Twitter's Who, What, When, Where, Why & How
Everything you need to know about Twitter
For those of you wondering what a "Tweet" or a "Twitter" are, I'm here to help you. Let's start with answers to 6 simple questions.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is what is known as a micro-blogging service and though it is similar to a traditional blog (like this one), the posts differ by being shorter. A post will at most include a couple of sentences followed by a link. The link could be for a website, picture, video, or anything you or your brand are looking to share online. Twitter limits the size of your posts (which they have branded as a “tweet”) to 140 characters. This allows for easy flow; an instant messaging-style of communication.
Twitter allows each user to choose whose tweets they want to subscribe to. If other users choose to subscribe to you, they become what are known as “followers”. As well, you can “follow” other users to keep up to date with what they are thinking.
Who uses Twitter?
An estimated 200+ million users (including students, professionals, athletes, celebrities, and brands) are tweeting more than 200 million times per day. From a business perspective the most important ‘who’ on Twitter is their past, present, and potential customers. Even if you’re a B2B, do not dismiss the idea that your customers are on Twitter. You might be selling to another business, but a person will make the transaction, and you might be able to reach that person via Twitter. Best-selling author and social media maven Gary Vaynerchuk, dedicated a chapter in his latest book, “The Thank You Economy,” to a case study revealing the value of social media (and in this case Twitter) to a B2B company. For more examples, check out these B2B twitter success stories. Looking at the previously mentioned link you’d see that HubSpot ranks number one. This is just one of the reasons KAYAK Creative has integrated our services with their online marketing solutions.
Where do people use Twitter?
Twitter users can be found worldwide; keep in mind that there are 200+ million of them. That’s the big picture. Social media however, allows for the big picture to easily narrow in scope. For example, in Calgary, avid Twitter users will finish their tweets with #yyc as a shorthand way of letting others know they are tweeting from or about Calgary. We will get into the # symbol or so-called hashtags in a later post, and for those who don’t know, yyc is Calgary’s airport code. When #yyc is included in a tweet every Calgarian or visitor can do a Twitter search for “yyc” to find out what is happening in and around town. A quick “yyc” search from my own Twitter feed yielded a marketing tweet for a local tap house.
So whether your business is international, national, regional, or local,Twitter connects you to the customers you want to reach.
When could my business use Twitter?
The first tweet was posted only 5 short years ago. Since then, Twitter has grown into a 24/7 up-to-the-second account of what’s happening in the world. Businesses can use Twitter for all sorts of applications: thanking those who share a positive message about your brand, taking the first steps in solving issues with those who tweet about a negative experience with your brand, and searching out new customers who would love what you have to offer.
Twitter is also an excellent tool for brands looking for timely feedback. NBC now promotes an interactive use of Twitter during shows. They encourage viewers to tweet about the specific show they are watching using an advertised hashtag. Everyone who is watching the show can join in the conversation and NBC execs can see in real-time how people are reacting to their shows.
This kind of interactivity isn’t just for the big guys. Una Pizza + Wine, a trendy little restaurant in Calgary, uses Twitter to update customers on potential wait times for a table.
Why should my business use Twitter?
You should use it because your customers are. It gives every business, large or small, a chance to engage with a customer one on one. It is no longer a secret that emotions and feelings affect how we buy. Why not position your business on the front lines to help influence customers’ feelings and build brand loyalty?
Kayak will help guide you through the Twitterverse in our Social Media and Online Marketing Training Program. To learn more about our program, click the button below.
Don't forget to follow Mark (@MarkAtKayak) and Randy (@Kayak360) on Twitter and connect with Randy in Google+.
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