I agree with Laura Ramos. Twitter is one of the noisiest places in social media, and with all that noise, its value is not yet clear.
When clients ask me about Twitter, and whether they should use it, I usually tell them that if their target audience uses Twitter, then yes, they should use it too, but that a clear ROI will be difficult to establish. What CAN be established is that if you sell to moms, then Twitter is a good place to connect with moms and mom bloggers, many of which are on Twitter daily. If you’re a B2B high tech company, Twitter is a good place to connect with, and stay in touch with, tech analysts and tech journalists – many of them use Twitter regularly.
Twitter is also a great place for monitoring conversations about your brand, or about your space, and – when appropriate – reaching out to individuals. For example, if you sell organic, small-batch, artisan baby food, you could set up a Twitter search for “organic baby food” and reach out to individuals who ask questions or are looking for information on the topic. You don’t have to reach out in a creepy way – rather than pushing your product, you could tweet back a link to a great baby food recipe posted on your blog. Don’t be pushy! Be helpful. It’s good karma. 🙂
Despite these valid uses, most of my clients find that Twitter sends their main site very little traffic. Do I ever tell a client not to bother with Twitter? Absolutely. A B2B client whose industry is not very “social” would probably do better investing its resources in LinkedIn, for example. We can always try Twitter for 3-6 months and see what happens, but generally, if your target market does not “play” on Twitter, you shouldn’t be there either.