When people have a personal stake in something they like to feel involved. The act of engaging in direct participation, whether simulated or genuine, has a great deal of influence over the user. In general, the effects of said influence have a (potentially) positive effect on the business said user is frequenting. A feeling of closeness creates a bond which is more emotional and more powerful in general. In other words, a business which pushes customers away from projects that they feel at least somewhat strongly about will not foster the same type of bond that can be generated as the result of collaboration. With this deeper bond comes a higher level of commitment and trust which can easily lead to the creation of a dedicated repeat customer or at least might provide the fuel for a recommendation or two. Twitter, imbued with a certain informality and casualness, can be a great way to feed a relationship like the one described above.

This is largely because Twitter is highly personalized. Of course, this is a trait shared by all social networks, but to varying degrees. The difference here is one of attitude. A Facebook account is not born inherently formal or informal. Rather, it is a blank slate to be explicitly defined by the user. On the other hand, Twitter is lacking in much of Facebook’s slick veneer. There is less to catch the eye, less to hide behind, and as such tweets often take on a confessional, honest quality that the exact same post on Facebook might not. Twitter, in its simplicity, generally appears more honest, direct and, for lack of a better word, “raw” than Facebook simply because it presents itself as less cluttered and convoluted. Simplicity and honesty are certainly a time honored pair, with the presence of one generally signifying the other whether in fact such a judgment truly corresponds with fact. The effect of this relationship upon the user should not be undervalued. Of course, an atmosphere of honesty is paramount to any strong relationship whether between two humans or a client and a company. It is through the utilization of factors such as these which can allow Twitter to give your business a more personal edge.

#2 Convenient Networking With Users

It’s not just the somewhat informal nature of Twitter that makes it a great way to make users feel involved. The site simply makes it very easy and simple to start up a dialogue. Say a potential user has a question about your business, one which they cannot discern from your public online presence. One little tweet later and they could have the information they need to make an informed decision. This also works the other way. If you’re working on a project and have a quick question for a client or maybe you just want to be forward and gauge the interest of an individual regarding their potential investment in your company’s expertise Twitter is a quick and simple way to get their attention. Overall, the site offers a very effective, direct, personal and straightforward way to communicate.

#3 Easy Communication with Peers

Having established that Twitter is a great way to easily communicate with both prospective and current clients, it should also be mentioned that this same ease can lend itself to those outside your immediate experience as well. When trying to build a business effectively one of the most important things one can do is to build strong connections with talented people, maybe even those of some influence and weight. While it might be a bit awkward for you, especially if you’re just starting out, to call or email someone more established or successful in your field of choice for guidance, advice or collaboration, a tweet is a much smaller, less intense and demanding way to make your presence known to those in your industry whom you admire or desire to affiliate yourself with. Here again we see the informality of Twitter coming into play as a great asset. An affiliation born of a simple tweet and/or an invitation to follow your account could have myriad benefits for you and your company.

#4 Real Time Responses

Throughout this entire piece I’ve spoken of the ease, speed and convenience of Twitter-based communication, and here again I am obliged to highlight one of the great assets of such a setup. Generally, unless they have chosen otherwise, those who subscribe to your account will automatically receive your tweets, making the format highly conducive to poll-gathering and general opinion-taking. Involving your customers in this way will not only allow you to tweak your enterprise to better meet their needs but will also allow them to feel more connected, the rationale of which was, of course, highlighted above. If you want to be a bit less direct but still test the waters as far as public opinion goes you can always search for tweets featuring, to name the most obvious example, the name of your business. Either way, Twitter can be a very effective means of discovering whether or not you are meeting the needs and expectations of your followers.

#5 Quick and Convenient Troubleshooting

One of the things that can really make Twitter a powerful tool in establishing a relationship with a client is the straightforward nature of the give and take which goes on there. Tying into my point above, the simplicity of this communication can be beneficial both in building an understanding between yourself and the customer and in changing your business to better meet their needs. Rather than simply asking once and making one change, this is a process which must be ongoing. An effective business evolves to meet demand rather than forcing customers to conform to their inflexible model. For this reason, the ease of communication on Twitter can soon establish itself as an invaluable resource.

The thing that separates undergoing a similar process on Facebook is, once again, the difference in attitude between the two sites. On Facebook, if you post a good deal of statues delving into the minutiae of what must and must not be done as your business evolves and adapts might be seen as excessive or even as nuisance. The same procedure carried out on Twitter would not carry this stigma, at least not to nearly the same degree, as the casual, stream-of-consciousness nature of much of Twitter’s content makes frequent posting less an oddity and more an expectation. On this front, Twitter allows you more freedom than any other social network.

#6 The Potential to be Shared

This is a simple point, but an important one nonetheless. From all my discussion of just how easy it is to communicate on Twitter you have probably inferred that the convenience of the site’s format doesn’t stop there. If so, you would be very right indeed. Another thing that’s great about the site is just how easy it is to make recommendations. Not only can you suggest your page to whatever users you choose, but the users themselves can, of course, tell others about your service by sharing your account or linking you in a status. This is certainly a great way to build an audience and get more exposure.

#7 A Potential Increases in Your SEO

For those who may not know, SEO (or “search engine optimization”) is essentially a measure of your search engine rank. Those closer to the top of the results list have a better SEO. You gain this attribute by becoming associated with certain keywords. For example, if your company is frequently mentioned in conjunction with the phrase “alligator farm” whenever somebody types that prompt into a search engine your name will come up quickly. Though this ranking is largely determined by users, you can influence it. Be sure to associate your business with keywords which get to the root of your intentions and goals and include said keywords in tweets, statuses, bios and wherever else you can. Twitter is a great place to establish a lasting connection with certain keywords. Both Google and Bing have said that they take the site’s content into account while determining their rankings. Here the influence of getting re-tweeted and/or shared plays a major, highly significant role.

#8 The Numbers Don’t Lie

Ultimately, all you really need to know is this: Twitter has an estimated 140 million users. Approximately 50 million of them visit the site every day. 5-10 thousand more join every day. The site is accessed more than 400 million times a month. With numbers like these it’d be hard not to see Twitter’s promise.

In short, no conclusive promises can be made. I offer this information only to suggest Twitter’s vast potential. Maybe it won’t work out for you. Maybe it will. Regardless, it’s certainly worth a try.

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