The majority of today’s “traditional” marketers use outbound marketing to reach their audiences. For message distribution, they use print media, radio and TV. For lead generation, they use direct mail, cold calls and email blasts. These methods may have worked in the past.

However, by using tools like TIVO/DVR, email spam‐blockers and caller ID, consumers block messages they don’t want. People now control how they consume media and what messages they care to hear.

But all is not lost! Consumers still want to learn about the best products and services for their needs. The key is they want to find this information on their own, most often by using the Internet.

For example, someone might peruse the blogosphere to read first‐hand experiences with a particular product. Maybe that person will also search for reviews online or engage with others in social media to learn other views and opinions. Instead of continuing to push marketing messages out, effective marketers adapt to this consumer behavior by creating marketing campaigns that pull people into their business.

This strategy is called inbound marketing. Inbound marketers offer the public useful
information, tools and resources to attract people to their site, while also interacting and developing relationships with consumers on the web. Inbound marketing tools include blogging, content publishing, search engine optimization, social media and social networks. Twitter is one of the most powerful social networks for your business.

Twitter 101
So, what is Twitter?
Quite often, people’s gut reaction to Twitter is, “No one needs to know what I’m doing” or
I don’t care what other people are doing.”
While this may be the surface view, Twitter is also a great way to expand your network.
In the words of Chris Brogan, Twitter is a useful communication tool that allows you to interact
with people around the world in three different ways:

  1. Send a short message to a bunch of people publicly
  2. Send a short message to a specific person publicly
  3. Send a short message to a specific person privately
Twitter is also referred to as a "micro-blogging" service, meaning you can post short updates limited to 140 characters or less. Why? Originally, the limitation was created to make Twitter compatible with mobile phones and text messaging. Now, it’s a useful characteristic that allows users to receive rapidfire, concise information from many, many people!

Twitter from a Business Perspective
In short, Twitter is a relationship building and relationship maintenance tool;
the most obvious business use of Twitter is to meet potential customers and leads the same
way you would at networking event or tradeshow.

However, you can also use it to:
1) Develop and promote your brand
2) Interact with your customer base
3) Track what people are saying about your company and brand
4) Create buzz around upcoming events
5) Help individual employees act as liaisons to the public
6) Promote other content you’ve created, including webinars, blog posts or podcasts
7) Develop direct relationships with bloggers and journalists for potential PR placement