Twitter and your Social Network

By Wednesday July 29th, 2009

What is Twitter? And how tweeting to stars can increase your social network and marketing.

I have to admit, when I first heard about the wonders of Twitter I was more than a little skeptical. What is Twitter anyway? Do I really need an update every time P. Diddy has an inspirational thought? Besides, isn’t that what Facebook status updates are for?  @drewbrolik had been ranting for weeks about how useful Twitter would be for our internet viral marketing and public relations campaigns, but I just couldn’t see it. I signed up anyway and started tweeting to the world @brolikmusic. Being new to Twitter as a means of social networking, I neglected to collect a core group of followers and flung the details of my life into cyberspace, never to be seen again.  So much for mass marketing, I was reaching a total of four semi-interested parties.

It wasn’t until this 4th of July that I realized the power of instant and effortless communication to everybody.  I was at the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, with the rest of Philadelphia, to see the Roots play their first free show on the Parkway since becoming the house band for Jimmy Fallon’s Late Show.  Like many Philadelphians, I was a little perturbed by the brevity of the set, especially in comparison to the hour and a half Sheryl Crow set that followed. Not being much of a Sheryl Crow fan, I left after the Roots set.  The next morning, when someone jokingly mentioned Twitter, it struck me to tweet @questlove, an avid tweeter himself, and inform him of my discontent.  I had never contemplated tweeting stars or celebrities before, but it seemed like a pertinent concern and I was sure that others in Philly felt the same way. Imagine my surprise when he responded, expressing his understanding and frustration with the matter as well.

Without Twitter, this is nothing more than my closest interaction with a famous musician that I respect, but Questlove has amassed an incredible 521,324 followers on Twitter, meaning that his response to me was broadcast to over a half million viewers.  For free. Furthermore, these are viewers that have already expressed an interest in reading what Questlove has to say, a much more targeted audience than can be said for almost any other form of mass marketing.  If a simple response from Questlove created a very noticeable increase in my incoming traffic and views, imagine what it’s doing for him and other successful tweeting stars.

This added exposure alone is not going to make me an overnight Internet celebrity, but such easy access to these huge numbers of interested viewers was not even a possibility until Twitter. Now it’s up to me to fill my Twitter posts and blog entries with the most interesting, pertinent content possible in order to turn these momentary visitors into consistent readers. Even if only a few of these viewers decide to follow my Twitter Feed, my brand visibility increased dramatically just by being on that many computer screens.

What is Twitter? It’s certainly not a miracle solution to online marketing. Just creating a Twitter account and posting a comment every now and then will not increase your company’s sales or year-end revenue.  However it will give you a direct link with millions of viewers (12.1 million adult users according to Mashable) across the world.  When combined with smart public relations and interesting content, this can be invaluable to creating and maintaining a solid interest in your brand.

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About the Author

Matthew is a partner and Chief Strategy Officer at Brolik. As CSO, he manages the digital marketing team, helping Brolik’s roster of clients achieve their online marketing goals. When he’s not coming up with his next big campaign idea, you might find him in the recording studio or enjoying an IPA with a funny name. Check him out on Twitter.