Wow, I had no idea what a firestorm my Twitter mini-article in the Debate Room at Businessweek.com would provoke. There are over 40 comments — mostly disagreeing with me. Those who agreed didn’t do so electronically. They picked up the phone and called me, just to prove my point.
But here’s one that came directly to me from Joan Damico, a client and integrated marketing consultant who’s doing a lot of social networking lately. Her message was less vehement and more generous than most, with lots of ideas for me. I daresay, she may be winning me over…never say never. (And if I write my next book on Twitter, don’t say, "I told you so."
I love your post and have to admit, I felt the same way about Twitter–not because someone rudely buried his head in his cell phone tweeting while I was trying to hold a conversation.
I just thought that Twitter was a big waste of time… who cares about what I just did or am about to do. However, I thought I should get to know Twitter. So I started tweeting and now I’m seeing it differently.
It’s still being used a lot like early blogs, which were a selfish account of one’s daily life. But look at how blogs have evolved. I see the same thing happening with microblogging. Consumer companies are using it to develop communities around their brands (Marriott Corp.) and B2B marketers are using it to stay connected to colleagues (me and a number of other biz folks).
I can see you using it to help you keep your clients on target with their marketing. It would be similar to your phone conferences with a group of clients. Only instead of using the phone for a weekly call, you would use Twitter for up-to-the minute progress updates. When you think about it, keeping your clients on track is more about what goes on in their daily routine between calls where they fall off course. So a quick Tweet asking a client if they’ve made a cold call or two, or questioning as to whether their recent Twitter post is furthering their marketing program, could go further in keeping them on track than a weekly call.
You could also use Twitter to tell folks where you’re speaking and they and their followers could sign up for your workshop. It could build attendance and possibly business.
Now if you had asked me how Twitter could improve your business a month or two ago, I wouldn’t have been able to come up with the above answers. Agreed… a lot of what’s on Twitter is useless chatter (same with Facebook, MySpace and other social sites), but when done correctly, can be a powerful marketing and networking tool.