I was listening to Stephen Fry being interviewed the other day and he mentioned his obsession with Twitter.
It reminded me that I had started a trial of Twitter myself a couple of months ago and I still hadn’t written up my thoughts on its true worth to business.
So, let me answer the question.
Should I use Twitter for Business?
It would be easy to say yes and end the blog post!
However, I’m actually leaning more to the answer maybe and so that needs some explanation.
First I should probably explain what Twitter is.
If I said it’s just another of these social networking sites that have been springing up then I’m sure some of the purists will jump down my throat and tell me I don’t understand. Unfortunately for them I do and it is!
Basically it’s a network where people share bites of information, 140 character bites to be exact.
You post a quick line or two into Twitter about what you are doing or what you have seen etc and everyone who has decided to follow your Twitter will instantly get to see that post.
One of the most annoying parts of Twitter are the people who think you really want to know that they have just had a coffee or that they are sitting watching a rerun of Lost. Who cares? I certainly don’t.
However like all the other social networking sites it does have value. The reason I say “maybe” when trying to tell you whether you should use it for business is because I feel it can only deliver value on certain levels.
You need to decide whether that value is worth your time.
One question that keeps popping up is how can Twitter help with SEO. My feeling is it can’t really. If you are embarking on using Twitter to post lots of links back to your site in the hope of pushing up your sites ranking then I think you are wasting your time.
The second claim I see is that people are doing business on Twitter. Really? How? I eagerly wait for someone to show me how they made money directly from being on Twitter (that excludes the people who are selling books on how to get rich on Twitter!)
Where I do see value is in helping to build networks, both with potential customers and with business partners. I’ve managed to strike up some rapport with a few people in similar or complimentary businesses. However like all networks, you have to put in if you hope to take out. It’s a two way street and so it should be.
The other area of value is the speed with which it aids communication. I can scan a page of Tweets very quickly and usually find some very interesting pointers to great articles or resources. I find scanning Tweets far quicker than scanning my email Inbox or even my Blog feeds.
So, I’ve found some value and I will continue to use it.
If you want to follow me, click on the link.
If you have any thoughts on using Twitter for business, please share them. Maybe you disagree with me about its use. Maybe you are one of the people who has made money from Twitter! If so, please do tell.