Business owners in Reading, Pennsylvania are interested in Twitter. How do I know? Because it comes up in almost every conversation I have regarding internet marketing. People want to know what the hype is all about. More importantly, they want to know if they can use Twitter for their business.

So what is Twitter? Twitter is considered a micro-blogging platform. What’s the difference between a regular blog and a micro-blog? Regular blogs can include many words and pictures. The blog you are reading right now is an example of a regular blog. Micro-blogs (such as Twitter) only allow users to write 140 characters in a post.

Twitter in Plain English Video

At first glance it might appear that Twitter is a complete waste of time. I mean really… why would you care if someone is “picking up dry cleaning” or “forgot how much they loved pickles?” It’s the way people are using Twitter that is changing the landscape of social media marketing on the web. Here are a few ways that smart marketers are using Twitter to their advantage:

Research: Find out what people are saying about your product or service. Businesses are asking for feedback getting quick responses through Twitter.

Job Searching: Businesses are posting jobs on Twitter, people are responding.

Announcing New Products or Services: Yet another way to let people know you have something new to offer.

Posting Industry Related Articles or Links: Twitter is a great place to find interesting articles and links related to your industry. Posting articles and links helps solidify your role as an industry professional.

Live Updates on Events or Conferences – If you run large events or conferences, you can use Twitter to post last minute updates and breaking news.

On a personal level, people are using Twitter to stay connected with friends and family. Parents use Twitter to keep updated when their kids are on vacation or a school trip. Press reporters in the Middle East are using Twitter to stay alive. There are stories of press reporters being taken hostage and their only form of contact to their friends and family was a twitter post! And it worked. Friends and family contacted government authorities to inform them their friend was taken hostage. Very cool!

Twitter Links

http://www.buzzbinpadillacrt.com/a-twitter-use-primer/ – Explanation of Twitter and how businesses are using it.

http://www.toprankblog.com/2007/11/twitter-guide/ – Different ways to use Twitter.

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/164290/nine_twitter_tips_for_business.html – Tips for using Twitter