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March 11, 2007

How Twitter Could Become Useful To Businesses

By Li Evans

Twitterlogo Twitter me this, Twitter me that.  Just what is Twitter and can this new phenom be useful in business?  At first glance, one might think, this is just an annoyance that only "tweenagers" could tolerate enough to love.  But if Twitter actually tweaked a few of it's features, it could become a useful medium for businesses that want to get relevant information about products and services to a captive mobile audience.  Right now, there's a lot of buzz going on about Twitter, check out what's been out on Techmeme in the last 24 hours (updated:  seems like Twitter's quite a hot topic, so I've added some more links!):

Twitterpublicannouncements Twitter allows you to let people within your social network of friends on Twitter know where you are and what you are doing every time you send a SMS Text Message.  If you are just joining to check it out and aren't quite use to this type of communication you can become annoyed, rather easily, and really fast.  It can also end up running up your cellphone bill if you don't have unlimited text messaging.  But knowing that the probable audience for Twitter are 14-25 year olds who stay connected via texting SMS message, Twitter does a perfect job of keeping that social group connected.

But is there a business model that could garner Twitter money?  Perhaps through some kind of ads being served up through this channel, it could.  However, this age group Twitter primarily serves is notorious for being "ad blind" since they've grown up with ad based services.  What Twitter might be better off doing is charging for premium channel creation.  This type of channel would allow for one way texting of messages out to the group of subscribed social network/community members. 

Providing this type of service could possibly broaden their appeal to a more diverse market base.  It would also allow companies to market to captive audiences that could potentially lead to higher conversion rates.

  • Provide Business Channels
    If Twitter could provide channels for business, wherein a business could post information about expos, appearances, seminars, etc.  for subscribers to their channel, this could become a very useful tool.
  • Provide Musician Channels
    Twitter could provide this as a tool to allow bands, solo performers or even musicians for hire.  In providing a channel to broadcast out to their fans information about places and times they playing, when new music is released or even personal appearances by members of the group, twitter can be additional resource to MySpace that "indie" performers love so much.
  • Provide Publisher Channels
    Twitter could provide a channel for authors and publishers to announce the release of new publications.  They could also use this as a medium to help promote new book launches sending out messages where the authors will be for book signings.
  • Provide Entertainment Channels
    Much like all the other suggestions above, Twitter could provide networks, movie studios, and other entertainment outlets with their own "channels" where they could broadcast out information about new shows, cast updates, movie premiers, and all other information related to their particular industry.
  • Provide Sports Information Channels
    Along the same lines of the other ideas, this could focus around certain sports as well as offering team specific "channels."  This could allow the teams to offer special promotional seating offers, meet & greets with players, autograph signing sessions and special appearances.

In providing these types of "subscribe to channels", Twitter would offer a one way "push" of information (from the business to the subscriber) and  limit the "noise"  someone could get with  unwanted text messages from other fans saying "hey great offer" or "cool dude, I can't wait."  Fans themselves can set up those types of groups on Twitter (and already do) - which allows for the social aspect to continue to grow at an immense rate.

TwitterbadgesTwitter, right now, its something to look at.  It's interesting to experiment with, on a personal social level.  For right now though, businesses might want to wait to see what Twitter offers in the future before tapping into this new technology/service.


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Good points. It's never clear at first how these "catchy" applications could be used in more practical ways, but generally they ... can!

I am actually new to this so i am still experimenting twitter. but yes! i believe twitter can offer many valuable things to us.

Yea. Plus it would be great if twitter would allow for identities so those of us with more than one purpose (personal and business) could switch over from one to the other easily.

I thought that Twitter cannot be used for all these applications but, after reading these points icame to know that we can use Twitter in so many applications like business channels, publish channels, entertainment channels, etc.

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