Trick or tweet

13 Apr 2009

Twitter has the potential to be the perfect marketing tool for brands, but only if it’s used in the right way.

Unless you’ve turned off your television and radio, disengaged from conversation and disconnected from the internet, you will have heard of the micro-blogging site Twitter, at least in passing. Twitter, simply put, is a new way of having online conversations. And, more than any other social media, the immediacy and familiarity it breeds makes it the perfect marketing tool – if used correctly.

Twitter is all about ‘twittering’ or ‘tweeting’ your message to others who you know will appreciate it (imagine a bunch of little birds singing at the same time, yet deep in conversation). As such, it complements some of the key objectives of marketing perfectly.

Understanding the value of Twitter to an organisation or an individual, however, does take a bit of delving. In fact, it’s quite difficult even to explain what it does, given that it’s a curious mix of blogging, link swapping, social networking and instant messaging.

However, this alchemy is being used to great effect by brand builders as diverse as Stephen Fry and Dell. While British actor and author Fry has reached out to a staggering fan base of over 240,000 fellow twitterers who hang on his every word and buy his unique Twitter-branded merchandise from his website, Dell is engaging with customers on a one-to-one and one-to-many basis, addressing specific complaints and answering general queries.

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