You could walk into a room full of Twitter users and ask the question “What is Twitter?” The likely reaction would be a room buzzing with any possible number of responses. Not because these different people don’t know a thing about Twitter. Quite the contrary as a matter of fact, Twitter is so multi-functional all of the responses are true to each and every person’s own experience. Let’s look at some of those different uses. Twitter is:
> a miniature blog.
Not all people wish to blog in long posts. They would rather just provide people with a tiny one or two lined update of what is going on throughout their day. Blog posts often take a lot of forethought and creativity, whereas with Twitter you can just post something along the lines of “eating supper then taking kids to soccer.” The maximum number of characters in your Twitter posts is 140.
> an outlet for making new friends.
You can search for people with similar interests or hobbies, and request to follow them. They then decide if they will allow you to or not. This is the one spot you are urged to use with caution, however. If the “follower” causes any discomfort or actually seems to be “following” you too closely, it may be prudent to block them from following you.
> news on the run.
If you watch the news on television, normally there is a news ticker rolling across the bottom of your screen. This is where the headlines are posted throughout the broadcast. With more people using the internet for obtaining their news information, a ticker such as the one found on television was needed for internet users. This just happens to be another great use for Twitter. The news media of the internet has embraced Twitter as the news ticket of the blogosphere, as it is more immediate and faster than blog services.
> social messaging,
being somewhat of a cross between a blog and instant messaging. With this resource we are now able to follow people as well as have people follow us. Even via your cell phone, you can still keep up to date with all Twitter members. It can be used to let people know where you are so you can meet up later in the evening, remind people of a meeting at the office or even keeping your friends up to date on sales, sports events or concerts coming up.
So, you know that Twitter is like a miniature blog. Do you realize what this could mean to your small business? You can now make sure everyone on your team is “following” or receiving updates from one another. You can send messages or “tweets” to one employee or all of them. You can create different aliases depending on the area of the business is involved if you wish (sales, inventory, website etc.). You can decide to send messages to your entire staff, or just certain members to which this particular situation applies as well.
With this micro-blogging tool, you can be accessible to all of your employees when they need you, and vice versa. Handy and versatile, are you ready to make running your business easier? And this is only a few of the many uses. You can also use it as a learning or teaching tool.
Here’s to your Success!
Jerry D Ross
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