What if small businesses and entrepreneurs could advertise and perform customer service for free and reach more potential clients than multi-thousand dollar marketing plans? Enter Twitter, a completely free social networking and blogging service that allows users to send and receive posts that are up to 140 characters in length. Such posts are delivered to the author’s followers and can be received either on the receiver’s profile or via text message.
In June, CNN profiled several small business owners on Twitter’s remarkable utility. Kris Drey is the Vice President of Product Marketing at Fliqz, an online video-hosting service based in Emeryville, California. When Drey maxed out the company’s $15,000 marketing budget, he turned to Twitter, posting three to four updates a day as @Fliqz and following the 140 character updates of anyone who seemed at all interested in the online video industry. Within just a few months, Drey had 1,358 followers and was able to land a $6,000 per year contract because of a lead from Twitter.
Drey is by no means alone in using Twitter as a tool to expand one’s small business. 52Teas, based in Wichita, Kansas, began using Twitter in 2007 to post updates about the company. In 2007, the company shipped one or two packages every two or three weeks. Currently, 52Teas has over 3,400 followers on Twitter, and they ship about 52 packages a week.
While Twitter has functioned as a tremendous free marketing and networking tool for small businesses around the country, it is not without its flaws. For example, Twitter executives are working hard to prevent company-name theft. Regardless of the potential drawbacks, Twitter offers small businesses a way to increase profits and revenue without paying a dime for marketing and networking.
To read the full CNN story, click here.
To read a related story with tips for using Twitter as a small business, click here.
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