Can Twitter be used to market a design or print business?

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This week I've been looking into the subject of Twitter and its possible use to market a design business.
I have to say a thank you to Nikki Pilkington for her great post about the subject Using Twitter for Business this post really inspired me to look into the possibilities rather than just writing it off as "a waste of time", which many have already done. If I remember this was many people's approach to Facebook in the beginning but now it is used by many business's for advertising products and services to users.

Twitter for those who don't know (I didn't really know until last week) is a microblogging system, a social networking site. Each Twitter user is given a page where they can post 140 letters about anything they want whether that be "feeding the cat", "painting a master piece" or " designing an award winning logo". You can choose to "follow" what certain people are saying and receive updates on your mobile. Its receiving a large amount of internet buzz at the moment, so much so that the site is running slowly or crashing while they try and deal with the huge increase in users.
So can it be useful for business? Chris Brogan thinks Twitter can be used for business and outlines 50 ideas of its possible use. So can it help market a graphic design business? I'm on a little experiment to find out, I only signed up yesterday and have been "Twittering" today, my user name is: if you would like to follow me. Its quite refreshing already to be using something where there are very few experts or people telling you how it should be used.

Here are a few articles from other blogs with their thoughts on Twittering and its potential for business.

There is also already a company working in the area of Twitter Branding and Marketing: Cherp

So are you Twittering?

Do you use it for your business, if is so how?

Or do you think its a waste of time?
Thanks for such an informative post Gareth, gonna look into this, to be honest I've heard of Twitter but don't really know much about it.

Isn't it mainly for youngsters or have I got the wrong end of the stick with this? For example, am I going to bump into the buyer for Tesco's stationery on there or other professional businesses which lets face it are the kind of people that we want to network with.

Another problem I find is trying to write SE friendly content in all these different places without duplicating it, kinda running out of topics now to be honest...and fed up of typing :icon_yawn:

However, you have to put in the hard work so I may just open a twitter account to see what it's all about.

Hopefully some others will air their views.
I understand peoples reservations in thinking it can be used for business, but to give you an example..

.. I have been using it since Thursday 28th August (around 4 days ago) and I have already had someone who has seen me on Twitter and contacted me for a quotation. I didn't know this person before I began to use the application. I think that is pretty good myself as I haven't fully got to grips with it yet. I'm currently using it to micro blog and follow companies and people I'm interested in and I think it has real potential!

Try it out and see what you think.

Ok, small but worth while little experiment for the people who think that Twitter is a waste of time. I have posted the following as a "Tweet" this morning:

"Letting you know about a small but soon to be big graphic design forum: why don't you drop them a post or two?"

Now bear in mind I have only been doing this for 7-8 days, let me know what traffic you receive from this Boss!

been out and about today so haven't been able to promote this site more than just this morning, did you get some visitors from twitter Boss?
Hi Gareth

Sorry for the slow response, basically not got anything that monitors traffic (unless vbull has this built in, anybody?), if not I need to look at something to do this so we can see where the traffic is coming from.

I'll keep you posted.

Thanks again for spreading the word, greatly appreciated.