I have been working for some time now to get my hands around Twitter. In order to get some external feedback as well I posted last week in a number of groups/forums the question; Now you are on Twitter – What’s Next?
Within 24hrs I received more than 50 reactions, showing that many people – like myself – are busy with this question. Herewith I would like to share with you my answer to the question, enriched with the answers of fellow marketing professionals & twitter users. Thank you all for your feedback.
To start; many people confirm that if you are on Twitter to develop your business, you should first be clear about what your (online) marketing goal is and how Twitter can play a role in achieving this.
Twitter (or do I better say Microblogging) is still young in it’s existence and as some people pointed out, like many new tools will need time to develop it’s full potential. Just think about how websites and e-mail looked at the start.
One of the strong potentials Twitter has is the connection to mobile products. With the platforms of PCs and mobile devices growing closer and the strong familiarity Twitter has with SMS, it could lead to very strong integrations. None of us likes to type long texts on small devices.
Also we see now Twitter being integrated more and more in consumer electronics e.g. in TVs. Although I do not see us enterering yet tweets with our current remotes; having access to your tweets also on this platform might be of interest in the years to come (e.g. certain tweets filtered as a ticker text below what you are watching in order to keep your informed of tweets you most care about immediately).
But before we speculate too much about this, the most important point right now to look at – would be in my view – how to use it to realise your current marketing objectives and build your internet presence. Driving people to the right places in the dot .com/.org/…. environment. There is only so much communication you can do in 140 characters, there fore in many cases these URL shorteners do come in handy.
When you have defined what you want to communicate and where, Twitter can be used to keep your audience informed and/or give your follower/your self an alert to take action.
Which dots to connect depends of course very much on what you want to achieve. E.g. do you want to:
- Build a bigger/more loyal fan base on social media sites like Facebook & MySpace
- Promote your Blog or Group (one of my personal objectives)
- Drive more traffic to your website by sending regular updates to your customers/followers
- Feed the online blogger community that there is interesting news available to blog about
- Create a mini network or tribe
- Set up 2 way communication with your most customers/relationships
- Send messages which hopefully are re-tweeted and spread the word around
Twitter is by far not the only tool to use here. Which ones to use depends on which part of the puzzle to solve (see also my earlier blog on “how to use Twitter better as a marketing tool”). My advice is to not wait for the next better/all-in-one solution to cover all your online needs. Many solutions will come & go and currently Twitter is one of the biggest & fastest growing applications around, with many tools to further improve it’s use. For me it is not about looking at/waiting for what is next; start with what we have now, make the best use of it and be flexible when the landscape changes. This is valid for all tools, not only Twitter.
I look forward to get your feedback on the information above, in this blog or if you are on LinkedIn and interested in discussions on Strategy, Marketing & Innovation please join the forum I have started on LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=1899487 – where I will keep on posting and encouraging interesting discussions.
This by the way brings me to another important feedback that was given a couple of times: Do your marketing on Twitter (and other social media) in a subtle and relevant way, otherwise people will “unfollow” you very quickly and stop listening/visiting. I hope the message above to share feedback & find out more is relevant and subtle enough.