Twitter and Home Based Business

I have to admit that at any given moment I don’t know whether to be highly impressed or highly amused by the way Twitter, which allows you to share messages with a 140 character limit, has taken the social media world by storm.

Maybe a bit of both. It mightn’t be – no, isn’t – the only game in town, but it is a fascinating game and one I see as going on for quite a while. Twitter bird

And while I don’t know, and doubt that anyone does, how many Twitter users are owners of home based businesses, I’m guessing that the answer is A LOT.

Jeremiah Owyang’s estimate, as of late January, is for around 5 million registered Twitter users and some 3,400,000 active users.

So what would be a reasonable guesstimate of the number of Twitter users with home based businesses or – not the same thing but interesting anyway – users who work from home? A million? Two million?

Whatever the figure is, I find, as  a professional working from home, that Twitter has a special appeal for me. On any given day I am as likely to be:

  • amazed at how a tweet has made me aware of a resource I would not likely have known about otherwise
  • annoyed with myself for wasting time on Twitter trivia
  • amused and entertained by the wit of fellow twitterers
  • inspired by how helpful people on Twitter can be – and have been, to me and to others

In March last year I listed five ways Twitter helps me in business.

And now Anita Campbell, who edits the Small Business Trend site, has put together the ambitiously titled Ultimate Small Business Twitter List.

I have to say I think Anita has been very brave in doing this list. There will always be people who feel left out. As Anita acknowledges, in seeking to list “the people on Twitter who regularly provide information by, about and for small businesses”, she had taken on an “impossible task”.

Nevertheless, for anyone in small business interested in exploring Twitter, this is a great list of tweeple to start following.

Good to see @BeckyMcCray there, whose blot Small Biz Success is focused on business in rural communities and small towns.

Denise O’Berry – @deniseoberry at Justforsmallbusiness.com – has been providing resources for small business for as long as I can remember, as indeed has Anita herself.

What I found more interesting than the listing of individuals on Twitter – “tweeple” – was the listing of corporate Twitter presences.

Some of these are anonymous, others have individuals fronting the brand: there is a third category of what appear to be individuals but may or may not not represent real, individual people.

@AngelaATHP and @tacanderson at HP look like real people.

As does @DannyUrquiea at American Express.

@bbsnewswire is a disembodied corporate id for Better Business Bureau.

@gowithabc is not representing a broadcasting company but a group blog, America’s Best Companies – tag line “The Future of Small Business”.

Some seem confused: for example, at Microsoft there is Louise Rasho as @officelivegal and Amanda as @officelivegirl who has a tweet on Feb 7 saying “Merging accounts here. Please start following me at OfficeLiveGal”. So would that be Amanda or Louise we would be following?

I would love to see a list of Twitter people with home based businesses and Twitter names for companies servicing that market. If you are part of one or both of those groups, please feel free to leave some info about what you do and your Twitter id in the comments here.

If you choose to follow me on Twitter – @deswalsh is my handle there – I’m likely to reciprocate as long as I can see something real about you, preferably a blog, or LinkedIn profile. I don’t usually follow anonymous corporate Twitter identities or sales pages. 🙂

Tweetbird image courtesy of ProductiveDreams

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About Des Walsh

I show business owners and other professionals how to navigate the social media maze and use LinkedIn effectively. I'm an author, speaker, business coach, social media strategist and LinkedIn specialist. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Google Plus and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get my weekly Social Business Bites.

Comments

  1. AngelaAtHP says:

    Hi Des: Apologies for the delayed response.
    I just wanted to confirm that I am indeed a real person! I work for HP’s Imaging and Printing Group in the U.S.
    But I really enjoy connecting with entrepreneurs everywhere…which is especially easy to do on Twitter.
    HP has a great collection of resources for homebased businesses, including products, services, and web resources to help you make technology work for you. Check out our most recent social networking activity: The SMB Marketing Guide: http://www.smbmarketingguide.com You’ll find top tips from small biz experts such as Anita Campbell, John Jantsh, Guy Kawasaki, and others, plus free webinars, free DIY marketing templates, and links to HP’s latest small biz products that can help you save time and money, and be kinder to the environment (save energy, save paper).
    Keep up the great work.
    Cheers!

  2. @Web Copywriting Tips:
    Stuart
    I’m sure people who already have a following can have a larger presence on Twitter, but wouldn’t you say also that if someone who may not yet have a following joins Twitter, listens and learns, then starts to join the conversation, they have every chance of being more than another face in the crowd?

  3. @Sahail:
    Sahail
    Thanks: I hear what you say, I just feel there is more to Twitter *as a community* and as a place of collaboration vs the *advanced sms* aspect – and in your reference to networking I think you are acknowledging that, are you not?

  4. @eziqmarzuki:
    Eziq
    Thanks for the comment. I enjoyed reading your post on the Power of Sleep.

  5. eziqmarzuki says:

    Hi des,

    Good article about twitter. Its indeed the benefits twitter can bring to Home Based Business like mine and others. I added you on twitter. I currently blogging about personal development and social marketing.

    I see you on twitter

    eziqmarzukis last blog post..Power of Sleep

  6. I like twitter….but like you, I don’t know whether to be impressed or amused…I can see how it can benefit home business owners who already have a following, but those who don’t will just be another face in the crowd…

    Nice blog and lots of cool article here..please don’t mind if I snoop around a little!!

    Stuart Stirling

    Web Copywriting Tipss last blog post..Swipe File: When You Need Inspiration From Above

  7. Twitter is becoming nothing more than advanced sms, however it is also the quickest way to network full stop. As a method of meeting like-minded individuals, rather than prospects, it is red hot right now.

  8. @Gia:
    Gia I believe you will get further by seeing applications like Twitter as conversation enablers, rather than as tools for promotion. Todd Defren has just produced an excellent, free, downloadable e-book, Brink: a Social Media Guide from the Edge which explains all this.
    http://www.pr-squared.com/2009/02/ebook_on_social_media_marketin.html

  9. I am overcome with all the options available these days for promotion of your home businesses! I admit I am a twitter novice and a bit freaked out by the entire process. I have tried some of the pay per clicks like BizAdSplash, and some of the social networking sites like Facebook. We’ll see… this new tech and access is overwhelming!

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