“I’m taking the dog for a walk…”

So, I talk to people every day about Twitter, and I often get a response like this, “Why would  I want to go on Twitter and watch a bunch of people talking about nothing? I mean who cares that someone wants everyone to know that he’s walking his dog?”  Last year, I would listen to these remarks and thought that Twitter isn’t for these people.

I spend quite a bit of time every week with business professionals and try to convey to them the sheer networking power of Twitter.  When the above message is all they see, it’s hard to make an impact. But lately, I’m showing them the power of Twitter in a new way – with a real-life example.  It occurred in the fall of last year.  I was with a group of Austin businesspeople, brainstorming the marketing problems of one of our own. While we were exploring options for the owner of a local ballet school; I decided to do a search on Twitter for ballet in Austin.

One of the top tweets was from a young woman who was expressing that now that her back was feeling better, she wanted to get back into ballet. That’s when it hit me. When people tweet, they aren’t simply sharing what they are doing – they’re revealing their thoughts.

What a person chooses to share gives us insight into what they are thinking.  When I am passing on a link to a blog or YouTube video, talking to a friend or thanking a total stranger for retweeting me – when I am simply broadcasting something silly or cute about my kid, the world is getting a glimpse of what is on my mind.  When I tweet out how dissatisfied or happy I am with (Insert any consumer product or service here), it’s more than a glimpse. That’s an opportunity!

So, if you’re a businessperson looking for people to try your product or service, and you’re not on Twitter, what are you missing out on?  Well, you have no clue what your market is thinking.  But what if your competition is on Twitter?  He is getting information that you’re not.

Twitter is a direct link to your customers’ frame of mind. Anyone who has ever sold any type of product or service will tell you that the key to success is being tuned into your client.  Haven’t you ever wanted a tool that gave you direct access to what your end user is thinking about at that very moment?

Now you have it.  In my opinion, it’s better than SEO. Think about this – when I search you, your product or service online, I  get results for you and your competition too.  When I tweet it out, if you are paying attention, you can see that and respond! Even in a moment that I’m ready to buy!  You can capture new business and convert me into a raving fan because you have proven in the first contact that you listen to your customers (Read that sentence again).  Another bonus is that it can be done locally so the traditional business can capture as much of their local market as they want.

Go one step further – run Twitter incentives out of your businesses storefront location to connect to those who already shop there and deepening the connection. Customers who feel connected tend to stay – those who don’t tend to go.

So what are you waiting for? Stop reading, go to, get an account if you don’t already have one and start searching your heart out!

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