WTF is Twitter?

…and why would (I) my business use it?WTF is Twitter? dark men classic t shirt

The same reasons that make Twitter so popular are those that make describing twitter problematic.

While that might not makes sense at first glance, once you realize that  Twitter has no real product direction or single “primary use” you may begin to realize just how difficult it is to describe (and figure out) Twitter’s relevance as a businesses tool.

Here’s a parallel challenge:

  • Come up with one blanket statement that clearly describes what our existing land line phone systom does.

Why is that a challenge? Well, in your description you will have had to include all uses of consumer land line phones such as fax transmission, internet connections, VOIP phone line connections, 911 ermergency services, automated home alarm warning services, etc. So, that being said, please consider the technology of Twitter just as complex.

That’s all great, but WTF is Twitter?

The direct answer: Twitter is whatever you can make of it.

That’s probably disappointing, but its absolutely the reason people say things like “I’m still figuring Twitter out” or “trying to get used to Twitter” or “I don’t get it.” The unfortunate fact is, once you create your account you are stuck trying figure out what to do with little to no direction and that takes time most people don’t have. Fortunately there are a lot of folks, like myself, willing to spend way too much time writing stuff like this and trying to help out:-)

10 things you can do with Twitter (for free):

  1. Connect with fans using Twitter by offering relevant information.
  2. Provide updates on your product for active Twitter users (millions & growing).
  3. Improve your website by posting updated information to your site via Twitter (RSS) fed widget.
  4. Offer scheduled information to anyone interested. May included daily, weekly or random information to customers which could include specials, coupons,
  5. Follow experts in many industries for fresh information as it happens.
  6. Post last minute deals, specials, emergency information, etc. to customers or other interested parties (because users choose to follow you we can assume they are “interested”).
  7. Update any RSS capable reader or product connected to the internet.
  8. Get found in real-time keyword searches. *Google, Bing and other search engines are adding Twitter search results to their own first page results and further integration is ongoing.
  9. Have your “tweet” reposted in the streams of organizations followed by tens, hundreds, thousands or even millions of passionate people.
  10. Publicly comment on anything.

So why use Twitter?Social Profile Business Card tfl 2.0 vertblank bak profilecard

First and foremost, because the simple act of posting information on Twitter significantly increases the chances of being found in search engines and because using Twitter as one of your marketing channels makes for a great introduction to using Twitter.

What did I miss? Got more ways to use Twitter? Do you disagree? Please add your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

If you like this explanation, please link to it in your blog posts > Twitter

Good luck,


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Richard Bouchez is a certified Inbound Marketing professional specializing in Social Media Marketing & New Media content development. Richard’s web, audio & video work has been honored with Emmy, Promax & CBA awards.

10 EASY Ways to Inject Twitter and Facebook into Everyday Business!

*Post updated 4/23/2010!!! Please sign up for your email news letter!!! (upper left of sidebar)

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This list combine’s new & traditional marketing and is somewhere between the obvious, hanging a “We’re on Twitter” banner, and the incredibly inventive but perhaps not so practical. “BakerTweet”, for example, automatically tweets from donut shops whenever their donuts are fresh! Please let me know what you think and add to the list in the comments!

1. @YourBiz Shirts

add your Twitter name!
Click image to add your Twitter name!

2. Sign-on cards with JUST your social networks on them is a great way to bring attention to your web efforts! It’s a no brainer to add your social networks to your business cards, but having separate cards printed up can include each of your social network sign-ons, your email & website or blog. You might just see them run out before your regular business cards do!

3. @YourBiz Vehicle Magnets should be long and practical for multiple locations such as above the rear tire. Please avoid big huge ridiculous white squares with tiny writing that are slapped on the door!

4. Across a vehicle’s rear window is a great place to add @YourBiz in large letters!

5. @YourBiz on Your Bumper

twitter bumper sticker
Click to buy, customize to your biz colors!

Click to customize yours in red, blue or black. Also totally customizable to your business colors

*For #s 1 – 5 keep in mind folks on Twitter immediately recognize @YourName as a Twitter sign-on so, in most cases, the “” can be scratched. You can use any of these ideas for your @twittername or your /facebook name. When choosing a name, try to balance these three traits: as short, simple and close to your business name as possible. All reasons we chose @inovedia from for our Twitter sign-on.

6. iPhone contests create buzz!

Step 1. Go to the apple store.
Step 2. Consult your attorney. I am not one, I don’t pretend to be one and if you don’t you’re on your own.
Step 3. Purchase a gift card for the equivalent value of the iPhone you want to give away (adding $ for monthly service gives you bonus points).
Step 4. Create a plan to tweet, use Facebook & your email list to execute a contest everyone will be talking about.
Step 5. Create signs, banners, flyers, etc.
Step 6. Reap the reward & email me your story!

7. Are you on Twitter? If you have a restaurant, ask if anyone the table is on Twitter & follow them while placing their order. Ask them to tweet where you are or what you’re ordering. Don’t tweet that they are there without asking as that could be a major faux pas!

If you’re thinking social networking is impractical you probably don’t have the right tools in place. Here are a couple of suggestions that will help make it easier to access Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. throughout the day.

8. Get a smart phone! Treos are older clunkier phones, but they’re still great tools for social networking with cameras that work find and keyboards that rival any blackberry for under $100. New phones with contracts are now ridiculously cheap with versions of the iPhone now under $100 and the Palm Pre under $200. Suck it up and get a “store phone” that can be kept at the counter or front desk for whoever is on duty. No more excuses about not tweeting because I wasn’t at my desk.

9. A netbook placed at the back of your restaurant or on your store counter with internet access. I picked up a Lenovo S10, which I love, for under $350. It’s small, inexpensive, light weight and there’s no DVD drive tempting employees to watch movies (though HULU will be a click away). More importantly, all the social networking tools you’re business requires will be right at hand. Truth is, even most out of date laptops will do the trick!

10. is a free site that let’s you send status updates and photos to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, Friendfeed and a slew of other social networks all from one place. Genius! is another option that let’s you send to multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts and comes in very handy if you have multiple businesses or if you’re rocking both personal & business accounts.

Got more ideas? Want to add to these or trash them? Please chime in with your comments!

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Good luck!

Richard (@richardbouchez)

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