Without a doubt, one of the hottest things in social media networking these days is Twitter. The social media and micro-blogging platform was listed as the fastest growing social media application by Neilson’s Media Service in October 2008 as its popularity grew by 343% last year.
The site also received tremendous press last year with its high profile users such as President Obama with 144,000 followers to date. The platform was a key element in his election marketing campaign as his team quickly learned they could reach thousands of would-be voters in seconds. Many entrepreneurs took note and are achieving similar successes via Twitter albeit on a smaller scale. It’s an amazing free marketing tool to add to your arsenal and can be done with minimal time investment.
If you need a little convincing, here’s a list of the top five reasons why you (and your brand) should be “tweeting”.
As newspapers fold, magazines cut back on production, and advertising dollars drop from company budgets, social media has become marketing’s little darling. All the great platforms for business such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are completely free to use.
2. Next Big Thing
There has been a shift in marketing these past five years as the internet becomes more and more a part of our lives. The birth of social media has allowed consumers to edit their online lives and they are de-cluttering from all the narcissistic monologues, redundant sales pitches, and off-topic interruptions that plague the sales tools of yesterday. They are now focusing on finding companies that can understand their needs and supply them with much needed information and services. Social media enables these conversations.
3. Great for Time-Strapped Entrepreneurs
While a great blog post might take days to write, a 140 character “tweet” on twitter will probably only take you a couple seconds. There are also a great number of services out there that allow you to schedule “tweets” so you can “tweet” 24/7 without actually being at your laptop 24/7. While reading the “tweetstream” during your entire workday may seem tempting, its not necessary. Many users have certain times that they like to pop in and mingle each day. Even small does of Twitter are enough to give you a heads up on the hot topics, communicate with your customers, or just to check the pulse of your industry.
4. Get Maximum Use Out of Your Content
Content is King for generating traffic, customers, and much needed publicity. Help get maximum use out of your current content by “tweeting” your blog posts, your workshops on YouTube, or even your podcasts. Take a sneak peek at www.twitter.com and you’ll quickly see that the majority of the tweets all include a link to some type of content. As an added bonus there are a bevy of “URL shortening” services out there that will shorten your link to help fit into twitter’s 140 character limit. The bonus is that they include statistical monitoring so you can see just how many people have visited your link. Switch the wording up a little on each tweet and check the statistics to see which tweets generate the most traffic for promoting your content.
5. Instant Market Research
As you join, one of your first steps will be to find people to follow. Websites like www.twellow.com make this a snap and you can easily find “tweeple” in your chosen demographic. Add these potential customers to your “following” list and listen to their wants and needs. Rarely are there opportunities like this to do instant market research for free on such a broad scale. Build a relationship with these prospects by responding to their tweets and they’ll gladly read your content or help you fine tune your next product offering. Just remember to leave the sales pitch at home and instead focus on developing the conversation.
While there are many other reasons why I think you should try Twitter, such as the ability to monitor mentions of your company (my favorites are www.tweetgrid.com and www.brightkit.com ), supplement your customer service strategies (check out @zappos or @starbucks), or the ability to see the news as it’s happening (within seconds of the US Airways plane crashing into the Hudson River pictures were on twitter…faster than any news service) you will simply have to try it for yourself to find out why it makes sense for you.
If you do decide to start “tweeting” make sure you follow me www.twitter.com/glamajama and let me know your thoughts!