Lately I've come across a handful of business professionals who still aren't Twitter believers. They see it as sphere of noise where teeny-bopper Bieber lovers, Ocho Cinco's groupies and Ashton's cyber entourage go to mingle. To them, it's a waste of time and resources. It's just another new media which will become obsolete once the next big thing comes along. Respectfully, I disagree.
While there is a lot of noise floating around the Twittersphere- right now, the phrase "BIEBER ALERT" is trending- there are also a lot of productive interactions occurring every day (like, now). In my own experience, there are three big reasons why Twitter matters:
- For its ability to form new relationships that otherwise probably would not have occurred
- For its one-of-a-kind, global capability to allow users to listen in real-time
- For its powerful ability to drive traffic
While Twitter may not be "it" forever, it has laid the groundwork for the new ways in which we interact. In my opinion, businesses can't afford not to be part of the online conversation, whether it be on Twitter or another network. While simply telling you to trust me probably won't make you a believer, here's how I- meaning my following, others awareness of me as a consultant, and my blog traffic- have benefited from Twitter in just a few short months via my newest Twitter feed:
Networking: I've made invaluable connections with other marketing professionals; by engaging in my industry's conversation on Twitter (there's a lot of marketing chatter!), I've had brief but intelligent discussions with my marketing tweeps. These interactions have led me to discover many new tools (like paper.li) and tips (like how to secure your Facebook connection while on a public network), which I can use and also pass on to my clients.
Expert Visibility: Part of having an online presence involves finding a way to market yourself as an expert in the field. Currently, I'm listed on 15 Twitter Lists with names such as "social-media-tweeps," "marketing-resources" and maybe most importantly, one by social media enthusiast Dave Evans named "industry". If a Twitter user is friends with a person who created one of these lists and needs a marketing resource, they may just find my name and end up hiring me for work. Skeptics: if you're wondering, no, that hasn't happened to me yet, but without Twitter there would be 0% chance of this opportunity.
News Source: I seem to discover breaking tech and social media news faster now, since I'm more likely to see a breaking tweet from a company like Mashable before I go to their website or read the latest RSS updates in my inbox. Which means I can update my networks earlier than before, likely getting information to my current and potential consumers before they find it themselves. Result: I'm a valuable resource worth "listening" to on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Traffic Driver: In a 30 day period, my Twitter account drives anywhere from 6% to 22% of my total blog traffic. The more I blog (which I haven't been enough lately, hence the 6%), the more traffic I get from Twitter.
I realize that I may not have convinced you yet- it takes some patience, good content and time to listen in order to see positive results- but I really think it's worth it for businesses to try. I'm sure the day will come when Twitter is out and _________ is in, but I think that having a good working knowledge of Twitter will likely make it easier for individuals and businesses alike to transition to the next big thing.