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Why are Marketers so obsessed with Twitter?

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Twitter asks ‘What are you doing?’ You can tell Twitter what you are doing on twitter.com or you can text from your cell phone.” says one person who doesn’t understand twitter trying to explain it another person who knows less about it. This conversation is usually followed by a “Hills” like awkward silence and a few shrugs of the shoulders.

I’ll be the first to admit I was absolutely lost the first couple of days I started using Twitter. I didn’t follow anyone I cared about, none of my friends were on it and I didn’t understand what to say or what to do

Looking back, as much as I hate to admit it, it wasn’t until a weird owl named “Mr. Tweet” gave me a few suggestions of who I should follow before I began to find some interesting people on Twitter. From there I was able to branch out, finding a few more people who were conversing with the people I was newly following.

Before I knew it I had a nice little network of people to follow and talk to. Most of them weren’t too weird. For the most part they were interested in some of the same things I was: Minnesota, healthcare marketing, the internet, celebrities and sports.

So why are marketers so obsessed with Twitter?

Because they care what you are doing and thinking, especially as it relates to products and services they have to offer.

A quick search and you can find that there are people actually interested in everything from Anoop Dogg on American Idol to polar ice caps. Marketers find this invaluable because they can have real conversations with people thinking about products and services they have to offer.

Take for example this scenario layed out by Peter Hershberg in Advertising Age:

“A young woman in Chapel Hill, N.C., wakes up sweating. Her air conditioner has died. She knows she wants a new one, but she wants one that will be energy-efficient, easy to install on her own, reliable and not too expensive.

She hops online and types, “I need a new A/C today; I have $250 to spend — help!” into Twitter, which in turn feeds automatically into her Facebook status. She immediately begins to receive replies in both channels from friends with advice on retail outlets, air-conditioner brands and how to stay cool with no A/C. She also sees an @ reply on Twitter from a national big-box retailer letting her know its Chapel Hill location has new air conditioners in stock, as well as a link to the section of its website that shows air conditioners for under $250.”

This is a great example of how social media can be used be marketers. Consumers don’t even need to walk into a store to be helped. All they have to do is say what they are thinking about something and someone should be there to help them. Zappos.com has over 430 employees actively mining Twitter and it is part of their customer services. Do you?

Follow me at twitter.com/allanwoodstrom.

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Written by Allan Woodstrom

March 31, 2009 at 9:48 pm

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