Social networking utilities such as Twitter offer a useful way for small companies to engage and communicate with sales leads, an expert has said.

Mark Batchelor, managing director of Markman OTW, pointed out that the micro blogging site can play an effective role in a firm’s marketing strategy and can help companies raise their business profile.

Speaking at the Marketing Excellence for Small Businesses event, which was organised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, he explained that applications such as Tweetdeck can be extremely useful, as they allow marketers to dip in and out of several live conversation feeds and identify conversations they want to be involved in very quickly.

“If you start promoting yourself and having online conversations, you can engage with people you wouldn’t normally come across, exchange ideas and you may even find that people start helping you,” Mr Batchelor said.

He warned, however, that although Twitter applications can be an extremely useful tool for stimulating and managing conversations, it can be very easy for firms to make mistakes, so they should tread with care.

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