Fresh Chat

A world of ideas on engaging and influencing Australian online communities - from the desktops at Network PR

Fresh Chat header image 2

Twitter: Adding value for business

April 14th, 2009 by Julie Delaforce · 1 Comment

I feel inspired to write this post due to Twitter’s recent rise in popularity and the apparent misinformation about Twitter being discussed both online and offline.

There are a few criticisms of Twitter that have been circulating this year, and I’d like to address them here.

1. Twitter is the cool new app of the moment, it’ll pass.

Twitter was born in 2006 and has been a favourite of many early adopters and high profile online influencers for well over 18 m onths. The reason you may only be hearing about it now is because of the amount of attention Twitter is receiving in mainstream media. According to Quantcast, Twitter has undergone exponential growth in the last two months, more than doubling its user base. Twitter now has over 15 million users in the USA alone.

Twitter is not an alternative to Facebook and other social networks, in fact it is not actually a social network. Twitter is a valid social media tool in its own right and can be used as part of a wider social media program.

2. Twitter doesn’t add value to business

I have clients who would STRONGLY disagree with this statement. As a vehicle for communication in 14o characters or less, Twitter allows business to interact quickly and effectively with their consumers. Twitter can be used to encourage consumer feedback or simply build relationships with anyone important to your business. There are many different models for employing Twitter for your business, as with all social media engagement, have clear objectives before you create an account.

3. I can set up a Twitter account, start following people by the thousands, and market my product at them

Like all social media, Twitter is a two-way communication vehicle. The Twitterati DO NOT appreciate being marketed AT, you need to add value and engage with other users. When people converse with you (via @ reply), respond. If you’re only talking AT people, you’ll lose followers fast.

There are some businesses who got their foot in the Twitter door early, take a look at what they’re doing:

Southwest Airlines

Zappos

If Twitter is not currently a part of your social media strategy, I would strongly advise you to consider it. As with all social media engagement don’t just dive in, do your research first.

Tags: Julie Delaforce · Twitter

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Todd // Apr 14, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Whilst I agree to some extent with all of the points, I still cannot see what all the fuss over twitter is.

    Imo, Plurk is a much better alternative; threaded posts are easier to keep up with, and make it much easier to find likeminded users.

    Also, would twitter be as big without the API? I doubt it. Twitter itself is fairly simple and featureless, but when used in conjunction with twitpic, twhirl, tweetdeck ect, it becomes fully realised.

Leave a Comment