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I wouldn’t encourage the naysayers to start chanting “the wicked witch is dead” just yet, but there has been a definite decline in Twitter users. According to the latest research from eMarketer, Twitter posted a decline in users from 23 million to 20 million. How is this possible you ask? Easy. The honeymoon is over and the novelty is starting to wear off for this social media darling. I think this is a normal correction, but it will require some smart thinking from Twitter’s founders to survive this dip. One savvy step in the right direction is their recent deal with Google (and Bing) which allows “tweets” to be included in real-time search listings.
Matt Cutts of Google posted this video to help explain the importance of their new Google Social Search…[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlpTjP6h6Ms[/youtube]
So what does this mean for small business?
If you haven’t jumped in on the social media bandwagon yet, now is the time. Customers and clients are using their blogs, tweets, facebook status updates, and more to talk about your brand. (Don’t believe me? Watch this.) With the birth of social search, these conversations will now be mainstream for all of Google to see. In other words, your customers will directly effect your Google search rankings.
Will Twitter be more business friendly in 2010?
Absolutely. Their real-time search collaboration is a big step in the right direction and Twitter isn’t stopping there. It has also launched a “Contributors” function (invitation only for now) which allows companies to have several authors send tweets under the same company profile. It is rumored that this may be one of the many new features in a “business class” Twitter account. These accounts would be part of an anticipated paid model launch in 2010. Also highly anticipated is the new emphasis on GeoAPI which will allow tweets to be seen with geo-location information. (Click here to read more.)
So what should you do?
Take advantage of this new opportunity to leverage social media in your favor by developing a listening strategy (read my post here for a how to), ensuring that your current web collateral can easily be shared socially (use AddThis or ShareThis buttons), and abandon spamming your marketing messages via your social networks in favor of developing mutually beneficial online relationships with key influencers in your industry.
Share your thoughts below in the comments! Are you using Twitter for Business?
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