There’s been a lot of talk about Twitter wasting time and money (it doesn’t). I don’t hide the fact I love the thing, but I was dubious about its potential direct benefit for clients. That was until last week when my client Graco‘s PR manager Lindsay Lebresco joined Twitter, and over a few days since I’ve witnessed a bunch of positive results.

These are not designed as a case study on why Twitter = ROI. However, they do point to the type of benefits you can find by investing in the community (a common theme in the social media world).

Twitter For Pitching Conversing

Shortly before our recent Graco Get-Together in DC I made sure I was following all the bloggers I’d be meeting at the event. The conversation below (and that’s what it was, a conversation – not a pitch), led to the first blog post pointing to the new Graco blog.

paullyoung Hi Devra! I work with Graco & I’ll be attending the DC Moms blog Get-Together on Mon. Found you via @mammaloves – nice to meet you! 🙂 06:29 PM January 05, 2008

Devra Hi Paull, Oooh Graco! You would have had me at “Pack N Play” LOVED that when my kids were little! Mamma Loves is tops tho! 09:48 AM January 06, 2008

paullyoung That’s great to hear! Did you know the Pack N Play just turned 20? 1 of our first posts on the new Graco blog: 03:35 PM January 06, 2008

Devra What a riot! Aviva and I both used Pack N Plays extensively. We had them traveling all over the world! We should write up a birthday post! 06:31 PM January 06, 2008

paullyoung That would be great to see, we’d link back too. You could be the first blog linking to us as well (though I imagine a few will after Mon) 06:58 PM January 06, 2008

Devra Okay, then we’ll put up a post tonight! That would be great. I’ll see if we can dig up some pics of our kids in the pack n plays. Fun! 07:04 PM January 06, 2008

paullyoung Cool! John (the author) & the rest of the Graco blog team will be super happy to see it! They’re very attached to the Pack N Play 🙂 07:06 PM January 06, 2008

Devra As are Aviva and me. I guess you could call us “Pack N Playmates” Seriously, we’d love to put our hat in the ring to be spokespersons! 07:08 PM January 06, 2008

Twitter to Build a Knowledge Network

Lindsay was live tweeting from the celeb packed ‘Boom Boom Room‘ over the weekend. Here, she was able to rely on her Twitter network to get her ahead when the uber Urbanmama sent her through a detailed ‘cheat sheet’ on how to get the most out of the celeb derby (I think this is in Urbanmama’s nature though – she’s also promised me a list of Brooklyn’s top date spots :))

urbanmama Hey Lindsay, what is your email? Do you have a PDA where you can access links? I sent info on many of the people who had confirmed to visit. 11:48 AM January 11, 2008

urbanmama Lindsay, I forwarded you my little stars primer, but only for those who had confirmed before the sisters left. There are tons more now! 12:30 PM January 11, 2008

Twitter as a Beta Tester

This tweet from Kristen meant that we fixed an important broken link (in minutes) outside of office hours:

Mommy4Cocktails @lindsaylebresco: trying to link to the Graco Baby Blog from the graco baby homepage. Dead link… 05:42 PM January 15, 2008 from web in reply to LindsayLebresco

There endeth the most visible Graco bonuses – but these little examples are secondary to the friendship and relationships developed. Here’s a couple more work examples I’ve had in the same time period:

Twitter to Recruit

The tweet below was for a freelance project and led to a bunch of informed recommendations in minutes. Much easier than finding an unknown through the standard channels.

paullyoung I’m looking for a WordPress Ninja for some freelance work – do you know someone who fits the bill? I owe you big time if you can assist 🙂 06:04 PM January 10, 2008 from web

Twitter as a Crisis Warning System

On the same day we saw the above results, we also got a first warning – way ahead of time – about a potential issue involving a 5 star brand we work with. Follow the right people and you’ll be in the know ahead of time.

I know none of this is particularly groundbreaking, but the fact it all occurred in such a short time frame really brought home to me just how much Twitter is enhancing my work. Can you share a Twitter example? No matter how big or small, I’d like to hear it below.

[cross posted on Paull’s personal blog Young PR]