7 Reasons Why The Micro Social Media Website Twitter Will Be The Essential Business Networking Tool Of 2009

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6 months ago the chances are that you may have never heard of the micro social media website Twitter. However, in the past few months evangelistic celebrities have started to use the service, thrusting it into the public awareness. But is Twitter just another Web2.0 way to stay in touch with your friends or does it offer a serious internet marketing application for business?

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David Bain, 9-year internet marketing veteran and author of the '13 Pillars of Internet Marketing' shares his 7 reasons why he feels that Twitter will be the essential business networking tool of 2009.

Bain says: "Twitter has been growing at a phenomenal rate over the past few months - and it doesn't show any sign of stopping. And a significant percentage of those new users have been businesses. That's because Twitter is such a fantastically efficient way to network. I've pinpointed 7 key areas why businesses need to be using Twitter as a networking tool.

1)    Network with an unlimited number of people

"You can obviously only talk to so many people at conventional business networking events. Other online networking sites like Facebook have limits on your number of online friends. Twitter has no limits on the number of people that you can follow.

2)    Build your reputation in your own industry

"Interacting on Twitter helps you build your reputation in your own industry. By continuing to grow your number of Twitter followers, you're showing that you know what you're talking about within your chosen field, thereby increasing your industry standing.

3)    It isn't based on pre-existing friendships

"You don't have to know people before you start networking on Twitter. If you follow someone because they may be of interest, and they post a tweet that is particularly relevant to you, that's an ideal time to strike up a conversation.

4)    Great source of referrals

"Once you start to contribute valuable tweets on a regular basis your followers will pay grater attention to what you're saying. They'll be more likely to 're-tweet' your posts and their followers will then be introduced to you and your message through the re-tweet.

5)    Search for contacts based on industry segment and location

Thanks to Twitter user directories like Twellow.com, WeFollow.com and GeoFollow.com it's now easy to search for and find fellow Twitter users that are the most relevant for you and your business. Users are commonly ranked by number of followers.

6)    Easy to stop 'following' people

"If you end up following someone who tweets too many posts too often it's easy to stop following them. Services like Tweepular.com allow you to review your followers en masse and choose to 'unfollow' those who either haven't tweeted for a while or chosen not to reciprocate your 'follow'.

7)    It's free!

"At the time of writing the Twitter service is completely free - and they don't appear have any plans to charge for their service as it stands. If your business budget doesn't extend to attending as many conventional business networking events as you want to it's probably time to give Twitter a go.

"Just bear in mind that your focus should be on networking - not selling. Other users will be able to find out more about you should they wish by viewing your profile. Just let your tweets do the talking by continually adding value for other users."

David Bain's '13 Pillars of Internet Marketing' e-book can be downloaded free-of-charge from http://www.13pillars.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DavidBain.

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