Why Twitter is worth your time
Imagine a tool that gives you access to concise tips from the foremost experts in your industry, as well as breaking news — well before traditional news outlets — and the ability to reach millions of users whom you can market your business to. It exists, and it's called Twitter®.
Before you say that you've already tried the service, don't have time for another social network or you're just not interested in learning about every little thing your friend does throughout the day, listen to Debbie Marchok, an instructor in the MBA program and marketing executive for a gourmet dessert company.
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According to Marchok, "I use Twitter as a learning tool, and I learn something new every day from it." After signing up, you can browse some of the top feeds on Twitter, according to your interests. Are you curious about business? Tony Hsieh tweets, and his feed is listed. Politics? President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney are listed.
"When you add up all the tips and strategies I've learned from some of the most prominent experts in the topics I'm interested in," Marchok says, "I simply can't afford not to use Twitter." To start following feeds according to your interests, sign up for an account on Twitter, click "Discover" at the top and "Browse categories" in the top left column, then click "Follow" next to the feeds you're interested in.
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When reports came out about Whitney Houston's death, it wasn't any of the major TV stations or online newspapers that broke the story. And, in the Osama bin Laden raid last year, it wasn't a traditional news correspondent who reported the events live in Abbottabad, Pakistan. It was Twitter users who first reported these events almost the moment they happened.
"Twitter has redefined what it means to get news in real time," Marchok says. As a Twitter user, you can follow news networks such as CNN™ and the Associated Press℠ to catch stories before they're aired on TV or posted online.
Interact with customers directly.
"At the company, we interact with customers in a way we never could have without Twitter," Marchok says. Using the service, she's been able to promote the business through Twitter-only discounts and engage her customers by asking for feedback and personal stories that involve her company's gourmet foods. Because the company actively responds to those who mention it by name on Twitter, the company has been successful in getting more people talking about — and therefore trying — its products.
Still unconvinced? Whether you plan on using the service personally or professionally, if you're new to it, Marchok advises, study how other brands and individuals use Twitter (see example Twitter feed to the right), and use the service for 21 days straight to give yourself time to adopt the service.
Did Debbie Marchok's advice change your feelings about Twitter? Let us know by mentioning on Twitter.
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Associated Press is a registered trademark of Associated Press, The Corporation.