I have no idea how many times I had to explain this for people but on this post I will try to make it as simple as possible.
First things first
Twitter is an amazing media channel. It’s even more awesome for real time info. In the past months here in Chile I saw students organizing riots and getting support using Twitter. I’m on Twitter. It’s my main tool for personal branding.
Personal x Corporate
Just because I don’t believe a corporate Twitter account will help you market your startup out there (yes, your startup, I’m not talking about marketing strategies for big corporations, they have money and they don’t know depend on marketing ROI like startups do) it doesn’t mean you can’t use Twitter to get you more users.
Today, business is personal. We all cried holding our iPads for a week when Steve Jobs died. He was great, he inspired us and we spent tons of money with his products (at least) partially because he was awesome. I still follow Heather Champ on Twitter and read Caterina Fake‘s blog because I thing they did kick ass job at Flickr.
If your passionate about internet, you read a lot, you talk to people about it, get your ass on Twitter, build your personal brand and take advantage of it twitting about your company. It works, take a look:
The difference between Kevin Rose and Digg on Twitter is over a MILLION followers. And look at the lists… Why is that? If you’re a Digg fan you like Kevin. If you follow him on Twitter you will have a chance to ge to get to know what he is reading, his opinions about random things and maybe even where he is taking his girlfriend for dinner tonight. If you’re a Digg fan, you don’t need some random person to twit you Digg’s latests stories. You just check Digg daily.
Another important thing to build an audience on Twitter is to be in the top of what’s happening. The rush hours of Twitter are during the work hours. If you only twit about your company or you only twit 3 time a day, people might not even notice you. If you twit a lot about boring things people will unfollow you. It’s a hard game to play.
People expect a dialog and it takes time. Lots of time. Lots of something you don’t have ’cause you’re trying to build a business, right? And if you have enough money to hire someone to do this 6/8h a day, let this person help your company in a more productive way.
My thoughts on how to use social media in startups
Twitter sucks on analytics. Look at this. Looks like a mess to me. I’m not able to figure out if I’m doing good or not.
You can do it, but you will probably need many tools, services, apps. And that will take your precious time.
… So forget about Twitter and jump into the sweet Facebook statistics!
Isn’t it sweet? You can find out wich days you were more popular, your fans growth, how many people are actually reading your updates, if they are talking about your brand… They can even ping you by email every time someone tags you in an update. It’s beautiful, it’s free, it’s easy to use. You can only check your numbers once a day.
You can share news about your market, your press, your company’s blog posts (yeah I do believe in blogs, they’re good for SEO and help you publish and archive news, updates etc).
And c’mon… Liking is easier than following.
Think in how many Likes you click everyday. Would you follow all this people/brands on Twitter? I wouldn’t.
On Facebook you will be able to gather a larger number of fans PLUS take a deep look on how they are dealing with your brand online presence.
So… Should I forget about Twitter?
Never! Twitter is an awesome tool. Register your brand on Twitter right NOW before someone else does.
Don’t forget people are on Twitter anyway. They might not follow you but, if they get mad with your service, they will curse your mom on Twitter ALL day.
This is the most valuable thing you can get out of Twitter: Customer service.
Let me tell you your story…
Twitter is an awesome tool. Just take advantage of it in the most productive way, ok?