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Twitter as a Business Tool. Free Chapter on How Twitter is a Communications Game Changer for Businesses. By Rodney Rumford CEO of Gravitational Media

Twitter as a Business Tool. Free Chapter on How Twitter is a Communications Game Changer for Businesses. By Rodney Rumford CEO of Gravitational Media

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    Twitter Book Free Chapter Twitter Book Free Chapter Document Transcript

    • © Copyright 2009, Gravitational Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this document may be reproduced or shared in print or electronic media in any way without express written consent.
    • Twitter as a Business Tool
    • SAMPLE CHAPTER Chapter 5: A Communications Game Changer Let’s face a fact here: Twitter is not a fad. Twitter, and the micro-blogging platform that it offers, is a trend that is gaining widespread adoption. Twitter has been in existence for 2+ years, and has started to gain real momentum. Your customers are on Twitter talking about your company, you just might not be aware of it. They are communicating with their net- work of followers in a very public and broadcast type of communication mode. Every tweet that a person makes is public and can be read by every one of their followers and everyone on Twitter. We have conducted extensive research into how users engage on Twitter, and the numbers bear out that people use the service with sig- nificantly increasing frequency. These engaged users bring more people into Twitter, further enhancing the platform. Twitter is also attracting big name brands who are vying for this highly coveted audience. The following reasons are just a small sampling of why users feel connected with Twitter and value the ecosystem it pro- vides as a game-changing – and meaningful - way to communicate: Connectivity with family and friends in real time Socialize and collaborate with others Find interesting news items & reports Share e-commerce bargains Discuss hobbies/discover like-minded individuals Engage in professional networking Promote blogs or other endeavors Provide feedback to other users Extend the reach of your brand and products Promote your personal brand Stay ahead of the curve Twitter as a Business Tool
    • In truth, Twitter effectively offers a completely new way to communicate. When people engage in this platform and share content in short bursts frequently, they create an oppor- tunity for both increased reach and increased noise. I like to refer to Twitter as the social river of micro-sharing. People can effectively broadcast anything they want to tens of thou- sands of people very easily if their network is that size. The people that are getting this in- formation all actively and willingly accepted and decided to get this information from peo- ple that they follow, so it can be very powerful to speak to this targeted group who are pre- disposed to hearing your message. Over time, people become more accustomed to sending status updates. What was once novel behavior, requiring conscious thought, with practice, becomes an established part of the daily routine. People become more adept at navigating the Twitter ecosystem, and achieve a measure of fluidity, both contributing and taking in information with increasing ease. There is an established pattern users engage in as they adopt new communication technology. People will use Twitter slowly until they become comfortable with the channel, then they will slowly build up their usage frequency as their comfort level increases. For example, when e-mail was first introduced, people used it infre- quently, if at all. Now, however, the situation has dramatically changed and email is many people's primary mode of electronic communication. The same scenario was demonstrated with text messaging. When people first started send- ing text messages; it was with far less frequency than they text today. If you need proof of this, just look at any teenager (and now all age demographics) and see how they use their cell phone. You will see them sending text messages far more than making calls. They would rather micro-touch (text) than actually speak to their friends a large percentage of the time. It is quick and easy while still allowing them to stay connected with their commu- nity. Twitter parallels that texting behavior in the way that it is short interactions and can be done from a mobile device –- or any number of Twitter apps. The big difference is that you are effectively texting thousands of people at one time. People choose to get con- Twitter as a Business Tool
    • nected to new people with similar interests through the social context of the messages, and services like http://search.twitter.com allow users to enter keywords of interest, so your posts expand beyond just your current followers. What’s unique about Twitter is that these messages have far more power than those deliv- ered through e-mail or text. The amplification and reach of messages through the social graph is staggering. It is not uncommon for messages to ripple through 10-100 different friend node networks on Twitter at a high velocity of speed. This reach is what makes Twitter a game changer--a new medium that allows communica- tion to spread quickly both deep and wide, combining virality with personal commentary, effectively strengthening the message and resonating with a primed audience. What is Twitter? In fact, Twitter can be anything that you want it to be. Think about this: What are the use cases for the telephone, email or websites? There are literally hundreds of ways to use these tech- nologies. The common denominator here is that they all enable communication in some form or another. They are a channel for communication. If you understand Word of Mouth Marketing (WOM) then you’ll find this easy to visualize. Simply put, Twitter is WOM on steroids. The convergence of networks is something Twitter excels at. It is very efficient at facilitating this convergence as a communication channel. It allows content to flow in and out of its platform to other social networks, blogs, websites, applications, etc. Users determine what conversations, brand mentions, product thoughts, links, images, vid- eos, etc they choose to share with their followers and those users consume and decide if they want to pass the conversation over to their followers. The thing to remember is that once again, you are not posting randomly, but to a primed audience who are interested – and engaged in spreading your message. It's important to understand where micro-communication fits within the range of online communication platforms, and what that means for your business. When people began to publish blogs, they had a podium to express their views. Then we saw podcasting evolve, Twitter as a Business Tool
