In my post at Citysquares last week, I mentioned that small business should be cautious of social marketing – simply because it can become a time drainer.  How do I know? Experience, trust me. LOL.

Social marketing is important and should be part of your online marketing but make sure you set some goals, before just jumping into it. Over the next few posts, I want to cover Twitter and the small business. Today is simply setting the ground work.

There have been a ton of articles already about Twitter. Two that I liked, that covered the basics well were by Jennifer Laycock of Search Engine Guide; Part One: From Twits to Tweeple, Why I Embraced Twitter and You Should Too and Part Two. Jennifer provides screen shots and a nice explanation of Twitter and how to get started.

I signed up for Twitter in November last year at the urging of Ben Saren and Sebastien Provencher. (Thanks guys) I really have come to like Twitter much more than the other social networking sites. Why? Twitter provides me with an easy way to keep up with what is being said/happening within my circle of friends and associates but also within certain topics.

Twitter definitely is an interactive social network. The last article to highlight today is a long one but quite interesting by Danny Sullivan called,  How We Search With The Twitter Help Engine. Danny says:

“It’s clear to anyone who watches a twitter stream that people put out questions to Twitter similar to how they use search engines. But if anecdotal examples aren’t enough, a survey I conducted last week confirms that Twitter is used as a search resource.”

“Instead, this survey was about how people use Twitter itself their network of followers to ask for help directly, especially when in the past, they might have first turned to a search engine.”

I think this article was very thought provoking.  When you have some time, head over there and read it. What I think you should walk away from the article is that your followers are important in Twitter and that it is a medium folks are using to look for answers.  As a small business, Twitter can provide you a way to reach folks looking for answers that you and your business can provide. Think about it.