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Friday, 22 October 2010

Why use Twitter?

Twitter is often referred to as ‘micro-blogging’ as it is used to share views and opinions quickly and concisely.

And there’s no doubt that it’s effective: it currently has 3.7 million UK users, an increasing number of which are businesses.

But why has it become so popular and why should you be using it?

Twitter accounts are useful because they:

• Are excellent for disseminating your news stories quickly – When you log in to Twitter, how many times have you seen a Tweet from someone saying that they’ve seen a celebrity a few minutes before at a station or an airport? The point here is that Twitter is instant. Type in a short message, share it, and everyone following you knows about it immediately. Think of it as like sending a text, but to lots of people.

• Have the potential to reach influential people and groups – Worldwide, it’s estimated that around 106 million people or organisations have Twitter accounts: that gives you a potentially huge audience. Try to follow as many people/organisations as you can, but if you’re a business, be strategic – focus on finding similar businesses, clients, subcontractors or decision-makers who you already work with or are targeting – don’t just follow everyone and anyone.

• Create a sense of community – A crucial thing to remember when using Twitter or any social media tool is that online, people congregate around areas of interest rather than demographics. It’s an excellent place to meet and engage with like-minded individuals or businesses.

• Can be used to comment on issues relevant to your industry – If there’s an issue or topic that’s current in your industry, Twitter is a great place to air your views and also find out what your contemporaries think too. Find something topical, Tweet it and ask your followers for their views – the more regularly you do this, the more likely you are to get a response.

• Are a great way of sharing best practice – If you’ve found a method for doing something successfully that can help others, Twitter is an easy way of sharing it. For example, if you’ve put together a presentation about a particular subject, you can send a link to it out on Twitter so that everyone can see it.

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