I’ve recently learned that when it comes to using Internet Social Media, resistance is indeed futile. You just can’t get away from it, it seems… and I’m not sure that we should even try anymore. After getting involved with using Twitter for the past couple of weeks, I’m shocked at the invaluable resource it’s turned out to be.
Yes, it can be overwhelming, but once you’ve collected the right tools it’s something you may be surprised to find yourself relying on more than email. Check out the video below just to get an idea about the volume of usage that Social Media is attracting.
I recently started a Twitter account for myself, and a retail client. I manage different accounts using HootSuite, a site that enables you to access and manage multiple Twitter accounts through your web browser. I’m able to group the people I follow into their own panels to make it easier for me to grab the “news” I want more effectively, and through the use of filters I’m able to search out mentions of whatever I may be interested in. These things are essential, and some are not possible through the Twitter.com site you create your account on.
Just a few days ago, when I couldn’t understand why my laptop wasn’t updating, and I couldn’t access my Gmail… I found the answer on Twitter. It only took a quick scan of my Twitter homepage to see that people were talking about Gmail servers having gone down. Another quick scan revealed that the Dell sites had gone down too. Within seconds I had the news I needed, with little to no effort on my part.
If you’re having a hard time deciding if Social Media is something you should get involved in, I’m including some interesting articles for your consideration below. In the meantime, just ask yourself this: If one of the 14 million visitors to Twitter.com in the US alone (Nielsen Online, March ’08) searches for your product or service… will they find you? What are people saying about you or your business on Twitter? Perhaps it’s time you found out.
The New Age of Communications
I can see social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn eventually replacing some of the ways we communicate now. Personally, I’ve decided that I’d rather follow someone on Twitter than add their RSS feed to my reader. Call it a result of growing up in the “instant gratification” generation. It’s fast, it’s what’s happening right NOW… and it’s gone and out of my way just as quickly. It’s less work for me. It saves me time, and I don’t stress out over the amount of unread RSS feeds in my Google Reader.
Email? Why, when we can send a Tweet that we know will go directly in front of our audience? Direct mailing campaigns will soon be a thing of the past. PR agent? No need, I can handle my own PR in a live stream. Monitoring the chatter about your company gives you new insight into public perception. Customer service? Why rely on emails that have to fight through spam filters when your customers can get your attention immediately? Not to mention the credibility you can build for yourself and your business by communicating with your targeted audience live.
Be the company that grabs (and holds) their attention
In today’s economy, customer retention is so very important. Being an active participant in social media sends the message to your client base that you’re interested in keeping the lines of communication open. How many people have you stopped doing business with simply because they weren’t listening to you, or they were difficult to contact? Why not be the person in your field of expertise that your target market goes to for help?
“Word of mouth” advertising has never been as powerful as it is on Twitter right now. Recommendations in the form of a RT (re-tweet: when someone forwards your message to their entire followers list) can spread your brand, and your profile all over the world (quite literally). Why would you want to put yourself at a disadvantage by not using what social media has to offer you?
Twitter articles of interest:
- Getting Started in Social Media
- How Companies Use Twitter to Bolster Their Brands
- 6 Ways Businesses Can Use Twitter
- How to Use Twitter to Grow Your Business
- Track RSVPs to your Events Through Twitter
- 50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business
- 4 Ways Companies Use Twitter for Business
- Twitter to roll out commercial accounts this year
- Hints of many business models in Twitter 101’s case studies
- Nine Twitter tips for business
- 16 Examples of Huge Brands Using Twitter for Business
*Twitter bird by Mirkku