Friday, June 5th, 2020

What is Twitter and Why Should You Care?

By Mhairi Petrovic on Jan 25 2010 • Filed under Outsmarting Social Media

If you've read the paper recently or have been listening to CBC, chances are you have heard about Twitter.  Twitter is a free social networking tool that allows you (within 140 characters) to tell your network what your doing.  Why would anyone care what you are doing?  Well they don't, necessarily, but since its inception in 2006, Twitter has become more than simply a tool for the narcissist.  The way people use it a has evolved and there are a number of benefits of using Twitter from a business perspective. 

What are the benefits of Twittering?

1. Drives Traffic – Twitter is now the thried biggest driver of traffic to the Out-Smarts website.  Every time we post a new blog article we link to it on Twitter and watch the traffic peak. 

2. Learning – If you are careful and selective about who you follow, Twitter can be a great way to learn about the latest and greatest developments in your industry.  

3. Advertising – Twitter is purported to be the biggest advertising mechanism since TV. 

4. Establishing your brand  – Regularly post to Twitter on your subject area. Remember to add your logo and design your page appropriately.

5. Grow Your Network – Twitter is a great way to expand your network and build your contacts.  

6. Productivity – Twitter posts are shorter than blogs and more concise so if you only have a few moments you can hone in on the juicies more readily. If you don’t have time to blog but still have something pressing you want to share, Twitter is a a great forum to do this. 

7. Get the Word Out – Twitter can be used to expand the reach of your service and spread word quickly. An example is the police and fire services using Twitter to get the word out in emergency cases.

8. Get Feedback – The CBC uses Twitter to great effect to elicit feedback and to generate comments for their radio shows and podcasts.  

Should you Care? 

Not necessarily.  If none of the benefits outlined above appeal to you then you shouldn't, but if you are in a customer-facing role such as sales, marketing, business development, customer service or if you are an entrepreneur growing your business you definitely should take time to consider Twitter. 

As always, the first question you should ask is, are my customers or business partners there yet?  If they aren't, then it is best to simply register your Twitter name for future use and put Twitter on the back burner until the time is right.  The typical Twitter early adopter was a tech person but these days everyone from journalists to business coaches to personal organizers and real estate agents are getting in on the game. 

Why should you bag your Twitter name?

Remember cybersquatting? Well the same thing is happening with Twitter.  People are registering names of prominent companies on Twitter.  For branding purposes, you should register the name of your company now even if you don't intend to use it immediately. In this way you will avoid disappointment later. 


Twitter adoption by businesses is growing. There are a plethora of tools out there to make your Twitter experience more effective.  As user numbers and Twitter usage evolves, the benefits of using Twitter are becoming more and more apparent.  I highly encourage you to consider whether Twitter fits in with your marketing strategy and if it does you should take the time to understand Twitter and craft a strategy as to how you will use it effectively.  If you do that then your Twitter time will be much more effective.

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