The buzz about using Twitter for business is on the rise.
Although some of the early skepticism lingers, the size of the Twitter community and the potential for communicating in new ways is a magnet for forward-looking organizations.
Employees are beginning to glom together there. Several of my Capstrat colleagues are already connected. @jowang reported that colleagues at Forrester Research are signing on. And several blue chip companies are looking to Twitter as a way to connect to their customers. @missrogue on Horse, Pig Cow cites Zappos and JetBlue.
Other businesses are figuring how to use Twitter to monetize their own enterprises, whether using the API or to provide value add by offering additional services. @jakepronews offers insights on benefits for small business on WebProNews.
Businesses have a particular opportunity to manage their online reputation through Twitter. The viral diffusion of information offers a faster way to disseminate news and information than conventional online media.
And herein lies a risk. By ignoring Twitter, companies can leave themselves open to harm. In August, The Industry Standard reported that Exxon Mobil’s brand was ‘hijacked’ by impersonator on Twitter. Exxon was forced into spin control, saying that the person was not authorized to speak on behalf of the company and that there were inaccuracies (on Twitter).
As a Twitterer, your role can be to encourage your Corp Comm (Marketing, PR, whatever) to adopt a Twitter strategy—to embrace micro-blogging as an important technology and to use it to complement (not supplement) existing corporate communications strategy. It is an unstoppable trend and early adopters will benefit. Hey, you might even get to Tweet full-time and get paid for it!