Discovering the Value of Twitter
While I do my best to keep up with Internet technologies, I'm usually a little slow to embrace anything related to social networking. I value my privacy way too much to publish an online profile that identifies any personal information, post my vacation pictures for the entire world to browse, or keep even my closest friends apprised of my daily activities. So when Twitter started becoming all the rage, I was quick to dismiss it as another silly tool for oversharers.
But then last May, I read an article on nytimes.com that made me think twice about all of these Tweets that seem to be popping up everywhere. The article referenced several companies that have hired full-time social media experts whose jobs are to promote their brands via blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. While the article cited several large companies that have jumped (flown?) onto the Twitter bandwagon, such as PepsiCo, General Motors, and Comcast, smaller, less recognizable brands are embracing the power of Twitter, as well. The article opened with a description of Murphy-Goode Winery’s search for a “social media whiz.” The job pays $10,000 a month plus free accommodations…for Tweeting! Okay, so there’s probably some Facebooking and blogging involved too, but still…maybe I need to rethink my career?!
The bottom line is this - smart companies have found ways to use Twitter to their benefit. Whether it’s getting the word out about a short-lived shoe sale, announcing a new flavor of ice cream, or bragging about a certain celebrity who was just spotted in their dining room, Twitter can be a very powerful marketing tool. Some might argue that its most valuable asset is Twitter’s ability to drive traffic to your website. I promise that I still won’t be Tweeting that I’m “about to eat dinner” or “tired after a 5-mile run” (recent, real-life Tweets from acquaintances), but I am taking back my dismissal of Twitter as a “silly tool for oversharers.”
I'd be curious to hear how you're using Twitter to your advantage. Happy Tweeting!