Twitter – Reality and Potential

twitter-futureTwitter: Will It Implode Under the Weight of Its Hype?  was an interesting article was recently published by Click Z.

I agree that Twitter will not revolutionize marketing as some believe, but I also agree that Twitter opened a unique niche, which will not disappear.  Twitter will not allow access to mass marketing… but why do we want to do “mass marketing” in the era of better segmentation opportunities? 🙂

Twitter has unique qualities that no other medium can satisfy:

  1. “Moment-search,” “moment-communication,” and instant opportunity to connect with people who are in the same situation. This is very useful for live events. Some of the examples: a webinar crushed – the attendees immediately gathered on Twitter  and expected communication from the webinar provider on Twitter, what was easier and much more practical (comparing to e-mail or any other communication).
  2. twitter-followCustomer service implications. Yes, customer service can be provided by phone and through Twitter, and the cost would probably be the same. But, customer service successes and failures on Twitter became instantly public – customer service is merging with PR and becoming “public customer service.”  The cost of failing (and benefit from excelling) in customer service rises exponentially. 
  3. Twitter is good for some niche applications. Even if it is an opportunity to reach early adopters only – Twitter has an advantage of doing our segmentation for us! Twitter is useful as a low cost channel for posting jobs, coupons, and business announcements. This marketing tactic makes sense if it is working.
  4. Opportunity to connect with others. Not every speaker at a conference would publish his or her e-mail address, but most happily provide their Twitter URL. This allows asking questions and starting relationships that otherwise would not be possible. 
  5. Limitation of commitment for information provider   and information reader. Though 140 characters are not always enough, it can be liberating. 140 characters limit the amount of time that needs to be spent to write and to read the post. I remember talking with one of marketing managers about her interest in starting a blog promoting the conference. She had information to share – new speakers, updates to web site, etc. However, she would not have time to write a blog. I immediately opened my Twitter account and typed a quick post. “That is it,” I said after explaining more about the micro-blogging tool. “I can do that!” said marketing manager.

twitter-implodeI totally agree that the idea of broadcasting “what are you doing” will eventually disappear, but the business applications of Twitter will probably remain in some form… we just don’t know yet in which one…  I am guessing that useful functions of Twitter will become part of our life in a couple of years, but, maybe, it won’t be Twitter application to provide them. Who knows?  We can just wait an see – it is interesting time in marketing!

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