By William Montgomery, CEO of TEN

Twitter is a mini-blogging device that can be accessed via the web, instant messaging and mobile phones. Users can send messages of one hundred and forty characters that are published either publicly or privately in a shared environment.

Anyone with access to this environment can follow the flow of messages and comment, reply or simply keep up to date. Twitter can be used by groups of friends sharing gossip, groups developing ideas or colleagues in the same building deciding when to go to lunch.

Most recently, businesses have grasped the potential marketing significance of Twitter as a valuable promotional tool. Here are 10 tips for using Twitter for business applications:

1. Twitter is a two-way messaging device. This allows the customer to respond to your messages, connecting you directly to your customers. This benefit includes giving the customer the chance to instantly ask questions about your product or service, place an order and give feedback.

2. Using short bite-size messages, you can keep new and potential customers informed about forthcoming product updates. You can create business from Twitter by directing customers to your website through clickable links within the Twitter messages.

3. Co-Workers can use Twitter to share ideas whilst working on projects over different sites.

4. Customers can be offered the option of signing up to your Twitter campaign when they buy your product or services. This connects you with customers that are already actively interested in hearing more about what you have to offer; completely avoiding wasting your budget on the disinterested. Twitters actively choose to follow a flow of messages.

5. Twitter is immediate; it takes seconds to message thousands of customers. If you need to create buzz around product changes, your customers can be the first to find out about it.

6. Twitter can be used to specify localised customers. You can directly market to a customer who is sitting having a cup of coffee in the same area as your business. Imagine seeing a potential customer write ‘I’m in Bristol and I’m bored’ — you could make an immediate pitch to that customer within seconds.

7. Twitter immediately connects you and your employees. Close of business figures, team targets and daily results can all be shared immediately between a sales team or an entire workforce.

8. You can perform rapid market research by sending a question out to thousands of potential customers who can each respond instantly with a short answer.

9. You can develop a following as existing customers like to know about products and services before everyone else. Build a loyal following by leaking them exclusive information.

10. Customers don’t even need to be connected to the Internet in order to receive your promotional messages. Once they register their mobile phone, they can receive updates via text.

By using Twitter for business, companies can communicate personally with their customers. You can create an entire marketing campaign using this free micro-publishing tool.

William Montgomery

You can follow William Montgomery on Twitter by going to www.twitter.com/askten.

Through his workshops, William Montgomery has helped hundreds of organisations and schools plus thousands of people to achieve their potential. To discuss your continuous improvement requirements, please call 0117 325 2010 or send a message to info@askten.co.uk