Twitter is one of our favourite social-media platforms. Why? Well, despite its nearly-unrivalled capacity to facilitate inane conversations, it’s also very good at opening up channels between real people and otherwise inaccessible, inhuman, or imposing organisations.

Yes, back in the day a consumer could have written a letter or e-mail to Giant Corporation (GC), but now the exchange is informal, anonymous (at least for the consumer -if they want), and, importantly, in the public sphere. What’s also phenomenal is how Twitter manages to link disparate individuals and/or organisations together by creating a forum for their interests to overlap (in hashtags, for example).

When Twitter is used well, either personally or for business, it can be extremely effective and highly gratifying. Social Media Examiner has some pretty great tips for getting the most out of your account as a business, but you’ll find most of them apply to a personal account with no trouble at all.

The purpose of this post is just to underscore how cool Twitter can be. (For a look at some of the gaffes it makes possible, however, have a look at this post from a while back.)

Recently we’ve noticed some fun stuff happening when brands start talking to each other on Twitter; they don’t do it too often, and even then only very carefully, but they’re getting there. This guarded exchange between Coke and Pepsi was pretty interesting (though you have to wonder why they weren’t following each other before -for intelligence purposes if nothing else), but this couple of facetious jibes between Old Spice (who have an excellent Twitter presence) and Taco Bell probably takes the cake:

Just a bit of fun, it seems, but as BBH Labs pointed out in their blog post, Old Spice might have made a pretty sharp strategic decision by sending that initial tweet, as both companies’ target markets overlap, and some extra exposure could well have been won.

So all that’s quite exciting, but now to the really creative stuff.

Check out this campaign by Volkswagen Brazil for the launch of the ‘Zoom’ (car) in Sao Paolo:

And then there’s this groovy campaign from Orange UK, in which epic voice overs are put to customers’ tweets:

Now as cool as these things are, it’s important to remember (especially if you don’t have a massive campaign budget), that Twitter is best used for two things: driving traffic back to your website or blog, and interacting with your clients/customers.

You can chat directly with the people and businesses that pay you money, and you can direct them back to your space -where your brand lives and where you can dump call to actions or any other kind of information you see fit.

It’s awesome.

What are your thoughts on Twitter? Do you agree with us? What about the campaigns in this post -cool or not?

If you’d like a hand understanding how Twitter could get your business ahead, give us a call.