Is Twitter Usage Important to Marketing a Product?

Technology often moves so quickly, we can’t even catch our breath before the next wave hits us. Twitter isn’t really new, but it is evolving. The technology that was originally for broadcasting mini-blog postings of 144 characters has become a micro-broadcasting mechanism for just about everything.

Many companies are including “follow us on Twitter” (not to mention FaceBook and other social media sites), but they aren’t taking advantage of the technology is a meaningful manner. In fact, often, the tweets a commercial entity issues is of little value to the sales process – and that’s where the opportunity is being missed.

Twitter use is on the rise among adults worldwide, and notably in the United States. The greatest use is among the 18-to-24 age group, and a growing percentage of those consumers are using the service daily. According to eMarketer, In the “Twitter Use 2012” survey from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 15% of US internet users reported using the site in February 2012, up after a drop from 13% in May 2011 to 12% in August. However, the percentage of users who said they accessed the service daily doubled within the past 10 months, to 8% in February 2012, up from 4% in May 2011.

The real issue, however, is what to do with that information. Just issuing a tweet that reads, “great buys at Best Buy!” isn’t going to do much for the bottom line. Twitter is kind of a viral messaging platform. It’s very powerful for musicians, celebrities, athletes, politicians, and those who have something to say to a specific audience. In other words, if you’re a Laker fan and you get a tweet that reads, “Steve Nash is now a Laker!” – you’re probably ahead of the news machine, the Lakers website, and other marketing mechanisms. That’s powerful.

We’re working to help our clients better understand how to create an audience, and then how to use Twitter, if appropriate, to reach that audience with appropriate messages. There is a wide array of opportunities for Twitter in business, including ad management, promotions, loyalty and brand development, polling, and crowd sourcing, just to name a few things…

Twitter shouldn’t be used for everything. In fact, R/com has a Twitter account, but we rarely use it. Our audience is vertical, not horizontal and as such, we have more direct methods of reaching them. This blog entry is a good example. More on Twitter usage in business later in the fall quarter.

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