Are you all bitter and twittered? You're not alone.

Social media

Twitter is touted by many as a great business tool, but if you're still grappling with the concept, you're not alone. When I first started using Twitter in earnest over 18 months ago, I was led down an emotional tailspin that looked something like this..


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Over 65% of the Fortune 500 companies have an active Twitter account, so there's certainly demand from customers who choose to engage with brands using Twitter. In Australia, about 10% of our population uses Twitter. So it pays to incorporate Twitter as a social media tool in your business strategy, but I sometimes question the incremental value it returns for small business owners like us.

How much time can you afford to invest in it?

Giant corporations have marketing departments with dedicated resources to spend all day on social media channels. However, when small business owners to choose to invest in Twitter, it's putting even more strain on limited resources. For instance, I put aside at least a good hour each day on social media and Twitter inevitably falls to the bottom of my list of priorities. I don't think it's a matter of learning more about how to use it more effectively. I believe because the sheer scope, nature and design of Twitter is not designed specifically for business, it's difficult as a business owner to derive as much value from it.

How do you cut through the 'noise' on Twitter?

The goal with any social media is obviously to engage with customers. What I find though it's always an uphill battle to get noticed on Twitter. Sure, branding is important, but so is influence. One measure of influence is obviously to build a larger following, but ironically the more you follow, the more noise you need to cut out. Similarly, the more others follow, the more you'll need to fight to get noticed. Although I have only 700 followers currently, I find it virtually impossible as is to keep track and make meaningful connections with many of my followers. It does make it all that difficult to listen to our customers and build our brand effectively.

How do you keep track of what's relevant?

Twitter can also prove to be a good market research tool, but unfortunately, the more conversations there are, the more you need to track, the more hashtags you need, the harder it is to find threads of conversation. It's almost impossible to track when is who's tweeting what about a certain business topic that may interest you. Tweets are transient by nature, so unless I happen to see the relevant tweet whilst I'm on Twitter, I'll miss it altogether! I don't know about you but it often feels like waiting for an eclipse, doesn't it? :)


Don't get me wrong, we shouldn't discard Twitter at all. But as business owners, we owe it to ourselves to understand the real value Twitter brings, in exchange for how much time we spend on it. It's no different to our approach to all things social media.

In fact, despite these challenges, Twitter can be a great business tool provided you intent to invest in it. In my next blog, I'd like to share a few Twitter tips and tools that I have found helpful, so please watch out for it :)

In the mean time, what has been your experience with Twitter? I'd love to hear from you.


This blog is part of January blogging challenge, and we'd love for you to join us. Just start blogging by going to the Navigation Bar > Information > Write an article.


Phil Khor

Founder at SavvySME

G’day, I am the founder of SavvySME. Running a business alone is hard, which is why my team and I are keen to do our part to help. We are proud to create this platform for you to connect, share and engage with service providers who can help grow your business. Our goal is to become a trusted destination for you to find experts and resources for your business easily. We invite you to share our vision for a vibrant community of folks looking out for each other :)

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Matt Antonino

Matt Antonino , owner & SEO consultant at Pay On Performance

I think the value you can get from Twitter greatly depends on how you use it. I regularly book B2B customers off Twitter and I think it's been a valuable part of my strategy. That being said, it's not for everyone. You will get lost in the sea of people's streams if you're afraid to post the same thing more than once, don't interact and don't follow many people to get use from your own stream. We see so many "twitter rockstars" with 300 follows, 3000 following. I don't see the use in that - I want to follow more people to interact and create conversations around a variety of topics. I talk to link curators and agency owners, small business people and pretty much anyone who's talking about stuff I am interested in. I also keep up with tools to help manage my account. I have posted a few in the last month - one about 60 working Twitter tools, as well as today's Buffer + Tweriod. If you use tools and even combine their effects, you can more easily manage Twitter to make it something worth using as a business tool, not just a way to converse with athletes and stars.

David Price

David Price , Director at Price Advertising

Nice article Phil. I wonder how many other small business owners are in the same boat? ie spend lots of time of twitter but don't get any paid sales or referrals as a result of their efforts...

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