Do Tweets still have a business role?

Posted4/17/2016 1:00 AM

Would you deal with a 10-year-old company whose financial statements are splashed with red ink, a result of accumulated losses totaling slightly more than $2 billion; a company where senior staff offices seem to have revolving doors; and a stock price -- often seen as a barometer of a company's health -- that earlier this year seemed to be on a downhill run?

Your answer probably is "Yes." The company is Twitter Inc., and chances are you at least occasionally send, or receive, its ubiquitous tweets. After all, there are about 65 million Twitter users in the United States, part of a total of 320 million worldwide.


According to the Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C., Twitter usage in the United States is highest among urbanites, adults under 50 and people in the upper-income brackets. That's a market, if your customers and prospects fit those demographics, and a good reason two savvy social media advisers say tweets still have a role in social media marketing.

The two are Brian Basilico, president, B2b Interactive Marketing Inc., Aurora, and Sue Kirchner, president, Brand Strong Marketing Inc., Palatine.

In spite of the fact that Twitter's iconic "t" logo seems to appear almost everywhere, the impression lingers that many businesses don't use Twitter effectively. Yet the world of Twitter users is potentially valuable.

"It depends on who you're trying to reach" says Kirchner. "You can't segment on Twitter as well as you can on Facebook."

Because "Lots of bloggers and editors follow Twitter, posting can be an effective way to reach influencers," she says, adding that Twitter also can be a good research tool. "Type in keywords and pull up what others have written," Kirchner says.

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A little research also can help determine how well Twitter users match your customer base. "Go into Twitter and search about 50 customers," Kirchner suggests. "If half of them are on Twitter, the platform might be a good marketing tool."

Basilico, who has pushed boundaries since I've known him, looks beyond traditional Twitter tools. "What makes Twitter really exciting is the potential of Blab and Periscope," Basilico says.

Overly simplified, Periscope is an interactive, live video version of written tweets that, for example, allows participants to see what a user across the world sees.

Blab basically allows users to telecast by connecting up to four individuals in a video environment that may be perfect for businesses that look to fully engage customers in a small group atmosphere. The conversations can be recorded for future viewing.

Basilico uses an example of a plumber explaining a new faucet to clients connected on a Blab conversation and having the ability to ask questions, participate in the discussion and, with how-to video from Vimeo or YouTube, see how the faucet works. Blab likely would work just as well for any business where a demonstration helps sell: Remodeler, pet trainer or restaurant chef.

© 2016 Kendall Communications Inc. Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter. Write him at Listen to Jim's Business Owners' Pod Talk at

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