This week Twitter has officially embraced business users by providing a set of guidelines for proper and profitable business use of its service. It’s called Twitter 101 for Business. Most of us marketers knew already that Twitter is business friendly in stark contrast to many other social sites that are either staunchly anti-business (Digg e.g.) or solely allowing it as an advertiser (StumbleUpon).
Upon reading the official Twitter 101 for Business I couldn’t find much that was new to me, with one exception, the Twitter for business case studies.
In case you’re not using Twitter regularly for a year like I do you might nevertheless want to study the best practices section closely. Also it’s a good way of providing your employees with a concise introduction into what matters on Twitter.
As a SEO I quickly recognized the similarities and differences to the Google Webmaster guidelines. While Google attempts to sound forthcoming its guidelines are more of a way to put webmasters into their place. There are more don’ts that dos. Twitter on the other hand manages to sound sincere in its effort to reach out to the business community. It sounds encouraging and actually helpful just relying on very broad statements.
What does this mean? You can join Twitter and invest time and money without being afraid of losing it one day like with Digg or StumbleUpon. There many legit power users and bloggers have been banned for no other reason than using their account for their business. Both social sites struggle with their own business cutting staff (Digg) or buying itself back from investors (SU). You can’t succeed in business when you frown upon it. This is a lesson learned from those once very successful sites that stagnate in recent years especially compared to the huge success of Twitter.
So Twitter means business. Thus the best part of the Twitter 101 for business are the case studies. Dell or NakedPizza might be already overused as good examples. There are several others included. Most of them new to me. Also what’s missing is very notable: You won’t find the notorious #moonfruit campaign over at Twitter case studies. It’s obviously about long term relationships and not the quick buck according to Twitter itself.
With a healthy business oriented strategy like this Twitter is here to stay. Most people who were alienated on Digg or StumbleUpon fare pretty well on Twitter. It’s not solely the famous @zaibatsu. Social media mavens who run business sites and are business blog publishers are among the most active, respected and followed Twitter users. This way Twitter mimics real life. Successful business people are trusted there as well unless of course they earned their money in shady ways. Sites like Digg or StumbleUpon distrusting business members per se as self promotional spammers have lost in the race. Twitter shows how it works.
Chris Brogan, one of the most renowned marketers on Twitter gets even a link at the other resources section of the Twitter 101. Can you imagine Google, Digg or StumbleUpon linking out to marketers?