|Image Credit: Twitter|
If your President, CEO, or entire leadership team questions the validity of Twitter and why you should develop a presence on this social platform, here are five ways that you can use Twitter - no matter what your industry is - to build your brand.
 Customer Service
While a common use of Twitter may be customer upset over airplane delays or poor restaurant experiences, the ability for a customer to interact with your brand in real time cannot be surpassed by any other social network. There is a recognized hashtag #servicefail used by many in the Twitterverse (Twitter universe) to indicate displeasure with a customer experience - and the appearance of this hashtag in a Tweet makes it guaranteed to appear in any search for poor service. And when a Tweet is included in a search, others in the Twitterverse will see it. You don't want your brand or company name to be included in these types of searches!
 Brand Listening
With a few short and easy-to-remember words or phrases - or even taglines - you can monitor what customers, prospects, and the media say in real time about your brand. Hashtags with your brand or brands, business name, or even your tagline if it's short (think #JustDoIt for Nike) will create easy-to-follow search threads.
 Event Promotion
Whether you're a for-profit business or a nonprofit organization, event attendees like to talk about events leading up to an event and also during an event. Think about award ceremonies, technology tradeshows, and galas. You can create a hashtag for the event and then watch the comments. Think about the #SuperBowl, the #WorldSeries, and even #2016PresidentialRace - these are just some of the events that create real time opportunities for discussion.
 Tweet Chats
Twitter has a unique capability called Tweet Chats. You can set a time and create a hashtag, and for 30 or 60 minutes, host a virtual discussion. These Tweet Chats exist for nearly every subject and are hosted by many brands. You can attract potential customers and make new connections for your brand - and easily feature an expert from your company or invite an industry expert to participate on behalf of your brand or business.
Check out this schedule of Tweet Chats:
Learn the basics for hosting a Tweet Chat:
 Competitor Research
Have you ever wondered what was happening with your key competitors but didn't know how to find out before a new product or service launched? NOW you can easily find out. Follow your competitors on Twitter, and you will learn all the news that they share in real time. If there are hashtags for unique products in your industry, then searches using these terms will automatically find them. And with Twitter, your searches are not shared with the world - as opposed to LinkedIn, where your searches and activity can be tracked.
So if you haven't yet jumped into Twitter, create a strategy about the content you will share, develop a distribution schedule, and join the conversation, or convo in shortened Twitter lingo. You may even attract new customers, but you won't know until you try. Above all, respond to Tweets in real time - or as soon as possible - don't leave a fellow Tweeter hanging - it's similar to not returning a voicemail or email.