Tweet, Tweet, a Marketing Feast
“Same thing every spring. Tweet-tweet, tweet-tweet! Tweet-tweet, tweet-tweet! Love’s sweet song. Hmmm! Pain in the pinfeathers, I call it!” – Friend Owl, Bambi (1942)
Twitter has become a household name thanks to its continuous exposure in the media and the Internet. The homegrown viral efforts of its user base have also played a large role in its ever increasing popularity – whether warranted or not.
For you technophobes out there with your heads in the sand, Twitter is simply an instant messaging program that crosses many platforms – from cell phones to web-based applications. It’s a communication tool that is always connected and always on. Some consider it the collective pulse of humanity, at least the humanity on the web. Twitter asks the basic question “what are you doing?” And it allows you 140 characters to convey an answer. You can connect with people across the world or across the street simply by becoming followers with other twitter users.
So, how can I use Twitter for my business?
That’s the question being raised, and it’s the focus point in the SEO comic above. Understanding what Twitter is and what Twitter is not should be the starting point for any conversation about the many ways a business can use Twitter.
Twitter is an application to communicate and group like-minded individuals into a continuous live conversation that anyone and everyone has access to view. What many fail to understand is that Twitter is best used to expand and expose your brand name, rather than to sell directly to a market. In fact, selling on Twitter is the fastest way to lose the ability to reach a mass audience. Twitter brings free publicity to your company, but you should never use it as a “hard sell” door to door vacuum cleaner salesman would. At its core, communicating with other “Tweeples” should be an exercise in public relations.
Can any business be successful on twitter?
In short, yes. Twitter is an extension of one’s personality in a very limited space. Using only 140 characters, your message, your approach, your dialog, your humor, and your identity must come across to your audience. Twitter can be used in many forms. Most companies use it for brand awareness, for customer feedback, to build brand loyalty, and to acquire customers. Twitter is truly what you make it.
Twitter has several case studies of businesses successfully using their platform model. They tout DELL, the computer software company, as one of their major success stories. DELL has said the following about their Twitter experience: “So instead of using Twitter just to let people know about deals, the company has come to think of it as a good place to interact with customers—and to raise awareness about the brand. “When we respond to people on Twitter, they get really excited, and we gain advocates.” Twitter case studies (http://business.twitter.com/twitter101/case_dell)
Pespi –Cola, also on Twitter, says “We’re trying to humanize the brand, to make it more accessible to consumers. On Twitter, they can complain or praise, and we can use it as a way to gauge how people are feeling.”
Twitter can be used to market your business in fun ways as well.
A successful dog treat company using the twitter handle @bestbullysticks created a twitter scavenger hunt in which twitter followers would search their websites to find answers to questions and provide those answers for free prizes.
Domain name registrar Namecheap uses a trivia question game to give discounts on domain purchases.
You must always keep your audience in mind and if your message is well received, you will achieve your desired results. Knowing your audience and strategically building your following or fan base can prove to be a unique and free branding experience.
Take some time to examine how businesses across the globe are using Twitter. What do you feel are good or bad examples of businesses using twitter?
Eric Gehler, SEO Consultant, Big Oak SEO