In July of last year, I wrote about A Twitter Success Story. In that article, I said, "Chances are, if you're not an early adopter type, you may not have heard of Twitter, the online community that is a kind of instant-messaging social network." Today, chances are if you're not living under a rock, you've at least heard of Twitter, and might have noticed that Oprah, CNN, the ladies of The View and about 9 million other people in the US have been actively using Twitter to communicate, and also to get business.
Yes, people get business via Twitter. At a recent event in New York (organized via Twitter by PR guru @PeterHimler), I met Lisa Cruz (@LisaRedShoesPR), Co-Founder of Red Shoes PR , a 5 person startup agency in Northeastern Wisconsin. It was created about a year ago as an integrated shop helping clients with both traditional PR and Social Media services. Lisa told me that while many folks are still questioning the way to obtain business on Twitter, her shop had just signed a client who found and actively sought them out because of their activity on Twitter.
Friday Shamblen, Founder of Hawaii-based Alluminare (@Alluminare) was looking for a PR firm and had been watching Lisa, the @RedShoesPr account, and another co-Founder, Jessica Dennis (@JessDennis) on Twitter. "I was seeing them tweet and they were really "Akamai" as we say in Hawaii -- smart and clever. Other firms I saw had bad websites, and bad tweets. These folks were always working, and most important were always doing something interesting. They don't Tweet negatives like "have to do X for a client, sigh," so for me this was important."
Friday went to their site, sent an email to their general mailbox, and got a response, then conversed via Twitter Direct Messages. She has just signed with Red Shoes as her agency. This wasn't that unusual for Alluminare. They run a site where you can customize lighting fixtures, pillows, and other things with a special fabric. A customer can visit, take any design and fully customize it - shrinking or expanding the pattern, changing the colors and more. They're always looking for new patterns. Friday has been recruiting designers via the web, who then submit patterns to add to Alluminare's collection - and she found their latest designer via Twitter.
Last updated: May 20, 2009
HOWARD GREENSTEIN is a social media strategist and evangelist, and president of the Harbrooke Group, which specializes in helping companies communicate with their customers using the latest Web technologies. @HowardGr