The online retail landscape is changing and not just because of the economic downturn. There has been a mentality shift from passive to active consumers of other people’s information. We increasingly expect dialogue from the people/brands we like and want to receive information when and where we want. This demands an understanding of the social networks that people use and the tools that communicate with them. Twitter is just one tool that enables people/brands to connect with a wider online audience.
I consider Twitter to be an interactive communication tool that is part of an overall communication strategy. Its audience is not homogenous. Who you communicate with depends entirely on why you are on Twitter, what you do and what you want to get from it. At the most basic level Twitter is a text based information service enabling you to send updates via online & mobile devices to your network of followers. As you embrace richer functionality and complementary applications, Twitter can become a brand monitoring service and customer engagement tool.
I genuinely believe that Twitter provides an important communication tool but that its contribution to your personal or business brand is entirely dependent upon what you want to achieve, how you use it and how much effort you put in.