Marketing With Social Media, Part One: They Call it Twitter

September 2, 2008

Perhaps the hardest thing about taking the plunge into social media is choosing the right avenues. There are hundreds of services out there, and it's hard to know where to start—especially since you don't want to invest time and resources in something that's ineffective. Thankfully, there is an easy way to test the waters, and it's called Twitter.


Twitter is, loosely speaking, a free micro-blogging tool. Basically, the service asks you to do one thing: tell people what you're currently doing in 140 characters. What you get is something that looks like a hybrid of instant messaging, email, and text messaging. A couple of us (Mark and Zach) at Digett have been playing around with it lately, and our impression is that the service (silly as it may seem) offers a couple of real market advantages:

You're always connected.

True, some may think of this as a disadvantage. However, Twitter allows you to be connected in ways that you want to be. Moreover, when it comes to your markets, the service allows you to be connected in ways that you need to be.

Have an important update for your customers? Post it to your Twitter feed and they'll know immediately. Have a question for the public about one of your products or services? You might be surprised how many responses you get—and how quickly you get them.

It's accessible from everywhere.

We've all been in a situation where we needed to get a message out quickly but simply couldn't. Standard mail can take days. Email is fast, but you may not always have access. The phone always works, but it's not practical if your message needs to reach hundreds, even thousands, of people.

This is where Twitter shines. You can post an update from your browser, of course, but you can also use your mobile phone. All you have to do is send a text message to Twitter with your update, and anyone following your feed will see it. There are also dozens of third-party applications that allow you to use the service.

Perhaps the best part about Twitter, however, is that it's incredibly easy to use. Still, it can be tricky to understand its proper role within your overall marketing message. We'll have more about that in upcoming posts, so make sure you return for updates. Or, if you're daring, introduce yourself to Twitter by following my feed. I'll keep you updated.

(See part two of our look at Twitter.)