What’s all the Tweet About?

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Of all the social media networks around, although people I meet know of Twitter, it is probably the social network that many people just don’t seem to ‘get’. Most people know it is a micro-blogging service that enables you to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, otherwise known as “tweets,” yet they can’t seem to get their head around how a service like this could actually be useful.

Twitter has been used for a variety of purposes in many different industries and scenarios. It has been used to promote upcoming events, announce product releases (Dell computers reports to have made in excess of $2m in one year alone from its Twitter activities), build individual profiles and company brands awareness and reputation, release news, special offers or discounts, plus much more.

From a user perspective you can instantly connect to what’s most important to you such as follow your friends, experts, favourite celebrities, and breaking news. Whether you tweet 100 times a day or never, you still have access to the people and information surrounding what interests you. You can contribute, or just listen in and retrieve up to the second information. Some people never tweet, they simply use Twitter as a way to get the latest information on their interests, or monitor sentiment on their brand, product or general industry.

The service has also been used in emergencies (most recently in the wake of the Japan earthquake and tsunami, Christchurch earthquake, Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi) and political campaigning and protests such as the 2011 Egyptian protests, 2010–2011 Tunisian protests and 2009–2010 Iranian election protests.

It has also been used successfully to encourage people to watch live TV events, such as the Oscars, the Rugby World Cup, the MTV Video Music Awards; and you’ll even note TV shows such as X Factor using it to encourage interaction and voting amongst its viewers.

But whilst all this is great, is Twitter something you or your business should be using and if so, how do you get started, and most importantly, get results? Like any marketing activity, it depends on the business objectives you set out to achieve as to how you approach using Twitter, so my first advice would be to seriously consider what business needs you have and whether Twitter is the best medium to utilise. In an era where many businesses are looking for more cost effective and time effective ways to market, and to connect with their desired target market however, Twitter is indeed a clear winner.

Just remember to keep it short: posts are limited to 140 characters, and whilst this may not seem like a lot to work with, if you think of Twitter posts as headlines where you need to come up with something attention grabbing, informative yet intriguing, thus encouraging the viewer to see more, you’re well on your way to understanding the power of Twitter.

The Creative Collective’s next Web Wednesday event will be on the topic of Twitter and feature three Twitter experts in the form of a panel discussion who will share their secrets to success. The event will be held on Wednesday 5 October, 5:15pm for networking for a 6pm start at the Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE, Lady Musgrave Drive, Mountain Creek.

A half day Twitter workshop will also be held on Thursday 20 October, 9am -12pm in Maroochydore. For more details see: https://thecreativecollective.com.au/events.

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