May 18th, 2010 | Erica Falke, Designer

Someone posted a question on a forum today about whether Twitter was actually worthwhile or not in the marketing of their brand new website. It got me thinking about how people use Twitter, how I use Twitter, and what people who haven’t been on these social networks like I have for years think of it. So I thought it would be a good idea to write about it here, and come up with a few reasons why Twitter is an awesome marketing tool, perhaps even better than what you could do in three dimensions pre-internets.

1. Good luck telling 5000 people about your brand new company instantaneously and for free in the real world.

As a business owner, you’re trying to find people who are interested in your products or services, and market said products and services TO them, so you can sell and deliver those products and services. Right? Right. So how do you find these people? You can purchase expensive mailing lists.  That is risky and costly, and only as effective as the mailing list creators actually create correct lists. You can pay for advertising in magazines you know your public read.  Expensive, but effective if your text is correct and you’ve done your surveying to find out the correct buttons of your public.  Billboards, tv and radio ads are very expensive ways to promote to very large audiences in the hopes that some will be interested in your company.  There are a lot of ways to do this. Most involve money, lots of research and considerable time.

Twitter is free. It allows you to promote, FOR FREE to as many people as you can possibly add as followers. If you have 5000 followers, you can tell them all about your new company in the time it takes to type a sentence and click “Send.”

2. Finding the RIGHT public.

How long does it take to collect the names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers of 5000 people who are actually INTERESTED in your specific field? Well, if you do broad advertising to general public it can take a long time. If you use Twitter search you can find, in about a second, every single Twitter user who is interested and talking about your particular field or industry. Then you can request to add them as followers.  BAM! Instant friends who have similar interests to yours.

3. Retweets!

When Twitter users (tweeple) like your posts, they retweet them. You can even ask your friends and followers to retweet something you feel is important, and often they will. This is a common practice among tweeple.  In real life, your customers will mention your products or services to their friends when the opportunity arises or when they think of it. But on Twitter, all they have to do is click RT and send your tweet out to their 5000 friends. This can go on and on until your post is actually automatically featured on a web page for popular bookmarks like Populacular.

4. Directing the public to your business.

Standing on a busy corner with a cardboard arrow works well for a car wash, but even then it’s a full time job for someone actually willing to DO that, and it’s certainly not something a business owner would do. He would hire someone and pay them to do that. So that’s money. Not to mention the facts that you may not have a storefront to direct public to, and your business likely isn’t appropriate for street corner sign twirling. So how do you handle the routing of public to your brand new business? Send your Twitter friends the link to your website! Let them know who you are and what you do and give them the link to your website. Easy.

Of course all of the above is assuming that you have a valuable service to offer and that your posts are interesting and offer something to the reader than he will want. As long as you’re providing something of value that the public need or want, Twitter is the fastest, cheapest and most effective way to market your business to a large volume of potential customers who have already expressed interested in your specific field.

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