Five Skills Twitter Can Teach Every Small Business Owner

Most small business owners see the primary benefit of  Twitter as attracting new business. However, running a successful Twitter account can teach a whole lot more than just how to attract new followers.

Writing succinctly

You may be forced into it by Twitters 140 character limit, but there’s a lot to be said for succinct writing elsewhere. Clear and concise copy gets your message across a lot quicker than rambling paragraphs elucidating every tiny detail of you and your work.

It also breaks it into bite-sized chunks for short attention spans (probably shortened by Twitter).

Research skills

Ask anyone in the biz and they’ll tell you Twitter is not just about broadcasting. In fact, one of the reasons it’s so popular with journalists is that it’s a quick route into people’s thoughts and feelings. A recent study found that crowdsourced data from Twitter was more effective at predicting the stock market than trained analysts.

The public nature of Twitter gives you a direct path to your potential customers. Learn to listen (and effectively use search), and you might gain some valuable insights about your target market.

Targeting the right people

One of the most difficult things for any new tweeter is finding the right people to talk to, particularly if you’re trying to sell to them. It’s no good following absolutely everybody, you have to learn to identify your target audience, a skill that is as essential in the real world as it is online.


It is possible to tweet too much. And one of the most common mistakes made on Twitter is tweeting about anything and everything. You have a lot of thoughts and you could tweet them all, but you’re likely to bore, or even irritate your followers that way.

Learning to prioritise the messages you want to be heard (as well as the people you want to hear them) is a valuable business skill. Save your school run stories for your friends.

Relationship building

If Twitter is about anything, it’s about relationship building. Whether were referring to customers or influencers, Twitters strength as a marketing tool is in one on one communication.

Sure, it may feel like an odd way to meet people at first, but is it really that different from the first awkward encounter at a launch party?

What do you think? Are there any other skills Twitter can teach us?