I’ve been an avid Twitter user/fan almost since the beginning. I maintain a handful of Twitter accounts that I use for various purposes including personal, professional, hobby, etc. I could go on-and-on regarding its usefulness to me personally and professionally, but in order to keep it at a high level, here are what I see as the top 3 benefits of having a Twitter account for personal and/or business use:
1.) As a business development professional, my Twitter presence enables potential clients to connect with me as a trusted adviser and a valuable resource. It’s important to remember that Twitter is not a sales tool, rather it’s a resource tool that potential clients engage in to find relevant sources of information in order to make decisions. The key is for me to become a “go to” resource, gain visibility and credibility, and stay as visible and engaged as possible.
2.) Twitter allows me to be a “fly on the wall” and discover opportunities (via keyword or hashtag searches) that I would not be privy to otherwise. For example, if my business is real estate, I may do daily or even hourly Twitter searches (or set up Google Alerts or a TweetBeep account) to see whose talking about buying a new home in my particular area. I may chose to listen to them for a while, then follow them and the people they follow, and then gradually begin to offer advice, guidance, and become a trusted adviser and valuable resource.
3.) Whether you’re trying to build awareness for your personal brand or your business brand, Twitter is an invaluable resource to help you monitor who is saying what, when they’re saying it, why they’re saying it, who they’re saying it to, and so on. It’s a great tool for customer service, resolution, product development, business development, establishing brand credibility, learning, marketing, and creating overall awareness.
The bottom line is this …Twitter is a resource used to create awareness. Depending on how visible and credible your personal and/or professional brand is prior to participating in Twitter, it may take time to establish yourself as a key and credible resource, but once you do, the benefits (aka: sales) will be plentiful.