Can you really get a half decent message across in 140 characters? Well, 465 million Twitter users seem to think so, and they are joined by one million new users every day. And those users are active, sending 175 million Tweets a day.
Twitter turned six years old in July of 2012--it got very big, very quickly. But does Twitter belong in a social media marketing (SMM) program?
Here’s why Twitter is a great idea:
Twitter is very simple and easy to use. You type a message of up to 140 characters long and send it. It can be seen by your followers who then can re-Tweet it to their followers. The only hard part is sometimes having to re-word your message to make sure it fits.
With forced brevity comes clarity about what is and is not important. It’s amazing when you are absolutely constrained like this how much you can cram into those 140 characters. Your messages wind up being clean and have a clarity to them that your usual marketing messages don’t.
Twitter is outstanding for linking and leading your audience to content they want to see. You list the title of a white paper and your audience clicks through to read it. This makes Twitter great for leading your audience to your blog or your website.
Twitter can be used to monitor conversations about your company and your products.
Twitter is also great for customer service, especially for keeping customers in the loop. I’m surprised no one has figured out what a great public relations coup it would be to have a Twitter program consisting of updates on delivery status of time-critical manufactured goods. How cool would a steady stream of “every order on time, no delays anticipated” Tweets be? In effect, the company would be verifying its own claims of on-time success.
And It’s hard to beat Twitter for opinion polls. Your short, succinct question gets sent to all your followers and they answer back in just as brief a fashion. Quick and dirty, yes, but very very fast, too.
Many good third-party tools are available for Twitter, especially for scheduling your Tweets. Say you want to issue five Tweets next week. Write them, set your Tweets for different days and times next week and the software sends them out for you. This also allows you to experiment with different days and times automatically. You don’t have to remember to send Tuesday’s Tweet at 7:00 am and Wednesday's Tweet at 4:00 pm to see if the response is different.
Here's why Twitter may not be such a good idea:
Twitter has a reputation as a live commentary tool for unfolding events such as awards shows and sporting events. We always seem to be hit with a new Twitter record at the Super Bowl, the FA Cup, or the Grammy Awards.