    • letting anyone effectively broadcast a radio show. Then YouTube came along and anyone could create a television station and the content could spread virally. Then Facebook gained in popularity and exposed the social network for use by everyone. Now, we have yet another paradigm to consider. Understand that Twitter is effectively a particle accelerator that shoves micro-sized content down a tube at a high velocity. An ex- plosion occurs when the content hits the people and pushes through their social graph and back out to their followers, blog, websites, etc. Conversation is the currency that drives re- lationships, brand perception, marketing and business in this day and age, and all of it is enabled through Twitter. Make note of the Twitter tagline “What are you doing?”. This is how people typically start to engage with Twitter “I am hungry now. I think I will eat some sushi downtown after work”. But ultimately, a better way to look at Twitter--and one that typically occurs to people as they become familiar with the ecosystem--is to look at posts as answering the question “What am I thinking?” From there, let's say I’m thinking about writing a post about the future of online market- ing. And boom! With that quick tweet, you have sparked others who are interested in online marketing, welcoming collaborators, and facilitating knowledge exchange. It’s a very powerful result from a seemingly innocent tweet. That is the beauty of Twitter. When you build a community, comprised of like-minded individuals, anything you post can strike a chord with them and lead to something greater than the sum of its parts. The data from a recent survey indicates that there are a variety of ways that users of Twitter are using the channel to communicate. Not surprisingly 56% declared that they use the eco- system in some form that is business related. People share informa- tion, links, news, recom- mendations, complaints, images and more via Twitter. This offers value Twitter as a Business Tool
    • to their followers and network on the whole. An example of the “what are you thinking” engagement model is one used by CNN in how they used Twitter to show what people were thinking about the candidates during the recent presidential election. For business purposes if you work from the “What am I thinking” model versus the “What I am doing” model you will deliver greater value to your network and attract the people that matter most to you. For example you might tweet something like this, “I just discov- ered this report on how consumers are looking at their connections to their cars. Interest- ing report, I like it. www.consumersite.com/report” Try it. You’ll be amazed how quickly you get drawn into the exchange of informa- tion, ideas and very meaningful conversations. The Twitter Micro- Content Flow Diagram visually illustrates how communications and messages can flow into and out of twitter to other social networks, web properties, widgets, blogs and social websites. Twitter as a Business Tool
    • About The Author Bio: Rodney is a true visionary and has authored books on Social Media, Business Blogging & Podcasting. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Business Week, Business 2.0 and numerous Associated Press & Reuters articles. His work has also been featured in the acclaimed “For Dummies” series of books. He has 21 years of experience in technology, marketing, engineering, sales and consulting. He has worked for Fortune 100 companies and startups in a variety of management & board advisory positions. He is the Founder & CEO of Gravitational Media & SociallyBranded, a new resource for monitoring and maximizing online brand penetration and exposure. He has been Blogging for 6+ years and has developed software solutions in the ar- eas of RSS, Content Syndication, Blogs, Podcasting, Widgets, Twitter Applications, Facebook Applications, Video Search & Aggregation, and PPC Advertising. He is a widely published article author that has been featured on many websites as an au- thority across New Media & Social Media topics. His consulting firm, Gravitational Media, helps clients embrace these new media technologies to attain specific business goals and is focused on action-driven strate- gies. Their offerings include Businesses Strategy, Ideation and Technology Consult- ing to help Brands Engage in Social Networks. A partial client list includes: DOW, Pfizer, Vivendi, Simon & Schuster, Mountain Dew and many more. Rodney has been involved with the Facebook f8 platform since its launch. He also sits on the board of several technology companies. He is also the Publisher of www.FaceReviews.com which rates & reviews Facebook applications, and also provides news and strategy insights about social media trends. He currently resides in Solana Beach, CA. Contact Information: http://twitter.com/rumford http://twitter.com/tweetbizbook Office: 858-720-9604 www.twitterbusinessbook.com/contact Twitter as a Business Tool
    • http://www.TwitterBusinessBook.com/buy Learn how savvy companies are building their businesses 140 characters at a time... This Book Will Help Businesses, Brands, Marketers, Entrepreneurs, PR & Ad Execs, Consultants and Professionals Leverage the Power That is Inherent With Twitter by Exposing Proven Best Practices, Practical Guidance, Recommended Tools, Tips, Statistics, Use Cases, Examples and Mindful Insights So That Savvy Businesses Can Quickly Create Value. You will immediately understand Proven Best Practices, 30 Case Studies, 10 Use Cases That Work, The Secrets of Building a Power Network, How to Have Your Content Spread Virally, 23 Recommended Business Tools, Marketing & Branding Opportunities, How to Increase Your Reach and Influence, How to Promote Your Blog or Website, Mistakes to Avoid and much more. This is an opportunity for your business to gain a strategic competitive advantage in today’s tough marketplace. This Twitter Multimedia Kit is perfect for marketing professionals, business owners, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, consultants, start ups, PR & Ad agencies or anyone wanting to quickly and effectively embrace and benefit from Twitter without the painful learning curve or risk of mistakes while building a powerful & influential presence on Twitter. Includes: Book, Companion Workbook, 50 Power Point Slides & 7 Training Videos. If you require corporate pricing for multiple copies please send us a message and we will respond with a pricing quote. http://www.twitterbusinessbook.com/contact Twitter as a Business Tool