Guest blog from Emma Jones, Founder of Enterprise Nation and author of ‘Spare Room Start Up - how to start a business from home'.
The UK's first ever Home Enterprise Day is scheduled for Friday 20th November and home business website, Enterprise Nation, has fired the starting gun on a race to follow every home business owner on Twitter, by this date. Here we look at why home-based businesses should be using this powerful tool.
What is it?
If you're unsure as to what Twitter is and does, essentially it's a micro-blogging tool. It asks ‘What are you doing?' and it's up to you to reply in less than 140 characters. Someone has referred to it as ‘the SMS of the internet' which just about sums it up. And here are four good reasons to sign up.
1. It's big and it's growing - an article dated July 2007 refers to Twitter having ‘at least 340 000 users with a public account' - in November 2008 Forrester Research estimated this had risen to 4-5 million users. Wow. In March 2009, mobile phone company O2 came out with the headline ‘Business Tweeting at record levels!' - the release estimated over 700,000 small businesses using Twitter, sending nearly three million tweets a day. The release went on to say:
"Twitter has been providing UK small businesses with a range of benefits, including cost cutting, marketing and recruiting new staff. This has meant nearly a third of the small businesses we spoke to have saved up to £1,000, while one in ten saved up to £5,000. Meanwhile over a quarter found that staying in touch with other small businesses helped boost their confidence."
Which brings us nicely on to the business benefits.
2. It's good for business - Twitter is one of the most effective tools we've ever seen for promoting yourself as an expert in your field. Post links to interesting articles, share facts and offer hot tips and you will be effortlessly showing you know your stuff. This will attract existing and potential customers and make them feel more inclined to buy from you. Find partners, customers and suppliers using a tool that takes only minutes each day to maintain.
3. It's good for you - step in to the virtual corridor of Twitter and meet new friends. Homeworkers can miss the social interaction of an office. Twitter offers that environment, without you having to get dressed up and travel to it. And, of course, you can turn it off whenever you want!
4. It's free - which other piece of kit do you know that introduces you to new business, new opportunities and new friends - for free.
If you're not yet on Twitter, sign up today at http://www.twitter.com/ and if you already are, please help us in our race by following us on the link below. Reply, retweet and please tell all your homeworking friends!
and the Microsoft Small Business Twitter page is at: http://twitter.com/MicrosoftSB
Home Enterprise Day will take place on Friday 20th November and is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week http://www.gew.org.uk/
Related posts: SMEs use Twitter to save costs
PingBack from http://www.midatlanticcoinopshow.com/2009/05/the-race-is-on/
More than 60% of small businesses are now started from home and an estimated 8 million people will earn