Social Media can be quite overwhelming to many business owners now faced with many more ways than ever to promote their business. The first stage to social media is to identify what social media if any is appropriate to you.  Here is an easy starter guide to Twitter which will give you an insight into how twitter works and if it is right for your business.

Lets take a look at what exactly Twitter is 

Twitter is a micro-blogging site - meaning you can state your thoughts, views, opinions and links, but in a super-compact way. In fact, with Twitter, you only get to use 140 characters for each post, known as a tweet. At first glance, you may think 140 characters can't possibly give you enough room to say anything of value, but once you jump into the flow, you'll be amazed at the way Twitter can change your social media marketing world.

How Does it Work? 

Twitter works as a real-time social media platform for users to update their followers with tidbits of information, chitchat, tips and tricks and other short messages that are broadcast to a group of users who have chosen to stay updated to your messages. While there are over 645 million users on Twitter, according to the latest statistics, individuals choose who they want to interact with by "following" them. 

Every user gets a profile page, with room for a short bio, a photo and a link to the site of your choice. Your profile page also includes a button people can click on to begin "following" you - which means they will have access to all of your tweets.  The more followers you acquire the stronger your networking capabilities become on Twitter. Twitter functions as an ever increasing network as each person interacts with their following, who then connects them to their own group of followers and on and on it grows.  

Let's break it down further 

When you create your user account and choose some people to follow, they have the opportunity to follow you back. As your followers start to get to know you, they will look to you to promote other people on Twitter and when they find people they relate to, they will begin following them as well. This "tell two friends who tell two friends who tell two friends" networking will expand your network faster than you can possibly imagine.

 

Who Uses Twitter? 

At the rate Twitter is growing, it won't be long before the answer to this question is EVERYONE! Twitter is growing at a pace of over 135,000 users every day, with a total right now of over XX million users! Twitter is a great place to connect, both in business and personally, for anyone who is looking for a platform where they can reach out to a wide network of people at one time. 

Twitter is popular with many different kinds of people. In business, you'll find lawyers, retailers, writers, web designers – that’s us @RetoxDigital, Internet marketers, coaches, entrepreneurs, bloggers, small business owners, large corporations, politicians - even Royalty and the President of the United States! You'll find famous people, infamous people, unknown people - the truth is, Twitter is being used by folks from every walk of life you can imagine to connect with others and market their businesses.

Why is Twitter So Popular? 

One of the reasons Twitter is so popular is that Twitter is so popular! In other words, so many people are using Twitter that it is rapidly becoming THE place to connect on the web. In fact, mainstream media has started using Twitter- and talking about it. Local TV News and BBC1 both discuss Twitter and use it as a way for viewers to offer input on various stories. 

Twitter's popularity comes from its ease of use. It's also quite addictive! Many people who questioned whether Twitter was worth the effort find they love the fast-paced interaction of the site. Twitter is all about immediate connections and real-time relationship building. Human beings are social animals who thrive on relationships and interaction with each other. Twitter provides immediate contact with others- no waiting for return emails or finding people on various Instant Messengers. You can jump on Twitter any time, day or night, and connect with someone immediately. Often, just taking five or ten minutes to tweet with others is all it really takes to build your followers and bring people to your website. 

Why Twitter Works for Marketers 

Twitter works for marketers for a couple of reasons. The first and most important one, is Twitter is different from a lot of marketing techniques. It really is all about making connections and creating relationships. Yes, it sounds impossible to believe that communicating in short little bursts can actually foster real relationships, but it's true. Perhaps it's because of the real-time interaction.  

It could be because when you have to focus on your word choice, with only 140 characters, you take the time to make sure every word counts. It could come down to the fact that Twitter is just fun - and addictive!

Of course, some will tell you Twitter is a great marketing tool because you can find a targeted audience who CHOOSE to follow you and read your messages and they'd be right. 

The truth is Twitter works for a variety of different reasons. The good news is, those reasons all add up to the reality that Twitter DOES WORK! Even though it is a serious marketing tool, there is something about the way people get real on Twitter that you just don't see in many other platforms, that lets you get to know

people's real personalities. That is what inspires trust and creates bonds that lead to sales.

Keep an eye out for a follow-up blog to this one which will tell you how to use Twitter in more detail and explain the dreaded Hashtag#.