How to Twitter your way out of jail and other uses

Not only is Twitter a great social media network and an innovative business tool, it can also help get you out of an Egyptian jail cell.

Earlier this month, journalist and UC Berkley student James Karl Buck was covering Egyptian riots in Manhalla, Egypt. Police arrested him and his translator for photographing a demonstration under charges that the two were revolutionary leaders, according to Buck’s story on his website.

Police let Buck keep his cell phone while detained. Buck Twittered one word: “Arrested.”

The single Tweet alerted his followers of his situation and made it to the U.S. embassy by the next day.

From the Q & A section of Buck’s site:

Q: Did Twitter save your life?

A: I have no illusions that the networks supporting me like my university, my embassy and the various networks of influence that have to do with being a white American student weren’t at play. Twitter and SMS both allowed me to contact those networks.

If Twitter can help a man get out of Egyptian imprisonment, I’m sure there’s a way it can help your business.

One author at DoshDosh came up with 17 ways to use Twitter for business. Here are some highlights:

Personal branding. Twitter can help you establish a more casual image, one that people see as connected and approachable.

Direct traffic. Once you have a network of friends set up, Tweet about your sites. Hopefully, your friends will also start to Tweet about it, then their friends, taking on a life of it’s own.

Get feedback. Use Twitter to get an outside perspective and advice for an issue you’re having.

Customer notifications. Send out a message when you have new products in stock or when you start selling an exciting new product.

Event updates. Notify your network when webcast or seminar times and dates change.

Visit DoshDosh for the full list of ideas.

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