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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What the Hell is Twitter and How Can I Maximize It

Tweet, Tweeting, Tweeted and ReTweet. The buzzwords of a new social media platform. For those of you that are not familiar with Twitter (roughly 85% of the U.S. population and almost 60% of B2B marketing managers), here's a primer for you.

Twitter was launched as a communications vehicle to let people know what you are doing, how you are feeling, your thoughts on a given subject, tonight's locale of the watering hole all within 140 characters or less. This platform was a natural extension of SMS (short message service) placed into a community frame in which you select your friends, accept twitter followers or who to follow. Additionally, a perfect match for mobile devices that are "always on" thus providing a higher share of voice than messaging on desktop and laptop PCs. The ease of joining and then sending "Tweets" can cause addiction.

"Neighbors and fences."

Just as with any social media, a person that you have as a linkedin connection doesn't necessarily mean that you would select them as a twitter connection. The variance of all of the social media is starting to show some distinct differences in chosen population. Dive right in to all forms and you will be ahead of the curve.

If one takes into consideration "neighbors and fences" when building a twitter community to enhance brand resonance on web 2.0, you'll reach a higher success rate. Let me give a specific example. You visit a trade show and catch up with two members of your biggest account. One is the CIO and the other is that person's right hand ... the system administrator. The latter is probably the better candidate selection for "tweets."

The true muscle of Twitter is found when it is used in a carefully blended cocktail with other social media after careful planning and understanding of your target audience. Here's another example for you. The additional point of engagement through Twitter could bring about an increase in your company's blog if the aforementioned system administrator receives a "tweet" about an interesting security topic that you finished posting on your blog or perhaps your linkedin community.

Take time and align your objectives, learn the similarities and differences of the various social media, think through the population propensity towards the various social media and use them together in an integrated fashion. President Obama used a simplistic twitter drive to web site campaign and the rest is history.

JD Holzgrefe

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