Why Twitter MattersJul 1st, 2009 | By James Lewin | Category: Microblogging
In this BigThink video, Steve Rubel discusses his thoughts on why Twitter matters:
Question: How significant is Twitter as a marketing vehicle?
Steve Rubel: Itâ€™s huge right now and I stress the words â€œright now.” Whatâ€™s interesting about Twitter is as a marketing vehicle is that, one, it has a huge community and growing. Years ago when I did media relations, I donâ€™t do media relations anymore but what I did, the best tip I ever got was to go where the media are. Itâ€™s just much easier to get results if you do something where the media are already gathered than to try and get the media to come to you for whatever it is youâ€™re trying to do. This day thatâ€™s a tactic, a lot of PR professionals make heavy use of.
Itâ€™s the same exact thing in social media. You want to go where thereâ€™s already people and thereâ€™s a lot of people on Twitter and the numbers show that theyâ€™re growing. And I know that at some point they will plateau and somebody else will come along and it will be kind of interesting to see how things shake out but I think the way you, the reason itâ€™s taken a lot from marketers is that one, the community is there.
Two, itâ€™s lightweight, you know, I canâ€™t even tell you how many clients over the years Iâ€™ve talked about blogging and they were all interested about it and they all had interest in it but the problem was that they were just afraid of the time to manage their comments, the time to create the content. Creating content is a lot of work. You know it. I know it. Itâ€™s a lot of work to create good content.
But on Twitter itâ€™s actually easier and itâ€™s lightweight in a 140-character nature that makes it actually pretty easy for one person or two people to participate in a credible and meaningful way over a period of time. So, I think the way marketers are using it now is some are using it as a pure just information-delivery mechanism.
Thatâ€™s fine. I don’t think it’s going to get you very far, but it’s fine. The more savvy brands are using it as a customer service tool and a feedback mechanism where they can actually listen and respond to customers in real time and thatâ€™s been very effective.
Others are doing promotions in Twitter and, or contests so I think that thereâ€™s fun things that are happening there as opposed. Itâ€™s working because the community is there theyâ€™re receptive to brands if they are respectful of the space and contribute and I think thereâ€™s a lot of, and the platform is very flexible in what you could do with it. But you know again, weâ€™ll see where this all goes.
There are already thousands of people using Twitter for traditional intrusive marketing, but Rubel’s discussion focuses on more interesting uses of Twitter, ideas that apply not just to marketers but to anyone using the microblogging platform.