As a recent newbie to the world of Twitter, it has not taken me long to realise its huge potential for business.  And I’m not just talking about corporate business either.  Only two weeks in, and as a small business owner myself I’ve already found some extremely useful people and businesses to ‘follow’ and I’m being ‘followed’ by others.  So what does it all mean?

Twitter is known as a micro-blogging application and in simple terms this means it allows people to post comments on what they’re doing directly to the web.  At first I imagined this to be full of people simply telling the world what they’d had for breakfast and how deep the snow was in their part of the woods.  A bit like a Facebook status (more about that in another blog).  And all in only 140 characters.

But it’s so much more than this and the opportunities for conversation with others is endless.  Over the past two weeks, I have followed conversations between other web designers, picking up industry trend information and design tips.  As a follower of a fantastic design magazine I have been sent incredible links to online resources and web design freebies, and I’ve been able to ask questions directed at my peers and receive valuable feedback.  And because it’s not an email, all this has been delivered in a very direct, straight to the point fashion – perfect for someone with not enough hours in the day (like myself).

As well, I been able to listen to the witty and brilliant rambles of Stephen Fry @stephenfry, receive insights into the life of Jonathan Ross @wossy and find the most delicious savoury pancake recipe from Jamie Oliver @jamie_oliver.  A girl’s gotta have some fun!

Many of these things I could have found by searching on Google but the point is I didn’t have to! Plus at some stage in the near future, I hope that I’ll be able to pass relevant information and links onto my own followers – customers and other web design folk alike!

Just think how this could benefit your business. Twitter provides a means to create a personal and mutually rewarding conversation between you and your customers, you and your suppliers, well you and the world at large. You have all the control AND IT’S FREE. (And be warned possibly addictive).

Of course there is an etiquette to it just like with email, the most important is absolutely NO blatant sales pitches. And as well there is a method to its madness, a simple Twitter guide is provided here courtesy of Sometimespace.  Oh, and like anything online be sensible about your privacy.

By adding your own website address to your Twitter profile page, then adding your Twitter link to your website, you’ve got another credible and relevant inbound link to your website for the search engines to follow.  It’s an excellent way to boost your online optimisation efforts.

What have you got to lose, join Twitter and have a play.  Make sure you pick a username that has some meaning to your business, do a simple search to find others in your industry, follow a few people for a while and see what happens.  Just like blogging to begin with, it may feel a little strange but practice makes perfect.

Follow katproductions @katproductions