If your ear is to the ground at all, you’ve been hearing about a social network called Twitter. While Facebook is still widely associated in the public’s minds with teens and 20s, and LinkedIn is strictly professional (a discussion of the exceptions to this is another post), Twitter is evolving into a business tool. It doesn’t need to be just for business; it’s highly flexible. But more people are using it for marketing purposes — not marketing in the traditional sense, mind you — but communications nonetheless.
Scott Allen explains the phenomenon neatly in Twitter for Entrepreneurs – Part 1: Getting Started. His one-sentence summary is: “It’s the quickest way I’ve seen to spread information virally to a wide scope of people attached in a lot of random ways.” I’m not going to try to improve on Scott’s report. You can go there and read it for yourself.
If you do start experimenting with Twitter for your business, keep in mind that, to a large degree, the only people who will read what you “tweet” (post in Twitter) will be the people who follow you. However if you tweet something that is of great interest and value, other Twitterers may “retweet” it, i.e. pass it on to those who follow them. You can begin to visualize how if you write something truly noteworthy, your 50 “followers” may pass it on to their 50 [making numbers up, here] followers, and they pass it on…etc. It is the ultimate viral communications tool.
So start with a strategy about how you’re going to develop a following, and then think about what will be truly interesting enough for people to pass on to others — great product design, exceptional promotional pricing, you name it. And plan not to be overly self-promoting. That’s a no-no on Twitter.
Oh, and you can find me at twitter.com/morecontrary.