Companies, organisations and social media aficionados alike are discovering that Twitter is a great way to reach wide audiences though a long term investment in short sharp communication.
Twitter, the free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows its users to send and read other users' updates is growing at an impressive rate since its creation in late 2006. Some figures suggest that accounts have reached over 3 million, making Twitter a channel for marketers to keep an eye on.
Twitter is featuring very prominently in the news of late. Companies, organisations and social media aficionados alike are discovering that Twitter is a great way to reach wide audiences though a long term investment in short sharp communication.
Since people are more likely to follow others that have something interesting to say, making sure 'tweets' are kept up to date on a regular basis is important. The trust that goes with a community such as Twitter also features high on the priority list of social media advocates, so blatant advertising through tweets is ill-advised.
Having said that, given the limited number of characters allowed in each post (140, including shortened URLs), those who want to gather an audience are wising up to the fact that not only is brevity required, but keywords within tweets that allow people to search for others talking about their areas of interest.
- Search engines such as Google are now spidering tweets and in some instance, tweets are appearing higher in the search engine rankings that full web pages.
- The tiny URLs are not beneficial in transferring link equity to sites.
- Tweeting updates to your blog can generate traffic through Twitter and from Re-Tweets.
The subjects on Twitter cover absolutely anything, so at any given time we are able to see whether or not people are talking about brands or products or areas of interest. Tweet alerts allow us to see who is tweeting about companies, subjects, just about anything, direct to your inbox.
Because it is a community that allows anyone to comment, companies are able to respond to negative comments within minutes, and responses are instantly passed on to those who read the negative comment in the first place. It no longer requires people to visit a blog or forum thread to find out the reaction to people’s posts. (It also allows your competitors to see who’s slagging you off, allowing them an opportunity to grab your customers).
Growth in Trust & Community
The number of developer tools and widgets is growing and with more and more ways for people to interact with Twitter, it’s moving at a frightening rate.
The other thing to consider is that people trust those in authority. If someone you trust asks to you tweet something to spread the word or to follow someone worthwhile, you're more likely to do it. So, from a marketing point of view, companies want to be there, providing useful information about their sector and engaging with people on a real, person to person level.
For instance, blogger and social media guru David Armano used his social media celebrity status to help raise money for a family fleeing physical abuse. (money was for them to move into apartment) Within a matter of hours, individuals responding to Twitter raised over $4,000.
The whole process was laid out on Scott Drummond’s site:
Companies looking for a direct ROI on this level of engagement should think about what ROI means to them and react accordingly. This is about reaching people directly with something meaningful without looking at the bottom line for this time and emotional investment.