Twitter is 'in' for businesses

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-The social media is everywhere and now representatives from different businesses are working to incorporate it effectively into their organization.

A Twitter workshop was held at Arkansas State University's Delta Center for Economic Development on Thursday called Fundamentals of Twitter for Business.

This is a part of the ongoing social media online marketing training workshops that ASU's Small Business and Technology Development Center does for small businesses.

Director of the ASU SBTDC, Herb Lawrence, says they're trying to help get people started.

"We've got some small business folks from in the area," Lawrence said. "Who want to learn how they can use twitter for their business. As a marketing tool, how does it work, how do you set up? What are the rules as far as being a marketer, cause there are certain things that you want to do and certain things that you don't when using social media. But twitter has it's own set of rules."

Lawrence says twitter can be quite an advantage.

"There are a number of different ways to use twitter. We use it quite a bit in getting the word out about our workshops to people who follow us. We share information. When I write on article about something, say online marketing, then I send a link of that article out to my followers on twitter."

One can even take a tweet they like and share it with others by re-tweeting it.

Traci Buxton with First Care attended the twitter seminar.

Buxton says the social media network is even a big part of the medical field.

"Social media is the primary way patients make healthcare decisions," Buxton said. "And it's really important that you use social media to reach patients and share healthcare information."

Lawrence says twitter has grown since it first appeared about five years ago.

"There are more people between the ages of 35 and 54 that are using twitter than ever before," Lawrence said. "Over 50% of all twitter users have at least some college or a college degree, including graduate. They tend to be higher earning. So, they're earning anywhere from 75,000 and above. So, the demographics have changed."

Lawrence feels part of twitter's appeal may be speed.

"It's quick," Lawrence stated. "You've got to be inventive and because it's quick you can send out a lot of different tweets. Unlike Facebook, where if someone's posting every ten minutes, you're going to clog up my news feed. It is virtually impossible to clog up the twitter news feed."

Lawrence says it's also a great way to reach new customers.

"It's also a great way to make initial connections with a potential customer," Lawrence said. "Twitter allows you functions so that you can message directly to that one individual. There are all kinds of great tools that are unique to twitter. It's been around now for about 5 years and is growing in popularity. And we're seeing a lot more people use it in Arkansas than we had several years ago. So, we think it's going to keep working."

Lawrence says it's crucial that organizations be involved with some form of social media in order to keep up and stay competitive.

"It's become almost vital that you have some sort of presence on social media," Lawrence said. "A survey that was done of users, they expect businesses to be on a social media so they can connect with them when they are ready to. The key is knowing the right social media that your customers are on."

For more information about ASU Small Business and Technology Development Center or their upcoming workshops, log onto their website.

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