What to do with Twitter!?
Consumers love Twitter because it tells them what people are talking about right now. The micro-blog platform serves as a social stimulant-informing people as to what other people care about at any given moment in time. It’s amazing to watch the list of most popular topics morph throughout the day. And, if you watch it enough, you can begin to get a sense of what Twitter is, is not and how it can and can’t be used as a marketing tool.
Twitter is makes it super easy to connect to friends and celebs, like Tweet King Ashton Kutscher.
It’s also a viable venue for fomenting global political revolution. (Remember the Iran Twitter Revolution of 2009?)
Twitter also provides a platform for people to create content for the sake of entertaining others. Take, for example, Sh*t My Dad Says, which started as a Twitter feed, became a book and eventually a series starring William Shatner.
Twitter users can consume content, connect and assemble with others as well as distribute content they create themselves all on the same platform. It’s a perfect new media storm.
According to a recent study on what makes people want to follow a brand, about half of the people who follow brands on Twitter do so to receive special offers and deals from the brand. A quarter of them do so simply because they are already a customer. Another quarter follow brands that have interesting or entertaining content.
Meanwhile, out in “meat space” food trucks use Twitter to alert followers as to their mid-day whereabouts. Non-profits hold tweetathons to raise awareness and money for worthy causes. Retailers use Twitter to keep customers informed of new products. Grocers use twitter to send out coupons. Business gurus deliver insights to their disciples through Twitter. Event planners use Twitter to gather feedback and keep the conversation about their event centralized. One airline even used Twitter as the entry point for a sweepstakes to win 30,000 miles.
Yet, for all Twitter is good for, it is not the answer to “How to grow a small business.” It is merely a tool with which to connect like-minded people while offering them value and an opportunity to speak. Which also means, that for all the promotional opportunities that exist for Twitter savvy businesses, the greatest opportunity is to use Twitter as a means of marketing with your customers, not at them.
To tweet is to listen as much as it is to talk.