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Twitter: What’s In It For My Business?
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Who would have thought that sharing your thoughts in 140 characters would become an Internet darling for users and businesses alike? Twitter was launched to the public in August 2006 but only gained popularity in 2008 hitting mainstream with everyone from athletes to Hollywood’s mainstream. The most attractive feature of Twitter? It’s simplicity. Anyone and everyone with an Internet connection can participate in the Twittersphere.

With the popularity of social networks such as MySpace (www.myspace.com) and Facebook (www.facebook.com), it is easy to see that people are looking to connect online. From friends and co-workers to industry colleagues and online celebrities, Twitter allows you to connect with the world in real-time. It is this ability to connect via “Internet speed” that is attractive to many businesses that have started tapping into Twitter as a means of connecting with their staff and their customers. The impact and immediacy that Twitter can bring to your business is something that businesses have never had the luxury of leveraging in the past. As Twitter itself states,

“…By accepting messages from sms, web, mobile web, instant message, or from third party API projects, Twitter makes it easy for folks to stay connected…”

Businesses can now reach their audiences in a manner never before available. Twitter has allowed businesses to:
  1. Announce timely promotions
  2. Address public relations mishaps
  3. Inform their audience about company events
  4. Learn about their competition
  5. Interact with their audience
There is a lot of “noise” on the Internet, but Twitter allows the user to control this “noise” somewhat by permitting users to tell the world what they are doing. Through the use of shortening URLs, users can communicate relevant information to their followers who have the option of further conveying this information by “re-tweeting” the original post or “tweet” as it is known in the world of Twitter.

From a users perspective, they are very much in control of whose updates they receive, when they receive them, and on what device. There are hundreds if not thousands of Twitter tools that can make using Twitter even more easy than it already is. For businesses, the best thing about Twitter is that it is free! Yes this very powerful communication tool is free, well at least as of mid-2009 it is. Twitter has experienced explosive growth and it is only a matter of time before the micro-blogging phenomenon becomes monetized. You can probably expect to start seeing ads in between tweets as Twitter look to capitalize on it’s soaring popularity. Considering the fact that reports suggest that at one time or another, Google, Facebook and Microsoft have all attempted to acquire a stake in Twitter, it does not appear that Twitter is going away anytime soon.

Businesses can use Twitter to re-energize their brand and reach their audience in a while new manner as not only is tweeting hip and popular, but it’s also cost effective and immediate.

What does the future for Twitter hold?

If you visit the “About Twitter” section of the site, the apparent plan is to build Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.

Look for more businesses to tap into Twitter to reach their consumers and audience. We have all heard of some of the more popular Twitter success stories from Zappos (www.zappos.com) to Comcast (www.comcast.com) but there are a number of brands that have great success using Twitter in the past. Case in point, here are a few more examples:
  • JetBlue (http://twitter.com/jetblue) offers flight information and travel updates as part of their customer service
  • Starbucks (http://twitter.com/mystarbucksidea) presents new offers and participates in the discuss about these new offers via Twitter
  • Google (http://twitter.com/GOOGLE) uses Twitter to communicate updates and new releases.
While there are examples of a number of large brands that are currently leveraging Twitter, there is another list of big brands that are not yet tapping into the micro-blogging service. Look for this to change, as these brands cannot afford to be ignoring Twitter. Twitter is viral and is real-time. This is a very powerful combination when it comes to communicating with your consumers. Businesses have never experienced Internet speed until recently. Internet speed is fast, unlike anything marketers have ever seen before. Twitter is the first online tool that allows both businesses and their consumers to drive with this Internet speed, making Twitter the place to be until something else comes along that is faster and easier to use. Frankly I do not see anything on the immediate horizon.

Visit Jody on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/Marketing_Jive

Twitter is based in San Francisco, California.
Official Twitter Blog: http://blog.twitter.com


posted by Jody @ 8:20 PM  
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