“I just don’t get the point.”
Thatâ€™s the biggest comment that I hear when I discuss Twitter with people. Iâ€™ve gotten into the whole microblogging definition and then the necessary explanation about social media and the benefits, but usually, none of these argument sway people in the least. They still donâ€™t understand the point of Twitter or why itâ€™s become so popular. This surprises me since Twitter is one of the fastest growing social media trends ever seen. According to Twitterâ€™s own numbers, some 50 million tweets are sent every day. FIFTY. MILLION. In 2009, â€˜tweetingâ€™ grew 1400%. According to Alexa statistics, Twitter.com is the number twelve site in the world. Obviously someone out there understands it. So why this amazingly fast growing trend?
Itâ€™s very simple.Twitter provided the arena for instant connections and conversations with people you donâ€™t know. Now wait. So do a plethora of other social media websites right? Whatâ€™s so different about Twitter?
Safer Connections: Twitter created an online venue that allows for nearly instant conversations and connections with people who are interested in the same things. Twitter allows you to make connections with anyone about anything. And it does so more safely than Facebook or Myspace. Both Myspace and Facebook require you to be â€˜friendsâ€™ with someone before you can make a connection with them. If you arenâ€™t already friends, these sites require you to make that connection and call them â€˜friendsâ€™. Giving someone the title of friend implies a much more intimate connection than what is comfortable for most people. It also gives them access to all of the details of your life that you put into the site. Twitter doesnâ€™t require that. The only â€˜bioâ€™ on Twitter is a 140 character â€˜microâ€™ sentence. You choose what you share. In fact, itâ€™s more like real life conversations. Think about it. When you meet someone for the first time, you donâ€™t pull out all of your family photos, your job pictures, your hometown, your spouseâ€™s name and birthday, the names of all your relativesâ€¦the list goes on and on. With Twitter, you share only what you want, when you want.
Ice Breaker: At some point in our lives, weâ€™ve all experienced the discomfort of being in a room full of people that we donâ€™t know but with whom weâ€™re expected to make some connection. Then the person in charge of that room pulls out the dreaded â€˜ice-breakerâ€™ game, designed to help you make that connection. Twitter is the ultimate ice-breaker. Instead of being forced into uncomfortable conversations, you can choose what you talk about and with whom you connect.
Conversations: Finally, the best part of Twitter is that it feels more like a real conversation. When youâ€™re sitting at lunch with a group of people, think about how the conversation sounds. Everyone interjects their comments, opinions or ideas on the topic being discussed. Sometimes you have a longer â€˜rantâ€™ or diatribe, but the meaningful connections happen when thereâ€™s a back and forth to the conversation. These virtual connections allow people to easily inject their opinions into a relevant conversation and then create an ongoing dialogue.
Push/Pull Marketing with Twitter: Marketing can always be defined in two ways. Either itâ€™s â€˜pushâ€™ or â€˜pullâ€™. Push marketing entails â€˜shovingâ€™ a message to the audience, whether they want it or not. Some examples of this are television advertising (you donâ€™t get to choose which commercials air) or spam email. You are pushing your message to the consumer. Pull marketing involves bringing the audience to you. Whenever someone visits a website or signs up for a mailing list, they are expressing their interest in hearing your message and finding out more. A good push/pull campaign could be a television commercial (push) that intrigues someone enough for them to visit a website (pull).
Twitter is the first fully effective instant use of push/pull marketing. Prior to Twitter, most social media involved push marketing. Blogging revolves around the assumption that an audience wants to read or see what you have to say. Messageboards or bulletin boards are conversations, but they are definitely not instant. Sometimes it can take weeks or months to have a complete conversation.
In short, Twitter changed the face of social media and gave us a new platform for marketing. Last year Twitter had over seventy-five million visitors and statistics show itâ€™s still growing. Maybe nowâ€™s the time for you to give it a chance.
Lori Twichell is the owner of Beyond the Buzz Marketing and the Marketing Director for both JV Media Design and Christian Work at Home Moms. She is also a creative managing partner at Radiant Lit and a reviewer at Fiction Addict.