I came across this article in a magazine I was reading, “The Power of Twitter: Still not sure what Twitter can do for your business? Read on,” by Joel Comm. First of all, I know … a MAGAZINE!! But that’s a different story. It was a great article with a focused audience … executives who are still unsure about Twitter. Like any good magazine article, it sucked you in with a personal story:

In the summer of 2009, as the Australian cricket team toured England in the two countries’ biennial contest, singer and actress Lily Allen surprised her million-plus followers by tweeting that she loved the sport and was looking forward to being in the crowd at the next match. Jonathan Agnew, BBC radio’s cricket commentator, saw the tweet and invited her into the studio for a live interview during a break in the day’s play.

It had some great truths and quotable quotes:

Tweets might be limited to 140 characters, but they can provide a direct link to useful contacts. They can communicate brands. And they can build communities that are exceptionally loyal and feel a direct connection with that brand. It’s the kind of relationship that marketers have been dreaming of since the first days of advertising.

Twitter is a personal medium. It works best when posts are delivered with a human voice that has personality and warmth, rather than from a corporation that speaks only through the voice of its PR representative.

Twitter is unlike any other advertising or marketing channel. Its most powerful effects aren’t instant and measurable in the same way as pay-per-click advertising. Its ability to create brand awareness through regular tweets and conversations demands more continued effort than a billboard campaign that can be designed and left to run. But no other marketing channel comes close to its ability to spread a name and guide leads through a process from “know me” and “like me” to “trust me” and “buy from me.”

And, best of all, it got me thinking. And, it made me want to share. And I took the time to look up the author, and I have started to follow him on Twitter. And I was inspired to write a blog post about it. Not too bad. Most importantly, the article has a great message: this whole social media, social networking, social web fad isn’t going away. If anything it is growing and the audience is too great to ignore. This week, for instance, Facebook became the #1 visited website, surpassing Google for the first time. The power of Twitter is not in the 140 characters, or the cute name, or the ease in identifying and building a brand. The power of Twitter comes from the personal messages, the ability to identify and form relationships, and the loyalty derived from these newly formed bonds. As Mr. Conn stated: It’s the kind of relationship that marketers have been dreaming of since the first days of advertising.