Twitter 101: 5 Reasons Marketers should use Twitter

Twitter is all the rage right now, and is proving more and more to be the cutting edge way to market. Even though a recent Twitter user behavior survey, claims that only 15% use it for marketing purposes. The majority 28% is still using it as a social tool. But I think we should see this 15% go up, and here's why:

1. It's a Learning Tool. The mother ship of Twitter research is Twitter Search, where over 3 million messages are posted a day. It works much like a google search engine, except picks up peoples Tweets. This will allow you to see what people are saying about a particular brand or product. For example, if you want to see what people are saying about M&Ms, you can search the word, M&Ms, and it will pull up everyone who has twittered about M&Ms in realtime. And if a brand wants to get really brave, they can do like Skittles, and integrate the brand's twitter stream into their Website or blog.

2. Gives Professional Credibility. Although Twitter has been around for a few years now, it has yet to become a marketing norm, and people that are successfully using Twitter are still considered ahead of the curve. With Twitter, you can post interesting articles or videos that you find on the Internet, and the better your posts, the more relative followers you get. And the more relative followers you get, the more credible you become.

3. It creates Exposure. Twitter allows people from all over to see you, what you're doing, what you're into and what you're twittering about. It's an opportunity to get a message out to the masses to promote yourself and your business; whether it's a brand or a service.

4. A Chance to Connect to your Consumer. Not only does Twitter let you view what your consumers are into, but it can take customer service to another level, allowing you to personally connect with the consumer. For example, the other night my friend, Holly, was at a Mexican restaurant, where they give all the customers numbered tokens for a chance to win free queso dip on the "Wheel of Taco". Holly's token won, and she twittered about it. Then she immediately gets a message on Twitter from Eric Michaelson, the owner of the large restaurant group, congratulating her for winning on the "Wheel of Taco".

5. It's all about networking, networking, networking! We all know that in this biz, it's all about who you know, making those connections and being the first to know about the next big thing. Twitter is yet another way to network with other marketing professionals from across the globe. You can participate in online discussions with other professionals. You can see on Twitter Search live updates of the trendiest discussion topics at the moment and join the conversation if you'd like. Topics always have the "#" sign, like #markettrends, and you must use that in all your tweets for it to show up in the Twitter stream. It's like modern day chat room, but it's Twitter.

I'll admit, I've been slow to jump on the Twitter bandwagon, and am still learning the ins and outs, and the more I learn, the more I see what a valuable and essential tool it is becoming for marketing. And the more I learn, the more I'll follow me on Twitter at