Twitter has allowed businesses to create a professional presence online and the ability to interact with potential/existing customers through much more immediate means. Businesses are now afforded the luxury of knowing what their followers (customers) are doing at any given moment, and vice versa. This real time data sharing creates not only up-to-date business profiles but also immediate and current sharing of ideas and products.
Twitter is all about relationships
Twitter is all about relationships, and in this respect the same can be true for marketing. The simple fact when it comes to marketing is that relationships are vital. Connections drive marketing – the more connections you have the more marketing potential you have. Twitter has thus become one of the leading social media marketing choices as it allows for the creation of literally thousands of followers (25 million and counting if you are Lady Gaga!).
Twitter’s unique aspect of being able to follow people and being followed in turn means that very quickly a business can amass a giant list of potential customers and professional relationships. A user does not have to request in most cases who to follow and whereas Facebook limits the amount of connections you can have, twitter only limits the amount you can follow, not who can follow you, so essentially the sphere of influence/networks is endless.
Twitter allows businesses to promote and market their products or themselves, at an individual level. One commentator likened Twitter to that of a giant dinner party, wherein lots of conversations are occurring. One can easily join in or start a new one where in turn others can join in. This is different to Blogs, which were likened more to crowd talking, and Facebook, which was simply viewed as no more than private conversations. Twitters’ benefit is its ability to share information amongst a lot of people easily and openly.
Twitter and B2B
Twitter is one of the leading social media marketing choices for B2B due to viral marketing benefits. Viral marketing is a core B2B social media application for a product or service recognition and development of leads. According to Irbtrax SEO Social Media Marketing Optimization founder Scott Moir – “It can’t be emphasized enough. When used effectively the viral marketing benefits of Twitter make it an extremely valuable platform for any business that depends on the Internet for its prosperity.”
Well written, newsworthy, enticing tweets can take on the characteristics of a successful online press release. News and information can be spread almost instantaneously; far quicker than emails or blog. Information can spread from New York to London to Tokyo in a matter of seconds. Ultimately viral marketing can lead to brand enhancement, content sharing and traffic generation for your company.
As a market research tool, Twitter is also excellent. With many built in features, as well as external systems such as Buffer and Tweetdeck, which can efficiently monitor information related to their industry specific trends. Through careful research, one can gain an insight into the people who use Twitter, more specifically your followers at an individual level. Who are they as people? What is their likes and dislike? Etc. The information gathered through this research is invaluable when it comes to putting together pitches and building industry relationships.
Elsewhere, one can monitor your competitor’s twitter accounts to research their online strategy – What are they doing differently to you? What are you doing different to them? Much of this research is conducted through analyzing what can only be described as ‘peripheral connections’. What this means is if you want to market your company you find someone on twitter that is doing the same thing as you with a similar message or item and look to their followers. They are following this person for a reason. Find the reason, exploit and entice these followers to follow you.
Boost your traffic
Twitter can also be used as a mean to boost and promote a business’s other site also. One can use Twitter to promote your social bookmarking submissions or get your followers to vote up submissions through Digg, Delicious etc. In this respect, this reciprocal aspect of twitter is unique. By helping one another, you are able to get a feel for who uses these sites i.e. Digg, and this serves in turn as a fantastic promotional tool. What is more, this sharing of help and ideas provides an invaluable source pool of ideas for blogs. One can pick up other posts and expand on them or garner ideas from conservation or new authors.
Trust and value is often the core principle behind following one another on Twitter, and this has to be achieved most of the time through the personal approach. Businesses should not be afraid to conduct small talk with their followers and indeed competitors (of course remaining professional when doing so) . The problem however is often trying to be too corporate which creates a boring twitter account. To have tens of thousands of followers on Twitter is impressive but often these are simply the results of popularity (in the case of a celebrity), long established brands or harvesting software. It is very unlikely that these are honest relationships with which you can market too. Honest relationships more than nominal ones which are critical to long term marketing and business.
Simplicity of use
Much of twitter’s success stems ultimately from its simplicity of use. Users of Twitter do not have to look after and manage a wealth of information or details unlike other social media sites, and so their ability to use Twitter is much more organized. In turn, Twitter users have related that this has made their Twitter account ‘more fun’ to use than say on Facebook or Myspace. But there is also a flexibility to Twitter which is lacking elsewhere. Twitter in terms of a communication/marketing tool is one that can essentially be accessed anywhere and by a wide ranging audience. Twitter also requires minimal resources meaning it can be accessed from any device which has the internet or a viable ISP. This is significant for businesses that have a technologically diverse target audience.
In short, the benefits Twitter Marketing can bring a business are:
- Real-time content
- Immediate data share
- Brand enhancement
- Traffic generation
- Customer demographic improvements
- Increased customer loyalty
- Alternative Market Research
About the Author – Ian Garstang works at Kingsland Linassi, an award winning, Top 100 UK creative design agency and property marketing company, working on such projects as Zemi Beach luxury Caribbean condos. Ian enjoys luxury travel, good design and writing.