The other day James Brausch asked via Twitter:
Someone tell me why I should twitter in addition to blogging at JamesBrausch.com | 23 days ago from web
Good question. Here’s why I twitter…
In some ways, twitter is just another way to keep in contact with your visitors/customers.
There’s postal mail, phone, email, RSS… and now social media outlets like Twitter.
But Twitter might currently be enjoying this advantage that other’s dont: It’s very easy to get new followers. Because Twitter is new people seem to follow anyone for any reason. Maybe that’ll change the way that it changed a bit with email… but for now that seems to be the case.
Once you’ve got followers you’ve got an audience.
It’s considered bad etiquette to ONLY use twitter to promote blogs, websites and products… but it’s certainly acceptable to do so in between socializing and providing value. (Similar to a blog.)
But there’s more to Twitter than just a way to stay in contact with your customers…
The Party Down The Street…
And that makes it a big distinction from your blog.
Your blog is your house, Twitter is the party down the street.
Now, if you’re popular enough, you may never have to leave your house. You can have the parties at your house (your blog).
But I think stepping outside every now and then is a good thing. And for a few reasons.
A reply is when someone puts an “@” in front of your username inside of a tweet. Usually this is put at the beginning of a tweet, but it can be placed anywhere (although twitter might not spot it).
Here’s how replies can be so valuable.
On your blog, people can leave comments. But the only people who see your comments are other visitors to your site.
That’s not the case with twitter. When someone replies to your tweet, ALL of their followers see it. (Almost like they just sent an email to their list about YOU.)
2) Retweets (RT)
On a blog, you may be able to set up a plugin where people can forward a blog entry to a friend’s email address. Or if the person really wants to take action, they can make a post on their blog linking to your post.
In my opinion, both of these are limited compared to the retweet (RT).
A RT is when someone likes what you say in a tweet, so they send the tweet to their followers with “RT @YourUserName” at the beginning of the message.
It’s extremely easy for someone to RT (especially with software like http://www.tweetdeck that does it for you with 2 clicks).
And once it’s done, your message (and your username) has been sent to all of the followers of the person who made the retweet. It’s viral!
Replies and RTs Equal Social Proof And More Followers
Just like at a party, there are people on Twitter who it seems like everyone wants to talk to. They’re the popular folks that people tend to crowd around.
If I didn’t know who any of these people were, this would be great social proof. Just like I’d be attracted to the center of a party, I’d be attracted to their tweets, sites, products and so forth.
I also check out who they’re replying too. This is probably the main way I find new people to follow.
Matt lent me some of his social proof and I got a cool new follower.
Viral Tweets And Matt Bacak’s $100 Contest
The replies and RT features of Twitter allow things to easily go viral. That’s just the nature of them…
…and Matt Bacak proved that last night.
He sent out a tweet offering $100 to the first person who could guess what he sold out of his wagon when he was 9 years old…
…the guesses came fast and furious. Over 2000 guesses came in that ALL started with (@MattBacak).
That means over 2000 people broadcasted a tweet to THEIR followers starting with @MattBacak…
Tens of thousands may have had @MattBacak appear on their computer screens because of one viral tweet.
Not only that, but Matt also said the tweet for his contest reached the 4th most ReTweeted message on twitter that night.
That’s even more exposure! And probably a lot of new followers. (It looks like Matt added over 5,000 new followers this week alone.)
Of course, new followers by itself is not enough when it comes to business. The questions needs to be asked…
Is Twitter A Profitable Business Tool?
I think so.
However I think this question is still being explored.
I know that Frank Kern has been testing Twitter-only launches.
Michel Fortin has been testing limited launches on Twitter.
And it looks like they’ve gotten results they were pleased with. But I don’t think this question will be concretely answered until the Twitter community matures and it is embraced by the masses.
For me, I’m a copywriter. And most copywriters know that the best way to get new clients is to go to a seminar and socialize.
People get to know you and then they want to work with you.
Social media platforms, like Twitter, may end up providing that same social setting.
It’s worked for me so far. I’ve only been on Twitter a short while but it has already translated in to a few projects.
Twitter is still finding it’s place. People are still exploring ways to use it and benefit from it… just like they’re doing with the Internet.
Will it end up being an essential business tool like many people think it will (@garyvee included)? I’m not sure.
But I am sure I’m going to stick around to find out.