As much as Twitter is stressing “relationship building” in their new Twitter for Business Guide, this concept should be taken with a grain of salt.
The reality is that value of Twitter, over let’s say a Facebook, Linked In, or Referral Key, is that on Twitter you can share information with a larger group; more rapidly, repeatedly, and with less restrictions. If you are successfully using Twitter for business, you will have to get very creative to refute that.
Fact: Twitter is a great way of communicating with a large number of people.
Fact: For some business models, it is even a viable method of disseminating coupons, news , and receiving feedback.
Fact: Twitter requires a serious investment of time and for some business models, this just isn’t an effective use of resources
In an attempt to solve user retention issues, Twitter has launched Business 101.
“We know that Twitter’s is rising rapidly in popularity. We also know that a huge number of Twitter users don’t stick around. So what’s a company with a user retention problem to do? Launch a guide to using its own product, of course.”
Ben Parr, Mashable
The beauty of Twitter lies in its simplicity and if some business aren’t finding the value that companies like Dell and JetBlue do, it may not have to do with awareness, but rather relativity. Twitter is very straight forward; a 140 character message can be seen by anyone that subscribes to it.
This may be a case of handing a hammer to an accountant and then trying to explain the value of a hammer in hopes that he’ll use it for business.
There were a couple of examples in the guide of small businesses successfully using Twitter but again, these companies (wine distributor, coffee chain etc.) benefit from casting a wide net. Furthermore, because most businesses still aren’t using Twitter, the value is much higher than those who are. Once, every pizza place in town is monitoring Twitter for the word “pizza”, the outcome certainly won’t be as significant as being the first business in town to implement a two-way mailing list.
Are sole practitioners like attorneys, accountants, real estate agents, financial planners, mortgage brokers… finding Twitter to be an effective way to drive more sales leads?