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What can you really say with 140 characters?
Is Twitter really useful when it comes to promoting your business?
Will this article be just a series of questions without any answers?

Well no, that’s the answer to question number three, the other two we’re going to attempt to get to the bottom of with as much insight as we can possibly manage (we have around 750 words for this article, so we have a little bit more breathing room to waffle on than Twitter would allow).

At this moment in time, there’s still one slightly scary figure dominating the headlines. No, it’s not Justin Bieber (he does have the second highest number of Twitter followers though). We’re talking about President-elect Donald J. Trump who has an amazing 19.7million followers on Twitter. Now, no matter if they’re fans or haters, that’s not really the point. There listening. Being directly engage with no filter or no mis-quotations, it’s almost one to one. Well one to 19.7 million. That’s a astronomical figure and in some ways Twitter has become a genuine political game changer. Our America chums may not have had a reality TV show to decide their next president but there’s no doubt virtual shots were fired and Twitter had somewhat of an influence on the race to the White House. Still Mr Trump is still has a long way to go to be the Top Tweeter, as he’s currently only ranked currently at 68th on the global top 100 (Katy Perry is number one at the moment with Obama 4th).


What has all this got to do with independent shops you may cry. “I’m too busy running my business to have a life and care about celebrities. I came here for intelligent, social media guides not your left wing political agenda”. Yes, indeed, Gift Shop Hub agrees, though we still find time for Game of Thrones and Sherlock. Take this article as a subtle introduction to the possibilities of Twitter, the latest in a series of posts exploring the advantages of using social media for your business. Perhaps the most easiest and quickest way we’ve found new companies to feature on this blog is through Twitter. We’ve also made connections with other bloggers, campaigns and magazines, opening many new doors. Business to business is where Twitter really flies. The ability to direct Tweet another company and give them a virtual nudge is a great way to connect. We’ve already covered the benefits of working with suppliers, community groups and charities in one of our earlier posts link here. Twitter really is one of most simple ways to say hello (is it me your looking for). For sure, we wouldn’t recommend direct tweeting your customers out of the blue but a one off tweet to another business really is a great way to introduce yourself. Resist spamming, if a company doesn’t respond to your 1st and 2nd tweets they certainly won’t answer your 100th (well apart from maybe saying “PLEASE STOP”). We’ll be writing a more in-depth look how best to use Twitter soon from both the perspective of this blog and from that of an independent card shop; Wishes of Cudworth.

If you still have an vision of Mr Trump’s angry face in your mind please do let you out you off. Despite the hate and madness, beauty too can be found on Twitter. Kindness and messages of support. Retweets from not just your followers but your neighbouring businesses too. Groups of like mind people giving each other friendly shout outs and high fives.

The power of Twitter was shown by the poignant goodbye posted on Twitter by my own favourite writer. Sir Terry Pratchett final tweets were posted onto Twitter after he died at the age of 66 from Alzheimer’s  in 2007.  In a series of tweets scheduled to appear one after the other, the Discworld author ended his life the only way he knew; by writing a story.

The first tweet was the familiar voice of Death, a character in Sir Terry’s novels:

The second tweet was the heartbreaking:
“Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.”

The last tweet was simply: “The End”

So, there you go in a less than 140 characters that wonderful man managed to tell one last final tale. 140 characters more than enough to create one last story. The limits as always are our own creatively and way with words. The likes, retweets, hellos and goodbyes. The stories we tell, the people we meet and the bonds we build along the way.