Twitter is by far the most popular microblogging platform in existence. It also offers a great way for anyone, in any industry to increase their reach.

But there is massive untapped potential on Twitter and many people miss the biggest opportunity the website offers. I have taken full advantage of this opportunity and it has paid massive dividends for me in the business world.

In this article, we'll give you a little background on the site and then, BOOM! I'll dive into the number one reason to use Twitter.

First , Realize People In Your Target Market Are On Twitter

If you haven't yet made Twitter an active part of your social media campaigns, then you're missing out on a great opportunity to reach people in your market.

More than 300 million people use Twitter regularly. Unless you're catering to a very tiny micro-niche, it's safe to say that people who are interested in your product or service are using Twitter. That means your customers are there, your referral partners, the publishers you want to get in front of, everyone!

There are 1.3 billion people who have Twitter accounts. Even though many of them aren't using Twitter actively (as are the aforementioned 300 million), they might pop in now and then just to check their timelines. But they will definitely pop in if they are being mentioned. Keep that in the back of your head.

Beyond those stats, there are 500 million people who browse Twitter without even logging in. Twitter doesn't hide tweets from people who aren't users, so casual Internauts don't even need to log in to the service to see what people are tweeting about. Of course, that's also a great opportunity for better reach.

Twitter also makes it easy for people to share the tweets of others with a simple "retweet" button. People can share your great tweets with just the click of a button. Those retweets will also boost your brand.

Second, Consider This... Everyone Wants to Know, Did I Get Mentioned?

Twitter also keeps track of people who mentioned you in a tweet. You can simply click on your "Notifications" to see who's retweeted you, replied to you, and mentioned you.

That's important because it lets you know who your friends are. If other Twitter users are going out of their way to retweet you or reply to something that you've said, then you're starting to build relationships on the platform. That's going to help you increase the size of your audience. But is is more than than, lasting bonds are created through this simple interaction over time.

Keep in mind that what goes around comes around. If people are retweeting you, be sure to give them a follow back and retweet some of their best tweets as well.

Third, Know There Are Advanced Tools That Offer Valuable Information

Twitter has its share of third-party developers who use the API to write their own automation software. There are at least a couple of great tools on the market to help you get the most out of Twitter.

Take a look at FollowerWonk, for example. It's a tool offered by Moz that allows you to find key influencers in your niche so that you can piggy-back off of their success.

Also, BuzzSumo enables you to find influencers so that you can connect with them on Twitter. Even better: the tool lets you see what type of content the influencers are sharing so that you can learn a little bit about what appeals to them.

Finally, The Number One Reason to Use Twitter

All of that was the preamble. Now, it's time to disclose the number one reason to use Twitter.

It's to forge business relationships with key influencers who also use Twitter.

I like to segment them like this.

Once you've found the people that you want to connect with on Twitter, initiate the process of starting a relationship with them. There are several ways that you can do that.

For starters, follow the influencers. That's always the best place to begin when you want other users to notice you on Twitter.

Twitter allows you to put other Twitter users into lists that are much more manageable than a normal timeline feed if you're following thousands of people (make sure to take advantage of this and put in the time). You can segment your lists based on your goals for the people on that list.

If you read an article written by the influencer, tweet out the link to your followers and mention the author by his or her Twitter handle. For example, you would tweet something like this: "Great article on SEO tactics by @johnelincoln". Twitter will alert the influencer of your mention.

Interact with people on your lists. Once they start responding to you, reach via their website contact form and ask to set up a quick call. They will be much more likely to want to talk to you due to your Twitter relationship.

Finally, make great use of Buffer in your Twitter campaigns. If you aren't familiar with Buffer, it allows you to space out your tweets throughout the day so you aren't flooding the timelines of your followers with one tweet after another. Buffer offers a free service for up to 10 scheduled tweets.

Start Building Relationships on Twitter Now

Twitter is a great platform for creating business relationships. If you aren't already using it to connect with people who can send some business your way, why not start today?