Sunday, January 8, 2012

I'll be tweeting you, in all the old familiar places.

            For a long time, people were making fun of Twitter. What can you say in 140 characters? How can it be substantial? What's a person who tweets called?

            These early critics have long been proven short-sighted.  Evolved observers of the social media scene call it "social influence marketing", and Twitter has great influence.

             In a recent test of the advertising power of Twitter, Sephora bought more than 15 ads to promote a contest that awarded products to fans of the TV show "Glee". The response rate beat projections by 700%.

             I have a friend who runs a branding company. He tweets every day when he arrives at the office, sharing thoughts and observations to get his followers thinking about new ways to market. The last time I visited his office he was tweeting about a flaw in the way hospitals present themselves. He has about 2,000 followers.

             One reason my friend's tweets are well received is that he does it right. He makes every tweet an idea his followers can adapt to their own businesses. He makes them think, question, observe. He makes them better marketers, day by day, 140 characters at a time, and they look forward to his messages.

             Equally important is what my friend doesn't do. He doesn't use his tweets to sell his authority. He demonstrates it. He doesn't make trial offers. He offers a marketing point of view his followers value. They've told him so and stick with him.

             Students tell me nobody reads long-copy ads these days. I agree. We only read what rewards us --- with information, news, advice, entertainment, help, a chance to save money, a smile --- and most advertising today doesn't qualify, although it obviously should. Who wants to read a long-winded boast?

             Many short, sweet tweets have become viral hits, as users have retweeted them. Twitter offers "promoted trends". They're ads that appear alongside users' accounts, and cost $120,000 a day.

             The new year is a good time for people in marketing and advertising to go back to basics and figure out what's really interesting, believable, and convincing to our target markets.

             Social marketing, including Twitter, should be used intelligently and strategically along with other media.

             Or we'll continue to be talking to people who don't want to listen.

No comments:

Post a Comment