Sun, Jul 26, 2009 - Page 11 News List

‘Twitter 101’ Web course designed to attract businesses

AFP , SAN FRANCISCO

Twitter is wooing businesses with a “Twitter 101” online course in how the hot microblogging service can be used to boost bottom lines.

While the company itself grapples with how to cash in on its rocketing popularity, Twitter has added to its Web site lessons on how “tweets” can help businesses improve their image and win customers.

“While this work was envisioned for businesses, it’s also useful for anyone using Twitter so have a look if you like,” Twitter cofounder Biz Stone wrote on the firm’s Web site on Thursday.

“We coordinated with business students and writers to surface some interesting findings, best practices, steps for getting started, and case studies,” he said.

A “Twitter 101” presentation titled “A Special Guide” can be found by following “Business” links at the bottom of Twitter Web pages.

“We’re focused on enhancing value across Twitter in general; these documents are just a first step,” Stone wrote.

Businesses can tune into Twitter to find out what people are saying about products or services and then join real-time conversations to build on positive comments or address the concerns of customers.

“Twitter connects you to your customers right now, in a way that was never before possible,” a page of “Twitter 101” says.

“Businesses of all kinds, including major brands, increasingly find that listening and engaging on the service lead to happier customers, passionate advocates, key product improvements and, in many cases, more sales.”

The conversational nature of Twitter lets businesses build relationships with customers and get feedback for improving products or services, the course says.

Stone has said publicly that money-making strategies being considered by Twitter include charging fees to business users while remaining free for others.

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