Should I be on Twitter? Pros and cons of using Twitter for business

I asked a new contact of mine if he uses Twitter! I like to keep in touch with nice people I meet in different ways, and Twitter is a great way to do so.

Regardless of what you have heard about Twitter, it’s still used by millions of people daily, and it’s a go to place for breaking news and celebrity rants. But I love Twitter for business. And in the context of business, I came up with a pros and cons list.

Pros of using Twitter for business

  • It’s an open network, you can start talking to anyone, within reason.
  • You can build/develop relationships with people using Twitter as a touchpoint.
  • You can meet new people very easily.
  • You can show the things you are good at and knowledgeable about, by sharing links/commenting around certain topics.

Cons of using Twitter for business

  • People sometimes find it a bit confusing, with the @ signs, #tags, Twitter Lists, RTs, moments, trending topics, followers, stream, replies, mentions. But I do 121 and group training on Twitter regularly, and even the most technophobic people usually learn within an hour and a half in my sessions – once I break down the uses.
  • You do need to be consistent with your activity, tweeting regularly, replying to those who talk to you, etc. Dormant Twitter streams give the impression people don’t care about your online profiles.
  • There is a learning curve – it takes time to get used to the language of Twitter, the conversation style, the etiquette.
  • It helps if you aren’t ultra cynical as a personality type, as it’s an open, friendly, non formal environment.
  • Although I did say non formal, some common sense is helpful especially if you have a business and a reputation to uphold!

What’s your take on it, Twitter users? What pros and cons would you add to tell Twitter fence sitters to take the right path for them? Let me know in the comments!

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