I’ve become quite addicted to Twitter. It started off as a nice alternative to constantly updating the ‘status’ on my Facebook, as I found a nice little app that would post my Tweets into my status saving me from doubling up on my pointless thoughts during the day.
Since using it I have begun to see that it has many uses that may not immediately jump out at first glance. For one, it is a great way of taking the temperature of tweeters out there. There are websites that let you search for key words and see what the most popular thing is that is being tweeted about on a given day. It reminds me of when AOL leaked the search engine queries of users of its browser, therefore exposing the things people were searching for and ponder the sometimes surreal thought processes these people must have had as they were searching. It is interesting to see what people are feeling the need to tweet about. Looking through tweets is like looking into the minds of literally millions of people.
But Twitter isn’t just another form of social media for you to share useless information with people (although a large percentage is just that… Including most of mine); it is a powerful platform from which you can broadcast… In real time. This in itself makes it useful for keeping viewers (or followers as they are referred to in Twitter) up to date with whatever it is you want them to know. Whether that may be a character from a TV series Tweeting in between episodes to keep you up to date with what they are doing, or whether it is a news channel keeping you informed of breaking news. Each bit of information comes in bite sized chunks like SMS text messages and interestingly (and unlike email or other subscription based broadcasting) you are able to take a look at specific followers Twitter feeds too, to gain insight into your audience. Twitter is delivered online and on your mobile, you can send and receive Tweets via your mobile phone which adds another powerful platform for broadcasting to.
With Twitter being a great way to reach out to an audience, it can also become a form of nanomarketing – planting small almost invisible seeds into audiences so that they share and pass on things in a way that is more subtle than a viral campaign. Instead of trying to ram messages down their throat, establish a relationship with them by creating a connection. It’s still early days with this and it is by no means a tried and tested form of marketing – in fact the term ‘nanomarketing’ itself could be seen as a wanky bit of terminology that basically means that you’ll make a small amount of effort for no quantifiable return. I however think that as part of an arsenal of social media tools it has the potential to punch through in ways regular blogging never will.