"Twitter has become an essential tool for PR, and has relevance for almost every type of business," says Sandra Fathi, president of Affect Strategies. Here are only a few of the ways Fathi recommends using the new software to your advantage:

Seek and create media opportunities. Twitter can help you become the go-to resource for your field or industry. "Many reporters are now using Twitter to find sources," notes Fathi. "Reporters will tweet about their upcoming projects in order to help find [input]."

Foster customer loyalty. Search Twitter for the questions your customers have, and the critiques they offer. Depending on the situation, you might respond with a tweet, or contact them directly. "In this way," she says, "customers can use Twitter to get instant resolutions to their questions and strengthen their relationship with the company."

Enhance your company's impact at events. Converse in real time with other attendees and presenters at conferences and trade shows, and provide ongoing updates for those who can't make the event.

Recruit new employees. With a vast network of forward-looking professionals just 140 characters away, tweeting about a job opening could be a great way to connect with the best and the brightest.

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