Twitter is now five years old, and the social networking website famous for its 140-character “tweets” continues to make waves as both a powerful social networking and social marketing tool. Social networking and “microblogging” site Twitter turned five years old recently, a testament to how effective this kind of approach to social networking is. And in those five short years, the number of users has ballooned to up to 200 million, sending around 140 million tweets a day around the world – and the number continues to grow. March 21, 2006 marked the day Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sent the first ever tweet that read, “just setting up my twttr.” Since then, people have used the service to broadcast all sorts of things, provided they stay within the 140-character limit – from what they ate that day to updates about news and current affairs. Much more relevant to businesses, though, is how Twitter has become an integral part of internet and social media marketing. Twitter offers a plethora of advantages that enable businesses to share information on the web much faster than traditional means. And it’s not only for small businesses. Big organizations such as ESPN (@espn, 1,098,906 followers), Dell (@DellOutlet, 1,581,201 followers), and Amazon (@amazondeals, 204,838 folowers) use Twitter’s wide reach and large audience to update about promotions, events, and other information. Twitter enables businesses to get in touch with audiences and gain feedback almost instantly. It’s a win-win deal – clients get to say what they want in a short, brief 140-character tweet, and businesses can respond and make the necessary improvements very efficiently. Twitter also helps direct more traffic and visitors to websites and gives the impression of a hands-on, responsive service (provided website updates are timely and relevant). The platform on which Twitter operates makes for a fast-paced exchange of information that, with the right marketing strategies, can be very advantageous for businesses. If you want to know more about how to harness this very effective medium to beef up your internet marketing efforts, give us a call and we’ll be happy to sit down with you and create strategies that meet your needs.
Twitter is arguably the most popular and widely used microblogging platform on Internet today. Though each post is limited to only 140 characters, there are various Twitter applications that you can use to easily connect with your network and enhance your Twitter experience. There are countless Twitter tools and apps available today. Here’s a list of six that are sure to be useful and effective in building relationships with your Twitter followers. The first section introduces some basic tools, which you can skip if you’re already a Twitter expert. The second section describes tools that you may not have previously heard of, but are worth checking out since they can boost visibility, traffic, and clients. The Basics Link Shorteners – Most Tweets (posts) on Twitter are not the usual “what I had for lunch” Tweets, but are more often people sharing links of articles, videos, photos, and more. Sharing links is a great way to help people better understand your field of interest and expertise while also helping them discover great content online. However, many links are very long, and do not fit within Twitter’s 140-character limit – so as the term implies, a link shortener shortens a specific link/URL. Try sites like Bit.ly , TinyURL and tr.im to easily condense your very long URLs into just 15-20 characters, leaving you room to comment.In addition to the practical need of shorter URLs, a majority of these tools also provide useful tracking reports so you can monitor the number of people who clicked on your links, which were the most popular, the dates when people clicked them, as well as give you an idea which topics are the most popular with your Twitter community. TweetMeme – That ever-present gray and green “re-tweet” logo enables readers to quickly re-post or “re-tweet” your post to their own Twitter followers. TweetMeme is a wonderful means to encourage your audience to spread the news about your status, tips, and words of wisdom.Like link shorteners, TweetMeme also tracks your links as they pass through the Twitterverse, and shows the total number of times your link was re-tweeted. Aside from helping you determine the popularity of given topics, it also lets the feisty competitor in us compare the success of our posts versus others and even ourselves. TwitPic – This is one of the numerous tools that let you take pictures with your mobile phone and post them directly on Twitter. Other similar tools are: TwitGoo , img.ly and yfrog . These tools are also usually integrated into whatever Twitter mobile application you’re using. You can also obtain statistics to monitor responses on your pictures. You can still also opt to link your followers to a Flickr account, Facebook page, or a web page that displays your pictures. Cast your Twitter net even farther… There are a lot of nifty Twitter applications out there that will help you create a solid and engaged community. When you’re ready to take your Twitter skills to the next level, below are three tools to get you started. TweetSwell – This great app allows you to create Twitter-based polls, wherein each reply doubles as a tweet and helps the poll become viral. TweetSwell can also help maintain your brand identity by ensuring that your poll pages are synchronized with your custom-made Twitter layout. Similar apps are: Twtpoll and TwtSurvey . TwtVite – Somewhat related to Eventbrite , TwtVite enables you to use Twitter to get together in the real world. Check out the animated video to get a feel for how it works. For an actual example, read this case study about a Milwaukee bar owner who used TwtVite in hosting the biggest Tweetup in the Midwest . TwtQpon – Online coupons offer small businesses a fantastic opportunity to drive lots of new and repeat clients. This app creates online coupons that can be published on Twitter and many other social network sites. While apps such as Groupon and Living Social can also make online coupons, TwtQpon is specifically designed for social networks.