Like blogging, Twitter lets you write messages that other people can read. Unlike blogging, Twitter limits your messages to 140 characters.
The brevity, combined with the variety of delivery systems, make Twitter a powerful medium. Here are five ways to harness it:
1. Share ideas. Twitter is often called “micro-blogging,” and as with regular-size blogging, some people use it primarily to share personal information, while others use it for professional reasons.
2. Show respect. Another way to share ideas — and your respect for other people in your field — is to “retweet” something interesting somebody else has Twittered.
3. Build your brand.
4. Engage customers. Run contests, solicit feedback and thank customers for supportive messages.
5. Provide customer service.
Finally, no matter how you use it, remember that messages posted to Twitter — even updates you send by phone or IM — reside on the Web in perpetuity, where prospective employers and customers can find them. While 140 characters may not seem like much, they are enough to look unprofessional.