Earlier this week, the New York Times posted an article online entitled  “Mom-and-Pop Operators Turn to Social Media.” According to the Times, small business owners now outnumber big companies using the microblogging service as a free marketing tool to promote their products and services.

The Times noted that Twitter has become the sole source of marketing for many small business owners that have no ad budget. According to the Times, these small businesses do not have websites and had no intentions of starting an e-commerce business. Nevertheless Twitter has become a very valuable tool that allows small businesses to expand their customer bases, find suppliers and allows the owners to connect with their customers in a way they could only do in person prior to signing on to Twitter.

One great idea discussed in the article is the ability to “tweet” promotions and discount offers directly to your “followers.” This can be easily done right from your phone and instantly reach your clients, who will re-tweet the offers to their friends and family.

Here on Long Island, a small business would either only be able to affordably reach out to their small community weekly in a local neighborhood paper, or include an ad in one of those fat bundled envelopes or coupon books that many of us simply throw out, or save and never use.

You can learn about Twitter here from Wikipedia, then go to twitter’s home page to join.

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