Is Twitter Just a Fad?

December 9, 2010 § Leave a comment

With more than 20 million people on Twitter in the U.S. there are ample opportunities for audiences to engage with corporations and brands.  Twitter, if executed properly, can help companies engage with customers, build new relationships, deepen relationships and create a new pool of customers talking positively about the brand resulting in an increase in loyalty and ultimately an increase in sales.  With the Holiday season around the corner many retailers are embracing social media like never before.  More than half are including it in the marketing strategies, up drastically from only 4% in 2007.  Of those who reported plans to use social media, 76% are focusing on Facebook, 50% on Twitter, 14% on MySpace and 14% on YouTube .  Despite the fact that 50% of major retailers are including Twitter into their marketing strategies many retailers are not leveraging this powerful marketing tool properly.  Unless used properly Twitter is a missed opportunity for major brands.  Target is leveraging their Twitter account as effectively as they could be and as a result the cheap chic discounter said it expects a key revenue measure to rise more sharply than it has in any period in the last three years.

Twitter can be used by businesses for many purposes; its value differs for each company.  If best practices are followed, businesses can discuss their news, products and services with a wider audience, increase brand awareness, gain new customers, boost sales and/or provide customer service.   This interaction or customer service is an important factor that can help companies maintain a strong corporate reputation.  While Tweets might be damaging to a brand, success requires a commitment to respond quickly to customer queries, suggestions or complaints.  According to Twitter’s own best practices, “your reply should come with a day, if not within hours”.

The number of active Twitter users in the United States already exceeds 20 million and can be expected to continue to grow.  This is a massive human database to tap; companies that understand the value of Twitter can benefits from its potential as a viable engagement platform.  With numbers like that Twitter is absolutely NOT a fad but a powerful marketing channel.

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