And you are on a giant conference call. Goofy analogy, I know, but the paradigm shift has begun, and there’s a key ingredient in your digital marketing mix that will make you more successful with the new technology.

“Everybody” Knows Twitter These Days

According to a June 16 article in the San Fransisco Chronicle*, the micro-blogging social network boasts nearly 106 million users and as awareness of Twitter across America has grown from 5% in 2008 to 87% in 2010, so too has the acceptance of Twitter as a legitimate and reliable mode of communication.

With Twitter, connections are made, meetings are planned and products are promoted. Networks of industry professionals and consumers debate the latest topics and interlink their conversation with hashtags, like #hashtagsAreNeat. The concept that Twitter is solely for documenting your day through 140- character blurps has long expired.

What does this mean for business?

Your company may or may not be on Twitter yet (and there’s a whole other conversation to have about being a brand on Twitter) but I’m here to ask: are you conducting business via Twitter? If you own a business, are you allowing your employees to conduct business via Twitter? If not, you should.

This is especially true for client-facing individuals on a company’s staff who are charged with duties such as sales, account service, public relations or customer support. Of course, no company should boldly go into the social media frontier without a plan and a set of guidelines. For the quick and dirty, check out our blog about social media policy for the workplace. If you need a little more friendly advice, give us a call.

The short of it is, your employees should be on Twitter because it’s one of the fastest growing, 21st Century means for building relationships.

Take Me For Example

My name is Jared—I’m the new Digital Brand Manager at Greteman Group. A few months ago, I sent a tweet (a message via Twitter) to another person who worked here at the agency, to let them know I was interested in working for them. When a position became open a couple months later, I received a tweet from him asking me if I’d like an interview. After a couple of interviews, I was hired.

Greteman Group found the talent they needed. I got the job of my internet-nerd dreams. Transaction complete—one in which Twitter played a critical role. Other methods of communication could have easily turned out to be less effective, what with phone trees and cluttered inboxes.

Here’s the key:

Beyond my résumé and qualifications, Twitter made it easy for Greteman Group and me to develop a little relationship before our employment interaction. In the past, I would “tweet” about the latest social media topics itching my brain, and solicit comment from the experts here at the agency. Needless to say, we got along, and when it came time for them to make the hire (and for me to score the gig) it was just a matter of building on our established rapport.

Use Twitter Like It’s a Telephone

I understand that Twitter may have yet to be a standard in your industry. For some businesses, it could be a long time before it makes sense to substitute tweets for telephone in a significant way. In that case, you may want to think about the opportunity to lead your industry in customer interaction via Twitter. Give the conversational, instantaneous culture of Twitter a chance—you may be pleasantly surprised by the results.