A few weeks ago while scrolling through my Twitter feed I came across an interesting Tweet from a user: “What does DM mean?”

For those of you not familiar, it stands for direct message. Because Tweets can only include 140 characters (including private messages), users have created a form of short hand to communicate. DM is but one of many to come into fashion.

While it’s not a crime to ask questions, this sheds light on a pressing issue for our industry. Compared with the millions upon millions of consumers and mainstream brands utilizing the social networking site, pool and spa business owners are far behind the curve.

A recent exclusive Pool & Spa News survey expounds on this further. Seventy percent of those who responded said they did not have a Twitter account for business. On the bright side, nearly all of them cited an interest in learning about the basics of Twitter.

Some argue Twitter isn’t the place for selling pools and spas. They may be right. Social Networking isn’t about sales. It’s about engagement and developing a rapport with peers, customers – even strangers. It’s about information exchange. It’s about … well, it’s about to be covered in a full two-part series that aims to offer our readers an easy-to-follow yet in-depth How-to on the essentials of Twitter.

Whether you are a novice or fancy yourself familiar, be sure to check out the series beginning April 15, which will include both print and digital components geared to educated small businesses on the power of Twitter. It is certain to turn even the biggest doubting Thomas into a touting Tweeter in no time.