Wednesday, December 31, 2008

for Precision Marketing magazine Dec 08: Twitter 2009

Here's a short bit on Twitter what I wrote for Precision Marketing magazine just before the holidays. An intro to twitter; yes people, there are still those out there who do not know.

Add to that this mornings revelations that social media is actually more popular than ever, and this nugget from hitwise which clearly demonstrates it's not just a US thing.

'UK Internet visits to Twitter have increased by 631% over the last 12 months, with 485% of that growth coming this year. Twitter is more popular with Brits than Americans: last week the site’s share of UK Internet visits was 70% higher its share of visits in America. Twitter cannot yet be considered mainstream in the USA, but in the UK it’s getting there.'

Anyway, here's the piece.

As Confucious famously said; ‘It’s difficult to make predictions, particularly about the future’ however I’m going to stick my proverbial neck out and venture that 2009 is going to be the year that Twitter enters the mainstream.

For anyone reading this and asking themselves, what is Twitter?
Twitter is increasingly pulling away as the leading opt-in, permission based communication and listening platform. Google it.

Anytime anything is being said about your company, products, or services you can monitor it and, most importantly, respond instantly if appropriate. In fact you can also use the various freely available tools to track what’s being said about any thing you fancy. Your competitors for instance.

Yes, Twitter gives your opponents and critics a voice too, but that means you can listen and act.

As Twitter progresses towards it’s critical mass it’s increasingly one of the most effective research tools in your box. Simply tapping into that stream of ideas, content, links and commentary focused on your area of business your research has so much more value than traditional focus groups, for example.

Traditional focus groups only tell a portion of the story. On Twitter, groups can form and unform on an ad hoc basis, self-selected around subjects that interest them directly.

It’s no surprise that among the top 5 UK Twitter users (in terms of number of followers) are; Stephen Fry and John Cleese. The trick to adding value is simple.
Have something interesting to say.

And unless you are part of the conversation you cannot contribute therefore you don’t add any value.

The last point is of particular significance for our politicians.

The recently launched is a portal that brings together the collected tweets of several UK MP’s, including Tory leader David Cameron, following the lead of the PMs office earlier this year who launched the official Downing St twitter feed.
And, while it’s disappointing that Barack Obama stopped Twittering the second the election was over , his team saw the value of connecting directly to a fanatical group of supporters with real time updates as the campaign unfolded.

The internet is about people, not technology. Twitter is people-driven; so if your business depends upon relationships and interactions with people it’s time to take notice of Twitter.

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