The power of #140charactersorless

While some of you may have been hoping that Twitter was just a fad, with over 500 million users worldwide, it appears that it is here to stay. Many who have an account may wonder what the hype is about. Those who have not jumped on the bandwagon yet are probably wondering why one would ever want to join yet another social network just to hear the political opinions of people you have not seen since high school, or see pictures of your friends’ lunch. To learn how to use Twitter productively, I encourage you to read on.
Twitter is a great tool for those in business to connect with customers and other professionals. The Coffee Groundz coffee shop in Houston is a prime example of a business that transformed itself through Twitter. Starting as a small neighborhood coffee shop in 2007, the Coffee Groundz sought to increase sales by advertising in newspapers, on the radio and engaging with the community by working with local non-profit groups, yet this did little to increase business.
In 2008, the manager of the Coffee Groundz, J.R. Cohen, started a Twitter account for the business and everything changed. By responding to a tweet from a customer asking for a breakfast wrap to go, the Coffee Groundz unknowingly made Twitter history. This was the first time a food order was placed on Twitter. Local newspapers published the story and the Coffee Groundz finally got the publicity it was seeking. The Coffee Groundz sales increased 20-30 per cent as a result. With over 14,000 followers, what started as a small, unknown local coffee shop is now recognized as a hip, tech-savvy place for local social media fans to get a fabulous cup of coffee.
Twitter has also helped launch the careers of those in the arts. First time author Lynn Sheene used Twitter to create a following for her book. While doing research for her novel, Lynn took pictures of various places in Paris. She then uploaded these photos to Twitter, asking for people to name the landmarks. In exchange she offered advanced copies of her book. By doing this, she increased her followers by 400 per cent, and as a result increased her sales, landeding her a feature article in a French publication.
Much of modern day pop culture has its roots in Twitter. Jason Halpern’s novel turned sitcom Shit My Dad Says, all began with him tweeting hilarious things his father had said. Also (love it or hate it), PSY’s Gangnam Style owes much of its North American success to Twitter. Many K-Pop musicians have utilized Twitter to gain popularity in the west. Talent manager Scooter Braun was able to connect with PSY through Twitter. Soon after, PSY flew to Los Angeles to discuss collaboration opportunities. As a result, PSY became the first Korean artist to break a big record in the United States.
Whether you are looking to promote your business, your book, your band or to simply find a job, Twitter can connect you with people that can help you achieve your goals. To use Twitter as a professional tool, it is important to follow the people and companies that interest you, and avoid following random people in the hopes of increasing your followers. Interact with those you follow, use hashtags to make your tweets easy to find and let the Twitter magic unfold.  

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