May 2, 2009

Twitter for Businesses?

Time to bash the Twitter skeptics who claim that Twitter is a fad and not professional enough for businesses. Twitter is a tool, it's not a fad nor is it a "solution". How people leverage this tool to achieve something is what matters.

One of the biggest problems today is not lack of information it is lack of good answers. Google search is great and it plays an important role in helping you find answers. But, there can be many "false positives" or dead ends. Good search results still require you to dig deeper. Plus what happens if only part of your query (question) is answered?

Twitter can be used as a realtime question/answer tool. Here are two real world examples of how small business is using twitter to network, share, learn and get answers.

Example 1: iPhone Battery life
Yesterday I noticed that my iPhone battery was draining too fast. I sent out a tweet asking for advice and within 5 minutes I had a quality, authentic response from Ryan Barnett who said:
@b2bspecialist: Turn off screen as fast as possible, turn off 3G, turn off networking, buy a Power Slider from Incase:
Example 2: Tweetchats

SBBUZZ is an interesting case study on how small businesses strapped for cash and time, can cost effectively ask questions about technology for small businesses.

Founded by small business entrepreneurs, this is an example of how small businesses can tap into talent, skills and broaden their social network reach and get answers.

How SBBBUZ works: It's pretty simple (go to their site for instructions). Every Tuesday night from 8-10 pm ET, you can join in with others who are looking for answers regarding small business and technology. This is a real-time Q&A session. It takes place in the evening, which is a good time for small business owners since their days are busy and hectic.

But, it gets better! While the realtime nature of this is great, the session is permanently archived on their site. And, since the session took place on Twitter it is permanently indexed.

This is a great example of innovative thinking. Twitter is being used to help people and organizations succeed. That's not a fad. It is a solution. You can follow them on Twitter.

So is twitter a fad and not professional enough for business? Maybe that's what they said about email when it first came out.

1 comment:

  1. Businesses can also use Twitter, as one of several social networking tools, to create a low-cost, real-time dialogue with both their customers and influencers (media/analysts as appropriate), or to "report" from events like trade shows to supplement their blogging efforts. Twitter is free and if the content provided is nonpromotional and educational, the spokesperson or business can become a resource targeted prospects follow for information... which can naturally need to "securing new business". Additionally, Twitter can be used as a great PR resource. I often connect with media who put out story queries/info and experts they need via Twitter.