TwitterIt’s no secret that mobile Internet has changed our lives in the past few years. The number of Americans with smart phones has more than doubled in just the past 12 months, and social networking sites like Twitter are leading the movement. Still not convinced your business needs Twitter? Here are seven reasons other entrepreneurs have already signed up and linked in:

1.) Social networking is the fastest-growing content category on the web

In the last year, social networking sites accessed through web browsers saw a 90 percent growth in traffic. If that isn’t enough incentive, the same sites accessed by way of smart phone applications saw growth of almost 250 percent.

2.) Everyone else is doing it

That’s right, everybody else is doing it. This includes your competitors. If your business isn’t caught up with current marketing tactics, what else are you behind on?

3.) It’s a popularity contest

Just like in high school, the more people following you, the more credible you look to others. Witty or interesting tweets will be re-tweeted by your followers, drawing traffic to your Twitter page and, subsequently, your business.

4.) Get in on the gossip

Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that knowing what people think about your business is key to customer relations. See what people tweet about your company and have a customer service representative contact those who had bad experiences.

5.) Track your competition

See what kind of incentives or sales your competitors promote. See what’s being said about them and find their followers. Just as you can smooth over bad customer experiences with your own business, learn from your competitors’ mistakes.

6.) Be a know-it-all

By sharing interesting tips, tricks and knowledge about your industry, you set yourself up as an expert in the field. What better way to gain traffic and credibility for your business?

7.) It’s free

That’s right, Twitter is totally free. That’s a pretty big reason considering for $0 a month you can potentially reach 105 million people a limitless number of times per day.

LaVon Lewis, president and creative director of Pencilworx Design Group LLC, says it’s crucial for business owners to embrace Twitter. “As business owners we must learn to adapt and change with the times. Twitter is a new technology trend that enables business owners all around the world to find new clients, make new contacts, build their brand and, most important, be at the forefront when a potential client may want your service or product,” he says.  

Right now, many entrepreneurs are taking the reigns in their companies’ marketing departments with clever quips of less than 150 characters. So what are you waiting for? In a time where information travels to millions in the blink of an eye, old-school marketing is losing steam while sites like Twitter are gaining massive clout. Don’t get beat by the competition.

Additional reporting contributed by Sergie Willoughby