How can Twitter be relevant to my business?

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With thanks to the O2 Ideas Room for blog posts…

Social media is now an enormous and continually-important part of peoples’ lives. Many reading this short article will have a Facebook page or perhaps a LinkedIn profile. However, social media is not simply about posting photos of your latest holiday and following people you are vaguely connected with. It is now increasingly a very important market place for businesses and brands.

When enormous brands like Pepsi and Ford start hiring heads of social media and establishing social media sections within their marketing departments, you know it means something.

Other brands including Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola are no longer spending money on ‘campaign sites’ but rather spending more money on social media. In fact, Kellogg’s next cereal bar will be marketed entirely through social networks this Spring. By using social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube, Kellogg’s will drive traffic to the sites with above-the-line PR activity.

Other big brands are using smart phone applications (apps) to bolster ongoing marketing campaigns. Then of course there is Twitter.

When Twitter first launched it received an enormous amount of cynical commentary. Seasoned, old-media commentators thought the instant messaging service was a bit of a joke, a waste of time, an arena for people with too much time on their hands to post 140 character updates about nothing in particular.

It is true that there are many Twitter users (tweeters) who post inane comments about feeding their cat or going to the supermarket. The other reality of Twitter is that you don’t have to follow such people.

So, how on earth could Twitter be useful for your business or your professional advancement?

Firstly, it’s free to sign up to Twitter. You simply have to create an account name and register using your email and a password of your choice. It’s also advised that you add a photograph of yourself or your business brand.

Once you’ve signed up it is probably best to start ‘listening’ before you start ‘tweeting’.

You should go to and type in the areas that interest you. For example, I publish a digital media and marketing magazine so I search using the key words ‘digital’, ‘media’ and ‘marketing’. I am then able to chose the media companies and digital media experts I like the look of – the ones that look professional and read well.

If you run a small business, like I do, Twitter can prove to be an invaluable source of information. If you want to ‘tweet’, remember – you are sharing this short piece of information with the people who chose to follow you. Be careful what you write, there will be people listening in.

You can update your followers as to what you are doing professionally. You can ask your followers for advice e.g. ‘Does anyone know of an affordable tax expert in Dublin 14?’ You can direct people to your website or any special offers your business may have. Essentially you can use Twitter to pass on information, discuss interesting topics and listen to interesting people, businesses and services that relate to your profession.

Of course you can also follow Barak Obama, Kevin Spacey or Oprah Winfrey!

The point is, don’t dismiss Twitter as a fad for kids with too much time on their hands and nothing to say. Twitter can be a fantastic communications tool that may contribute to your business and help you in a professional capacity.

You can follow me @digital_times. Give it a go. You might find it useful.

Stephen Conmy
Ideas room


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