Business in 140 Characters or Less

The next time someone’s thumbing away on their BlackBerry or iPhone in a meeting, condider that they might be doing business, not just screwing around. No, really. A recent report by NetProspex, a sales and marketing database company, ranked Las Vegas No. 7 among the country’s 50 “top Twitter cities,” defined as the cities with “the most active businesspeople on Twitter.” NetProspex looked at the average number of Tweets, followers and profiles being followed in a given city.

But just garnering followers or following trending topics is a no-brainer for Las Vegas. A city that lives and breathes marketing, our business Tweeple—as they’re called in the Twittersphere—also know how to engage people on the social networking site, and that’s the key, says Raymond Santopietro, president of Las Vegas-based Focus Internet Services, which does social media marketing for everything from Halloween Mart to dental offices. “It’s more than just posting a link to a coupon,” he says. “Don’t push a marketing message or give people a commercial. The idea is to ultimately have people engaged with interesting people, not just interesting brands. That’s the sweet spot, and Vegas is good at that.”

Recent studies underscore what Las Vegas is doing well when it comes to social media marketing and affirm that influence, or getting followers to respond to or share what you’re saying, is more important than simply the number of followers. For example, Tony Hsieh, CEO of Las Vegas-based Zappos, has more than 1.7 million followers on Twitter. has 18,000 followers, but is labeled as being more influential because the site posts a lot of surveys and questions.