Twitter is a miniature blog used as a quick update tool containing a very limited number of characters. It’s a great place for keeping people informed on what you are up to without writing an entire detailed post on a specific subject. While Twitter may have started as a micro-blogging service, it has grown into much more than simply a quick tool to type in status updates. It has been best described as a cross between blogging and instant messaging. Twitter is social messaging with the ability to follow people and have followers. Whether you are out on the town and want to coordinate with a group of people on where to meet or keep your acquaintances informed as to what latest developments have taken place at your company, Twitter is a great tool for quickly communicating a message to a group of people.
Twitter is a also a great source for reporting news to a huge group of people. Faster and more immediate than a blog, Twitter has been embraced by the “new media” and has slowly won acceptance among traditional media outlets. This new form of getting the message out has been used by politicians, celebrities, business executives and in general anyone who wants to find a quick way to connect with an audience. Twitter can be used by families to keep in touch, by a company to coordinate business or the media to keep people informed. In essence Twitter can be used as a social messaging, event coordinator, business tool, news reporting and a marketing utility service.
In most cases businesses use twitter to educate customers about products/services, provide customer support, ask customers for their opinions/feedback, provide service recovery and facilitate online reputation management. According to statistics Twitter traffic has generated for over 3 million dollars in sales and has reached consumers that are targeted and genuinely spending a good amount of time on this site. The following are some of the benefits of having your presence on Twitter:
• Free publicity
• Building relationships with your customers and building top of mind awareness
• Great research tool asking customers for their opinions and finding out what people are saying about you and your competitors
• Great networking tool
Despite the many benefits one can observe through using Twitter, it is also important to be aware of the following:
• It has a poor retention rate
• It’s not for every type of business
• It can do more damage to your brand if approached incorrectly
• There are other marketing channels to consider for your online marketing
• It can be addictive
It is important to approach Twitter with a good marketing strategy and first to do your research to ascertain whether it suits your business needs.