Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Case For Twitter

We’ve all heard the complaints about Twitter. Why do we need to know what Kim Kardashian had for lunch? Why join a network where Ashton Kutcher is the most popular? Who the hell is Justin Bieber and why is he ALWAYS “trending?” Ok, I’ll admit it, these are all very valid questions and very valid reasons to be apprehensive about Twitter. However, once you get past these inane ramblings of celebrities, you’ll learn that Twitter does matter, especially for your company. Here’s why.

This Ain’t Your Grandma’s Media Landscape We’re in an age of clutter. Advertisements are everywhere; TV, the internet, radio, billboards, before movies, during sporting events…even on people (Forehead Advertising is real). We’re overwhelmed. It’s inescapable, and we as consumers are getting annoyed. We’re so mad, in fact, that we ignore most ads; DVRs allow us to skip ads on TV and iPods let us bypass the radio. We’re sick and tired of being told what to buy, what services to use, where to eat, and how to live. How does a brand cut through the clutter? Enter Twitter, which turns a brand into your friend.

Target Practice Let’s pretend you’re at an archery range in the traditional media landscape. The brand is an archer, and the brand’s message is the arrow. Guess what, Sucker, you’re the target! The brand shoots its message at you, and you just have to sit and take it. Not so fun, huh? Well, social media gives you a bow and allows you to shoot right back. Now we’re talking.

One of the biggest benefits of Twitter and social media in general is that it allows a brand to have a conversation with its customers. Instead of broadcasting a message, a brand can actually engage consumers in real-time. Think of it as an always on-call customer service department. If someone has an issue with your product, you can respond swiftly before it gets negative publicity. Compliments about your brand? You can Retweet it to your followers and spread the good news. Customers learn to trust your brand, and good friends are always listened to.

Listen Up Twitter also empowers consumers to have conversations with each other about your brand, increasing Word-of-Mouth advertising for your brand. Twitter lets a brand listen to its consumers in real-time, and provides a constant stream of insights about products, services, and how to improve overall customer service. Twitter becomes the World’s Biggest and Best Focus Group, and your brand becomes the World’s Least-Creepy Eavesdropper.

Twitter matters. In an age where consumers are constantly bombarded with communications they don’t want to receive and can ignore, Twitter cuts through the clutter. Twitter facilitates communication between your brand and its customers, and also internet chatter into meaningful insights. Drink the Twitter kool-aid. Connect to consumers, collect information, and correct mistakes. Join the conversation.

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