Launched in 2006, the short message service is still relatively new in its popularity, and many companies are still strategizing formulas to make it work in their favor.
With over 200 million users, Twitter is a place where having an effective marketing strategy is paramount to success, as it’s not a one-way street – your users can either hate you or love you for the things that you publish.
Originally intended as a service to be used for individual communication among a small group of people, Twitter has flourished into a vast network where businesses routinely advertise and plug away.
- Engage users
One of the most important things for a company to understand before shamelessly self-promoting themselves is that Twitter is a public forum; it’s a two-way interactive communication service that should be used for a combination of tweeting and listening.
One mistake that many businesses make on Twitter is that they forget that users want to be engaged, not simply pitched at. Continuous tweets that do nothing more than advertise products will turn users off and lose their interest. Responding to comments can be an effective way to keep people coming back, but the content of the original message is also extremely important.
- Keeping content interesting and intriguing
People like humor, although for businesses there should be limits on what is considered to be acceptable. Tweets don’t have to be laugh-out-loud absurd comments, but including elements of tongue-in-cheek or lighthearted humor will add a personal touch. This will leave Twitter users feeling as if they’re involved in a conversation and not just on the receiving end of a sales pitch.
One strong advantage of using Twitter for marketing purposes is that it’s short and sweet. People can easily get bored with long-winded articles or blog posts, and tweets get the message across in 140 characters or less.
The object here is to give people messages that will inspire them to investigate further. Intriguing comments with links will get users to become interested and give them an opportunity to check it out. In today’s culture, instant gratification is at the top of many people’s lists, and they don’t want to have to invest their time into reading 500 to 1,000 words if they don’t have to.
- Reach a client base immediately
Providing real-time updates is also a strong-selling point of using Twitter for business. In comparison to print advertising, tweets can inform customers of products, services, deals and promotions in an instant. No longer do companies need to wait around for the ads to reach the clients. Now they can have direct access to millions of potential customers in seconds.
Another benefit of the real-time aspect of Twitter is that tweets can involve up-to-date posts on what a business is up to. What one of the most frequently answered questions on Twitter is, “What are you doing?”
Subscribing to the notion that users actually care about what people and companies of interest are doing at the moment, many tweets simply state what one is doing at that point in time. This technique should be used wisely, but if the message contains the aspects of humor and intrigue, people will become engaged in the action.
There is still a lot to be learned about the full extent of Twitter’s potential as a marketing conduit, but the opportunities are there to instantly reach a vast network of customers.
Brogan, Chris. “50 IDEAS ON USING TWITTER FOR BUSINESS” Chris Brogan http://www.chrisbrogan.com/50-ideas-on-using-twitter-for-business/
Perez, Sarah. “4 Ways Companies Sue Twitter for Business” ReadWrite Enterprise http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2009/03/4-ways-companies-use-twitter-for-business.php
“How To Use Twitter For Marketing” Squidoo http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-use-twitter-for-marketing