The concept of Twitter sounds ridiculous. Millions of people, businesses and organisations who choose to document their daily lives through short messages of 140 characters or less. To many, it looks like another social networking fad similar to MySpace – and let’s be honest, keeping on top of your e-mails is bad enough, right?

Wrong. This particular social networking site has exploded in the last few years, revolutionising the way millions of people discuss, organise and market themselves. If you’re a college, Sixth Form or any other kind of FE professional, now is the perfect time to jump in and take advantage of the service. Or, if you’re already an active user, it’s always worth picking up a few extra tips to see where you could improve.

Twitter is a great way to boost the influence of your marketing strategy. The messages you ‘tweet’ are immediate and have the potential to reach more than 200 million people at any one time. It provides an opportunity for other users to give you instant feedback on what they think of your ideas, projects and offers. With such a small character limit it’s a quick and simple tool to keep on top of, attracting the prying eyes of potential readers with a single scan. No long press releases, no group e-mails and no long-winded phone calls to worry about.

Creating an online debate has never been easier thanks to Twitter. Are you considering whether or not to scrap a particular subject? Or do you want to know what everyone else thinks of the latest fee policy? A quick tweet and you could have a large selection of people telling you what they think. With the right use of hash-tags, it’s the perfect way to take a quick reading of public opinion, or even join in with the latest discussions trending worldwide.

It’s also personal. Anyone can ‘mention’ you with a quick question or comment, allowing instant communication and rapport with your audience. For students and professionals alike, it breaks down the first wall of contact to make conversations quick and simple. Networking with important figures and organisations has never been easier.

Best of all, it’s free. The only resource it uses is time – and even that, I’d argue, is a small price to pay considering the business and public service opportunities that it offers.

Download your copy of the FE Week Twitter Supplement from here (1.4mb): http://www.feweek.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Twitter-supplement-hi-RES.pdf

Watch a twitter video tutorial created by FE Week: http://youtu.be/iFn4Q61OsJk

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27 Comments

  1. At our company we have been discussing the merits or otherwise of social media and the fact that we will need to use it to enable us to speak with our target audience. Having watched the online tutorial, I found it explained how the media works in a simple but useful fashion. !Thanks for taking the time to explain to someone who needed convincing that this method of communicating is where we need to be!

  2. We’ve been using Twitter for the past 18 months as a way of gaining valuable market information and of driving business to the website. So far it’s proving financially valuable by the sheer amount of business it generates – enough to satisfy a full time post for monitoring purposes, as it drives income, recruitment via the JobShop plus learner numbers. Fabulous