Being involved in media/marketing and having keen interest in All Things Internet, I often have people ask me about subjects that they have stumbled across or heard of and ask me a simple “what’s this _____ I’m hearing about?”

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people about using twitter and other social networking services (SNS) for marketing and promoting their books, products, services or themselves.

Below is a reply to a friend I wrote the other night about using Twitter and related products for promoting her fantastic new book. Someone had recently emailed them telling them that Twitter was the secret ingredient to their promotional success.  I had this to say:

As for your recent email from the promotion guy… there are lots of people pushing twitter and other SNS’s as the new and latest way to grow a network of followers etc.

Twitter is another social networking service (SNS). It’s free. It’s like a micro blogging platform. If you can imagine thousands of people having around 140 characters to write something… then anyone who has chosen to “follow” them get’s an update on what they wrote through various mediums (websites, mobile phones, blog and gmail widgets, instant messaging platforms.).

In turn if you “Follow” someone, you get their updates.

I’ve been keeping a twitter account for about 3 weeks.

I’ve also set up a way that the digtests get automatically updated to my blog’s sidebar at –  this sort of thing can be handy by way of reference etc.

I can’t say it’s changed my life but it is handy to get little handy links and news information from around the globe from people in fields that I have interest in.

You find people like (whom I respect) keep an active blog and has around 8000 following her.  She then follows around 7000 people.

I think the problem is people go all silly like facebook and follow and becomes friends with anyone and everyone to the point of “too many people to keep track of” and some people write some real crap, so you spend a lot of your time filtering things – not productive.  Check this out for some crazy stats

I think blogs, twitter and facebook are great tools for those who bring something of good worth and value to the world. DON”T BE BORING and BE CONSISTANT.  Jessicaknows has more than 12,000 updates,  meaning she’s spent hours texting and writing stuff.

You don’t MAKE money by blogging, twittering or facebooking. You build community and a tribe of followers.  Those followers might just one day mosey on over to your website and buy your product… and that’s where the money is – if that’s what you want.

One things is for sure… I’ve noticed a lot of people spring up and then shoot off to do the “next big thing” and there are people out there claiming “I made millions by [insert next big thing here] and you can too.  Buy my best-selling book and I’ll show YOU how.”

People who seriously capitalise on these mediums, do so over time – with a consistant message and a passion for their cause.

Hope that’s of some value to you too.

I’ll finish by say this. SNS’s were designed to be a SOCIAL tool.  To approach them as a BUSINESS tool can be dangerous.  I liken the wrong approach to the person that only wants to be your friend until you say NO to being an AMWAY seller under him.  Don’t pretend to be one thing and then surprise everyone with your hidden agenda.  If you want to use them as a business networking tool BE VERY CLEAR about it from the beginning.