Microblogs Are The New Black

8 Feb

Are you part of the Twitterverse?  If so, then you are one of the 300 million users who tweet the equivalent of a 10 million-page book each day.  Many skeptics see Twitter as just another social media fad, but they do not recognize the untapped potential for business users.

Last fall, when I attended a presentation by hitRECord, an online collaborative production company, I learned of a clever way to utilize Twitter:

Step 1. The presenter posted a prompt on the screen asking the audience to tweet a personal experience at a movie theater with the hashtag #atthemovies.

Step 2. The presenter reviewed the responses and chose a few audience members to share their experiences on stage.

This presentation technique breaks the metaphorical wall that separates spectators from performers by creating a personal engagement with the audience, while providing real-time feedback to the presenters.  Companies can follow this example by creating a similar interaction during a major event or the launch of a new product to gauge what consumers are thinking.

I personally have explored the usage of Twitter and other micro-blogs as an intern at a public relations firm, analyzing accounts from the top 100 public companies.  Content tended to fall into one of the following categories:

  • Presenting Official News
  • Marketing
  • Sharing Ideas and Opinions
  • Educating the Readers
  • Interacting with the Readers
  • Recruiting Employees

The most popular companies, based on number of followers, focused more on interactions with readers; General Electric’s Twitter account is a strong example of high interaction.  A common mistake for some companies is preoccupation with their own business and news, allowing little opportunity for interactions with followers.  I concluded that successful micro-blogs can and should offer a unique opportunity for companies to communicate with consumers on a more personal level.

Twitter has recognized the potential for businesses and consequently implemented features such as promoted accounts, which have the ability to access information about follows, impressions, retweets, clicks, and replies.  As more companies realize the benefits of positive (and free) exposure on social media sites, I am convinced that Twitter will become the new standard for public relations.


by Sean Feng


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