Dell's success may point to ways for Twitter to make money itself

Twitter is one of the fastest growing of the social networking sites online. The company offers a micro blogging service where users can post messages with a specific character limit. So far, Twitter isn’t generating any real profit, but the company says that at some point it will look to monetize its enormous traffic.

Twitter may not be raking in profits itself, but the social networking site is helping some companies to make money. One of the most successful companies using Twitter to promote sales is Dell. Dell has made millions of dollars in sales directly from Twitter. So far, Dell reports that it has made $3 million from Twitter followers who have clicked through to the Dell site to buy from Twitter posts.

Dell reports that it knows that Twitter is responsible for the sales because of proprietary software that it uses to track the sales. In the past six months alone Dell has cleared a cool $1 million from Twitter. That is a mere drop in the bucket for Dell, one of the world's largest computer companies. Dell boasted $12.3 billion in revenue in Q1 2009 alone.

Still, the Twitter marketing effort requires no real work for Dell and generates revenue that it may not have had otherwise.

Lionel Menchaca, chief blogger for Dell said, "We're going to watch it over time to make sure it's tracking at the right level. It is trending upward and that's what we're going to be looking at overall."

Dell's success has illustrated that companies can use Twitter to make money. Some believe that Dell's success may even point to a method that Twitter can use to make profits itself. Twitter could offer coupon hosting services and other business services.

Analyst Allen Weiner told Reuters, "Certainly one of the ways Twitter can begin to think of itself as a money-making operation is to facilitate a lot of these things, build it as part of the infrastructure. So if you're a company, you can pay Twitter a certain amount of money and they can directly distribute coupons on your behalf, or clear transactions."

Twitter's Jenna Sampson said, "For now, monetization of this type of activity remains unknown. However, as the network grows, the company will be committing more resources toward profitability."

Twitter is continuing its rapid growth; the company grew 131% in February 2009 alone.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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