brand. Twitter gives you the ability to track how users feel or think, and also allows you get their attention through engagement and networking.

Twitter helps businesses connect with both current and future customers. The social media platform helps brands send their message to various types of lifestyles, which builds brand customer loyalty.

Twitter can also be known as a traffic generator tool. By placing links into conversations and profiles, businesses can show visitors their website and tell them where they can get more information about their products or services. This is important if you try to get the attention of influential people.

Sometimes it can be difficult to reach specific audiences that you want. However, as most Twitter users are Internet pros, it can be hard to only target a certain demographic and also conclude the potential of their interest in your business.

Marketing through Twitter also requires engagement between two parties; the business owner or marketer has to engage in conversations with their users and customers.

Since Twitter isn’t all that difficult to use, nearly anyone can start their account. Twitter can really act as a distraction to many users and can impact their daily life. Many users say that Twitter takes up a lot of their attention and pulls their focus from other, more important daily duties. Kathy Sierra says that some users even fear being disconnected from their followers’ posts.

“Ironically, services like Twitter are simultaneously leaving some people with a feeling of not being connected, by feeding the fear of not being in the loop. By elevating the importance of being ‘constantly updated,’ it amplifies the feeling of missing something if you’re not checking Twitter (or Twittering) with enough frequency,” said Kathy Sierra.

What is the issue?

Effective Twitter action requires real investment in attention and time. Users really need to be dedicating a lot to actually see the benefits from using Twitter.

17 Ways to Use Twitter

I’ve had Twitter for years now, and I used to only use it infrequently because it didn’t truly appeal to me that much. Then a couple weeks ago I decided to give it another go.

I then started to sue Twitter quite actively and have now developed an interest in the social media platform. I now think that Twitter can be manageable and adopted for various lifestyles, whether inactive or busy. If you are a business owner or market professional, you can just integrate it into your everyday workflow. Once you understand how to use Twitter, it can be very effective (and quite addictive).

After reading many other articles about Twitter, I wanted to do a summary of the many ways you can use Twitter for professional and personal purposes. A lot of these methods show that Twitter can be used beyond “life-streaming”.

  1. Build Your Brand. Twitter allows you to build your brand. The social media platform lets you develop your brand’s persona and also helps establish you as a personality that is approachable. Twitter users are constantly more interested in recognized Twitter personalities.
  2. Get Feedback. Do you want an outside look on how your website looks or how your marketing plan is doing? Send out a Tweet that asks users’ advice and you’ll receive many replies. You can gather opinions for many future projects.
  3. Hire People. Do you need a website designer, marketing professional or programmer? Blast out your message that you’re hiring. You can easily hire freelancers or get help on where to find them.
  4. Drive Traffic. Through Twitter, you can drive traffic to your business’ website. If you tweet it out, and other users retweet or spread the message out, your website can potentially become viral.
  5. Read Interesting News. Twitter users frequently share articles that can be a great source for news. You can even subscribe to specific Twitter feeds for specific news, allowing you to view the content very fast. This method is useful for those active in “social news”.
  6. Find New Friends. Twitter has a function that allows you to friend and follow other users. Using Twitter lets you connect with others that aren’t in your social circle. You can always make an effort to look up users you think you can build a connection with. Sometimes Twitter acquaintances can become actual friendships.
  7. Network. You can use Twitter to socialize with other people that have similar tastes, and also those who work in the same or similar industries. You can connect and create deep relationships for many benefits including recommendations and even testimonials.
  8. Create a “To Do” List. You can even use Twitter to mark down your daily tasks. You can reference to Tweets at a later time by simply marking them as “favorite”. You can also sync online task management systems to your Twitter account.
  9. Business Management. Twitter lets companies connect their employees. Workers can use Twitter as a group tool while working on projects. This is also useful when some employees aren’t always in the office. Updates can be set to private so that way only employees can be granted permission to see the tweets.
  10. Notify Customers. Create a Twitter feed that will notify your customers when you release more products. Your customers can subscribe for instant messaging as soon as your products are
  11. Take Notes. With Twitter, you can easily record your ideas or concepts using your computer or on-the-go with your smart phone. Just remember to include links or references to your concepts.
  12. Event Updates. Twitter can help businesses inform event attenders with the latest information. This will help disseminate information easily and quickly, even when you are on-the-go.
  13. Find Prospects. Use Twitter to help find new customers and clients. Just search for keywords related to your brand or products and then follow users who tweet those topics. Only tweet about things related to your products or else your followers may be turned off and lose your attention.
  14. Provide Live Coverage. Twitter can help you send out real-time commentary. This approach can help conduct more discussion on your brand or event, which helps spread the message over Twitter.
  15. Time Management and Analysis. You can also use Twitter as a record of your daily activities. Although your daily activities may be boring for other users, it may be helpful when you want to look into how you spend your time.
  16. Set Up Meetings. You can set up meetings through Twitter as well. Just send a message where ever you are to meet other users at a meet-up spot. Using Twitter is a casual and fun approach to arrange meetings.
  17. Acquire Votes. Share a link to some articles or stores you have submitted to another social site like Digg or reddit. Your like-minded followers may vote your stories because they will generally agree with what you have to say. This method lets you acquire more votes for your work on other social media platforms.

The previous was a quick roundup of some of the guides and articles I have read and found useful. There were quite a few of them!

I hope this article will give you some new ideas on using Twitter for promoting your business, your website or yourself. If you liked this article or found it useful, please share with it on Twitter! I would love your feedback.