Twitter as a social media tool is already a force to be reckoned with. It is spreading throughout the landscape and across several industries. Of newsworthy and topical applications, the Candidates for the 2008 election have Twitter handles and are amassing followers. Barack Obama (@BarackObama) has 26,414 followers as compared to Hillary Clinton’s (@hillaryclinton) 3,440. I could not find a Twitter handle for John McCain. The candidates have a great tool here to get the word out immediately to their supporters, and hopefully spur them into an action on their behalf.
From political stars to rock stars, Twitter is being used to promote events, blog updates, appearances, autograph signings, and so much more. Henry Rollins (@HenryRollins) has 5,284 followers that he is able to keep updated on his spoken word events as well as musical musings. Authors are on Twitter. Media outlets are on Twitter (NPR has both their news (@nprnews), and their blog (@nprnewsblog) as Twitter identities online).
As opposed to blasting out an email, or a newsletter, you have a dedicated group of individuals on Twitter, who proactively choose to follow you, so your odds of getting your message to a receptive audience is much greater than if it was an audience that say, just happened to be at the same tradeshow as you, yet they never came to your booth. Although, you and your sales manager think these are great leads.
You still have to have something useful to say. You also have to be concise as you have only 140 characters to say it in. That is why you want to use Twitter to lead your audience to the next step of information dissemination you want to get to them. These would be things like a landing page on your website, your blog, or your latest press release (AHA! You knew I would get around to the PR part of this).
At Sterling Cross Communications (www.sterlingcrossgroup.com) we are setting up our clients and working with them to amass their own followers on Twitter. As their followers grow, it allows them to get messages out to their audience. It can be alerts to check out the latest press release, or to announce deals, discounts, new arrivals, or exclusive opportunities. From heavy machinery manufacturers who are announcing their tradeshow appearances, booth locations, and keynote speakers appearance, to personal trainers announcing new class offerings, or announcing time or location changes to their class.
The broadcast to an audience on cellphones and online provide the most comprehensive communication tool to their intended audience, yet some of our clients have regulations that must apply to their communications. This has lead us to develop other SMS (cellphone) based tools for our clients that must comply with regulations such as SEC or HIPAA, or that need the greater security and privacy provided for their small groups. We’re able to build them a tool to allow them to comply with the regulations that govern their industry.
Although I have just scraped the surface on how businesses are utilizing Twitter for promotion, join me on my next posting to discuss how Twitter is being used for Customer Service.