I’ve talked about my take on Twitter before. My biggest complaint/knock is that there are millions of people Tweeting but far less people listening. Bottom line: too much noise and not enough value compared to other ways to invest time and money in Internet Marketing.
That being said, I’m not totally against Twitter. I’ll agree that there are some ways to put Twitter to use effectively (more on this in a second), but just a very small percentage of Twitterers use the tool effectively.
Up to this point in time, one of the best uses of Twitter is to establish or enhance a brand’s perception by playing the role of a subject matter expert (SME). For example, a real estate broker in a crowded marketplace could differentiate him or herself by avoiding the temptation of tweeting endlessly about their own listings and instead offering helpful content to homebuyers and sellers. Twitter users in that marketplace who subscribe to the broker develop a sense of trust about the broker, making them more likely to be clients. That should result in more business for the broker (a nice ROI).
The benefits of being an SME depend on the specifics of the industry, but the universal benefit is differentiation. And differentiation usually equals more business. For example, it could mean more leads or the ability to charge a higher hourly rate for consulting, speaking, or training.