I plead guilty to enjoying a cold beer or two, and I’ve watched with amazement as the decade-long bull market in the craft beer industry shows no signs of abating.
Twitter is getting down to business. The microblogging platform recently unveiled its new "Twitter 101" site, which teaches companies how they can use Twitter to engage customers and make money. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> As the name implies, the site offers a basic introduction to the service, how it works, how it can be used to better connect with customers and even boost sales. It provides best practices and case studies of companies that are finding success with the social media.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> In a blog post on the site, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said the site is a response to companies have reached out to them asking how to use the platform to better engage customers. "Twitter is still a small team so it made more sense to do some research and make it widely available rather than personally visit businesses big and small," said Stone.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> American Apparel is one of the company case studies featured on the site. The marketing team was tipped off via Twitter about a photographer who had been tracking his wife's pregnancy week-by-week on a blog, with her dressed in American Apparel clothes. Marketers from the company like the photos so much, that after some Twitter exchanges they worked with the photographer to use the images as the basis for an ad campaign for maternity wear. Among the other case studies examined are JetBlue, Pepsi and Tasti D Lite ice cream.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Best practices include tips on how to message users and how to follow others, such as "Use a casual, friendly tone" and "Listen regularly for comments about your company." To help promote the new site, at the bottom of every page on Twitter is now a link labeled "business" that directs readers back to the Twitter 101 site. There is also a pdf file available for those who would like to download the information.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> This is just beginning of Twitter's outreach to businesses, according to Stone. "We're focused on enhancing value across Twitter in general—these documents are just a first step."