Twitter, a social networking and micro-blogging service established in 2006 allows its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are nothing but posts up to 140 characters that can be displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers/followers. However to avoid unnecessary attention senders can restrict delivery of these tweets to a select few in their circle of friends or, by default allow everyone open access. Users can also follow a lists of authors instead of individual authors. The biggest advantage of Twitter is that users can send and receive tweets not just via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) but also through external applications such as phones. While Twitter is free of cost, accessing it through SMS may result in fee from the phone service provider.
The website with more than 100 million users worldwide has still not made profit but after the end of 2010 financial year is expected to make profits in the range of over a billion dollars progressively. Sometimes called the "SMS of the Internet" has emerged as one of the most popular social networking/ blogging platforms. Its simplistic concept allows famous personalities, (most famous celebrities such Brittany Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Priyanka Chopra, Sachin Tendulkar, Sanjeev Kapoor are users of Twitter) to send brief messages about what they are doing to their loyal followers so as to clear the air of any ambiguity/controversy about them. Twitter as such can be helpful to not just famous personalities to communicate but also with large corporations and small businesses.
Twitter can be used to promote a business in the most cost effective manner. Companies like Maharika Foods, Kaya Skin Clinic, Golds Gym, and others use Twitter to communicate with their followers in order to expand their reach in the cyber space. While major media and broadcasting companies like CNN, ABC, TOI, NDTV and many others use Twitter to increase their viewership as much as possible in this era of cut throat competition, big or small companies are using www.Twitter.com to create a database of dedicated followers who will eventually help in enhancing the sale of their products on a later date.
As such Twitter has become one of the leading tool for promotion of updates, information, and attractive deals to the followers of the Twitter account. However most companies are trying to create a database of large number of followers; just because Twitter counts those as leading users who have maximum following is not good. Apart from numbers what is also important is also the quality of messages or tweets sent. Absurd or tweets meant to demoralize others or even so defame others should be seriously avoided; as it can prove disastrous for the business. Though nothing will happen, the course of tweets and response will inevitably veer towards topics that have nothing to do with a company’s efforts to promote its products or services.
According to reports the average number of tweets per Twitter account has changed dramatically since the last year. While the number of regular users of Twitter still hovers around 1/5 of those total registered, with increase in the number of postings, however the average number of followers of each Twitter account has jumped from 70 to 420. But if no. of followers still don’t result in purchases, then regular Tweet updates are of no value. So in the long run, increasing the amount of Tweet volume at any cost should not be the correct approach to achieve any kind of success in marketing on Twitter for small businesses.
Twittering without engagement of audience defeats the entire process of using Twitter for marketing. As more members start sending generic, uninteresting, and uninspiring tweets; just to boost the volume of people reading the number of tweets, it will create a variety of problems; such hang up of Twitter due to over use, crossing of limits of the number of Tweets per day very early, and many more and it will have a negative impact on the ability of a small business to procure new customers. But in case there is heavy traffic of tweets and replies from a large number of followers. Then it becomes important to make sure that the tweets are clearly understood by all in a generalized way. Though providing detailed and specific information in the tweets is not possible on Twitter, but the tweets should be written in such a way that potential customers who are serious about them don’t lose interest in the tweets. For some its a full time job to sort and respond to people who are interested in connecting with them.
As such for marketing of a business on Twitter should center around niche marketing strategies such as using “Twitter lists” that allow users to take certain members of your massive group of followers and put them in a particular category. This will allow businesses to promote their tweets to every individual member of these lists. This gives businesses, the option to send generic as well as individual tweets to all those who may be considered as serious potential customers. As such Twitter can help small business develop and expand their business in a cost effective manner.