One of the most pleasurable things about working with the internet is the constant innovation. Every day brings new surprises, some of a distinctly novel kind – and most of them seem to be happening around social media, as more and more people look at the basic tools provided by services like Twitter, Facebook and Google, and design new ways to use them. As more and more of the population subscribe to one or another – or all – of these online communities, so the opportunities for reaching your customers increase.

Here’s a way of using Twitter that certainly falls into the ‘novelty’ category. In fact, when I first saw it, I had to double check that it wasn’t a joke.

Imagine you run a small local bakery. Your customers are mainly office workers who pop out for a bite at lunchtime. How best to alert them when your goods are freshly out of the oven? Why, via the power of Twitter, of course: an ideal medium for reaching those deskbound office drones.

But bakers work to a tight schedule. Their hands are often covered in dough; they need to keep an eye on the oven and make sure their pastries don’t burn, rather than be sitting and typing at a keyboard. Plus, the messages they need to tweet are really pretty much the same ones over and over again: the croissants are ready, the buns are ready, the loaves are ready…

Baker Tweet solves all of these problems by allowing bakers to quickly turn a dial which will send one of a preset number of tweets. Subscribe to their Twitter feed, and you can beat the shop within minutes, first in the queue to sink your teeth into the freshest of the fresh bakery products.

As we’ve mentioned before, Twitter is ideal for small businesses such as bakeries and cafes. Customers may have momentarily forgotten you, but who can resist a message that fresh hot bread rolls are available?

There’s another advantage to all this. Baker Tweet is the first of its kind, and it’s unusual enough for the press to pick it up and want to cover it. It gets people talking – people like me, indeed. So, as well as the actual tweets that are going out to regular customers, the Albion Cafe in Shoreditch, London is getting an awful lot of online publicity and inbound links.

A word to the wise, though: it would be best to update more frequently. The most recent tweet is currently showing as 16 days ago and counting… just one more reminder that with social media, you have to keep updating, or you lose your advantage.