I took the Twitter leap early this year and it didn’t take long for me to see the benefits. One of the best anecdotes I’ve heard to explain the difference between Twitter and Facebook is this — Facebook is about who you USED to know, and Twitter is about who you WANT to know. I quickly found this to be true.
Even though there are more than 7 million twitter users (as of February 2009), there are still many who have yet to sign on. I’ve had numerous conversations with friends and colleagues about the virtues of twitter and why it’s worth trying.
While everyone has a different reason for ultimately taking the Twitter plunge, here are my top six reasons for giving Twitter a try:
- Create relationships. Twitter is about connecting with people and generating a dialogue. If used properly, Twitter gives you the ability to reach out to industry leaders, competitors, key influencers and customers alike.
- Conduct research. Twitter is a fantastic research tool. Whether you are a journalist looking for story ideas or a PR professional monitoring what is being said about your company or client, Twitter’s search functionality offers a real-time look at what topics people are discussing. Twitter can also be used as a focus group by posing questions to your followers.
- Discover resources. Twitter is rife with links to blogs, articles and other wonderful resources. Twitter helps you discover new content on the Web and learn more about the world around you.
- Protect reputation. For businesses, Twitter offers the ability to respond to customers’ praise and criticism. In the world of social media, a bad customer experience can easily grow legs and become widely known. Businesses who are on Twitter can quickly respond to negative comments before dissention grows into something much larger.
- Build recognition. Twitter can help strengthen your brand by promoting your Web site or blog through Twitter. Tweeting links to your new blog posts, press releases or other news items, helps increase Web traffic, brand recognition and may attract a new audience.
- Understand trends. While many cite they don’t want to jump on the bandwagon, it’s hard to ignore the substantial growth of this social media tool. Twitter experienced 1382 percent growth between February 2008 and February 2009. If you want to stay on top of the social media trend, joining the twitter conversation is a key part of that.
If you’re not on twitter, I encourage you to get started. To create an account, click here. To see how I use twitter, click here.
How do you use Twitter? Why did you decide to join?
Image credit: Productive Dreams