How Twitter Helps a CEO Run His Company
By Lorien Gabel as told to Hannah Clark Steiman
The first time I heard about Twitter, I thought, Wow, this is a fantastic waste of time. In no way did I think it would be useful to an entrepreneur with an online invitation site. Now, I consider it an indispensable tool for learning what customers think about pingg.
Unlike many people, I don't use Twitter to send out a constant stream of updates. Instead, I monitor what people are saying about us and about our competitors. I use TweetDeck, a simple, free software program that allows me to search for up to 10 terms on Twitter at once. Whenever a Twitter user mentions pingg, Evite, Evite alternative, party planning, or event planning, the message pops up. If someone has a complaint about pingg, we send a response and try to address it. If someone praises pingg, we'll respond and say thanks. It's a very easy way to build community online -- much easier than getting your users to friend you on Facebook.
I also use Twitter to connect with people I call influencers. If a professional event planner Twitters about pingg, I might send a note and ask for feedback. Recently, a popular tech blogger Twittered about us. I reached out, and we had a long conversation. He even provided a valuable business contact for me -- and to think, if it weren't for Twitter, we never would have met.
Have you tried Twitter, the Pre, or any of the products featured in The Goods? Head to www.inc.com/thegoods and tell us what you think. We run the best comments in the magazine every month.
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