Twitter seems to be everywhere these days. In fact, it was mentioned so many times in one week that Joel McHale and the people at the Soup on E! made a video compilation of references with Joel calling Twitter “the digital macarena.” Like it or not, Twitter and the rest of the social media sites and applications have transformed the Internet and every other traditional form of marketing known to mankind for the last 70 years. And Twitter can transform you.
The genius behind Twitter is that it essentially creates intimacy between businesses and consumers that didn’t previously exist. It puts a human face on what can otherwise seem like a giant, careless corporate machine. Businesses in every industry are literally rebuilding their brand image, identity and persona (yes the three are separate) through Twitter. And while the #1 criticism of Twitter I ran into again and again on the web was “why do I care what somebody had for breakfast?”, Twitter is THE new marketing/advertising/public relations tool.
Consumers have complained for years about the number of ads bombarded at us through the traditional media outlets–television, radio, pop-ups. So why is Twitter different? Because it’s an opt-in service. Users genuinely want to be there. In fact, they choose to be there. There is no better way for a business to literally “reach out and touch someone.” Even if Twitter turns out to be a flash-in-the-pan, the impact on business/customer relations will still be phenomenal.
So how are businesses doing this? By providing customer service for individual people and problems, tweeting about special deals, posting interesting links and tidbits of information, talking about the upcoming launch of a new product, listening to what consumers have to say about their product, and just generally acting like a real person. Twitter has become the new mom-and-pop store in terms of customer service. Remember what it was like when there used to be good customer service?
The reason Twitter works so well for businesses is that it bypasses every other version of traditional media and relies on a little thing called word-of-mouth. And it’s fast. Instead of sponsoring a pop-up ad or running the same 15-second spot every 30 minutes, Twitter allows companies to instantaneously give consumers information without waiting for a commercial break. And thanks to retweeting (what Twitterers call re-posting links, information, etc), your message can reach thousands or millions more people, free of charge.
So how can we use this in the digital media industry? By adding a smart, well-planned social media component to your marketing plan and website. Pixeldust has helped several clients cultivate a respectable, interactive social media campaign. Sales won’t necessarily be instantaneous, but “if you build it, they will come.” All you have to do is take the first step and reach out to your tech-savvy audience. They’re waiting.