Why should I be using Twitter in my business?

People will tell you that Twitter takes up time…. that it takes you away from other more important work you could be doing.
They’d be right in the in the first instance.
It’s easy to see the effort required to use Twitter well as a downside. Although it’s a free platform, it requires time and intelligence, as well as a plan, to make something happen.
But you won’t find me agreeing that there are more important things than finding new business and new prospects. That’s the lifeblood of every business.
So, what is it about Twitter that those who don’t use it well, don’t like?
As Chris Brogan says in his article on using Twitter for business , “Without a strategy, it’s just typing.”
Soooo, it follows that what might be missing for those who aren’t getting results is a Social Media Strategy.
Other things that people will say about Twitter :
Twitter doesn’t replace customer service.
It doesn’t – it becomes a key part of it if your customers are online. Do you know what they’re saying about your business? Or are you blissfully unaware of both the good and bad comments being made on the social media channels?
Twitter is just for technonerds.
Pah – who do you know who is on Twitter? Odds on they’re not all techno or  nerds. Twitter appeals to an educated group of business people who want to know what’s being said and want to be heard by their peers. Clearly the numbers (3.8 million unique visitors over 30 days according to web marketing group) suggest that there’s a wide variety of people on Twitter. By using Advanced Search and other forms of monitoring and alerts, the game is to find those who are interested in what you do in your business. And they will be there…
Twitter’s only a few million people. (only)
Twitter doesn’t replace direct email marketing.
Twitter opens the company up to more criticism and griping.
All of those are true – but none are reasons not to use it (quite the opposite) – and we work with clients who see real benefits from adding Twitter to the digital marketing mix alongside offline marketing such as direct mail, as well as online direct email marketing. It’s possible to make that all the better by using intelligence gleaned from the social platforms by the way…
And as for opening you up to more criticism – don’t labour under the illusion that just because you don’t know about it, it isn’t happening! When’s the last time you checked what’s being said about your company or your sector on the social platforms?
Again, courtesy of Chris Brogan’s blog, here are some positive to throw back in Twitter’s favour…
“Twitter works swell as an opinion poll. Twitter can help direct people’s attention to good things. Twitter at events helps people build an instant “backchannel.” Twitter breaks news faster than other sources, often (especially if the news impacts online denizens). Twitter gives businesses a glimpse at what status messaging can do for an organization. Remember presence in the 1990s? Twitter brings great minds together, and gives you daily opportunities to learn (if you look for it, and/or if you follow the right people). Twitter gives your critics a forum, but that means you can study them. Twitter helps with business development, if your prospects are online (mine are). Twitter can augment customer service. ”
And most importantly, focused and incisive strategy coupled with time & effort results in recommendations, referrals, and new business.
That’s why we spend our time on Twitter for our own business and for our clients.