I am sure if any of you watch any TV now-a-days, there is definitely a new online phenomenon going on that everyone is crazy about.. Twitter.com. Twitter is a simple online tool that allows anyone to publish a post in 140 characters or less. It gives you the ability to create your very own online network by either "following" other members, or allowing them to "follow" you. There are some people who have a following of thousands of people, most notably celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher, who won a competition against CNN in attaining one million followers!
Twitter is fascinating to a lot of people, especially working professionals and baby boomers who do not use popular social media networks like MySpace or Facebook that have a much younger, college orrientated audience. Its simple to use and effective. Twitter is also is mirrored with a mobile application which allows you to view, post, and reply to your followers from your smart phones. Cell phone updates account for over 70% of Twitter activity, therefore making it a very powerful and unique application that attracts people "on the go", especially working professionals.
Now, as a business owner, figuring out how such a new and popular online application can help marketing efforts can, at first glance, seem very tricky. How can you convey a strong marketing message with only 140 characters or less? And, more importantly, what tactic is useful in doing so?
Depending on your marketing campaign online, Twitter can either become a burden or a gold mine. It all varies on what your goal is. If you are trying to gain a marketing base, Twitter can be your answer. Rather than spend hundreds of dollars buying opt-in email lists, with the risk of becoming a spammer, Twitter can give you a vast audience who are guaranteed to see any marketing message you convey.
Twitter now allows the ability to post pictures, hyper links, and even media links that are very useful and can spread a viral message almost instantly. For example, with the recent movie release of 'Bruno', studio execs credited Twitter on its almost 40% audience decline the day after the movie was released! Many people "tweeted" bad reviews about the movie, consequently costing the producers of the movie millions of dollars. As you can see, Twitter can become both a blessing and a nightmare, varying very much on what you market and what your product performance is.
For companies that offer services, Twitter can become a useful informational tool that can let people know of new promotions, areas of business, or of recent company news. Usually, people on Twitter follow others whom their friends are following, so such a trend can become useful if you have current or new customers following.
One of the biggest problems with businesses and Twitter is that they do not have the time nor know how to add new followers. Obviously assuming that you have to go out and find people to follow you, most whom you never met, can seem like a very tiresome burden. But, as I said before, Twitter has the ability of becoming the ultimate viral message. If you add one person, chances are their friends will follow. So, becoming active, answering direct questions regarding your posts, and checking back regularly with new postings will almost surely help grow your audience at a steady pace.
Twitter may not work for you, and you may not have the time to Tweet all the time. But, if you currently employ a social media marketing campaign, using Twitter as a TOOL to promote all your Social Media efforts can work wonders, improve your audience, and give you a great Viral tool that can save you tons of money!