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If You Don’t Twitter Does That Make You a Twit?

Twitter birdSo much has been said already about Twitter.   Apparently, it’s the best thing since sliced bread…or is it?  The company I work with, C.A. Walker Research Solutions, has a Twitter account, I registered it just in case, but we’re not using it and quite honestly, I haven’t seen a need for our business.

Having read much about nothing, Twitter’s ROI is the best look I’ve seen about whether or not using Twitter makes sense for your business and has potential for positive marketing ROI.First the bad:

  • People go to Twitter instead of through regular customer service channels, but unfortunately most companies aren’t staffing customer service people in those roles.
  • Twitter is uniquely both a one-to-one and one-to-many communications channel.  As a company, you communicate with one but they can yell about how unhappy they are to many.
  • The movie industry has taken a hit – when they release a stinker people know about it pretty quick, shortening the drop-off period.
  • Companies that ARE using Twitter, aren’t doing anything they couldn’t already do with other means of communication.

The positives:

  • Part of creating marketing ROI is finding and talking to influential people.  Influential people tend to talk a lot and like to create an audience.  You can find people who like to talk a lot and have a decent audience on Twitter.
  • Part of creating marketing ROI is being clever and relationship marketing within small groups of people.  Both its undiscovered uses and  passionate alike-thinking people creates opportunity for those who can figure out how to entertain their audience in the most compelling way.
  • Twitter creates marketing ROI for companies who thrive on immediate exchange of information, but it is difficult to measure impact.  Metrics may be: does Twitter help to generate revenues faster, retain a customer, improve relations with a market-influential person, result in more blog discussion or followers, minimize losses from missed deadlines, or increase responses to emergencies.

The article discusses several tactics that companies have used, which could have been achieved through other channels:  Dell selling off marginal equipment, Best Buy providing  access to its catalog, DriversSide informing people about recalls on their vehicle.  None were unable to be done without Twitter, but were re-purposed from other marketing channels.  It then leaves the reader with the thought there may NOT be anything that Twitter can do that another channel can’t, save for a highly selective group of people/companies:

“If you are a Hollywood studio, a major personality or a public relations worker in any big enterprise, you will be using it frequently. But as a truly different tool for building business, I think the jury is still out.”

Personally, I believe that there are things that will be discovered that make Twitter a unique marketing tool for some types of companies…particularly those who can benefit from “now communication.”  I look forward to finding some and blogging about them.


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