Everyone from Oprah to Ashton Kutcher is hopping on the micro-blogging service Twitter. Basically it’s a free platform for sharing 140-character snippets of text that can easily be read online, posted on websites and pushed to mobile devices. Small businesses are turning into a creative marketing tool. The New York Times recently profiled how small businesses are using Twitter, including a crème brûlée cart (sounds like a certain cupcake truck we talked about before) a sushi restaurant, a liquor store, a bed and breakfast, and an antique shop:
“We think of these social media tools as being in the realm of the sophisticated, multiplatform marketers like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, but a lot of these supersmall businesses are gravitating toward them because they are accessible, free and very simple,” said Greg Sterling, an analyst who studies the Internet’s influence on shopping and local businesses.
The Boston Globe recently featured restaurants that are taking advantage of Twitter, using it to post daily specials and offer freebies:
“You could be a pizza guy at a greasy spoon sending text messages from a three-year-old cellphone,’’ [Aaron] Cohen said. “You don’t need technology to be spreading your message on Twitter. It’s very utilitarian.’’
Twitter is even offering its own guide to help businesses figure out how to best use Twitter.
While some of these articles claim Twitter is easier than setting up a website (it can be), they also claim you don’t need a website. That’s one point we disagree with. A website is your online home, offering clarity, longevity and search engine traffic.