Twitter as a marketing tool

On: October 16, 2009
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About Suzanne Schram
I am Suzanne Schram. I have a Bachelor degree in Literature and I have done the Master Book and Digital Media Studies, both in Leiden.


For marketers using new media strategies is becoming popular. Direct mailing is a popular tool which is already used for many years. Social networks have taken over email in terms of popularity. Twitter is a very popular one.

Businesses such as Cisco Systems, Whole Foods Market, Dell ,, BBC and Comcast use Twitter to provide updates to customers. Cisco Systems was very early with the implementation of new media for the use of marketing. The company actively uses different kind of popular new media to promote its news and announcements: a blog, a Facebook fan page, Twitter feed and YouTube channel.

Skittles uses a different approach. They call it a chatter, it is a page that show vistitors tweets about Skittles. Skittles has a website with links to a facebookpage a twitter page and information about their products and the media they use. When Skittles implemeneted a Tweet stream the traffice to their website grew by 1332% in one day.

There are companies who offer services to help brands to be promoted with the use of Twitter. Easy tweet offers services such as a sms and e-mail alert when people mention their brand on Twitter. The possibility to track anything you want on Twitter and the service to monitor trends in Twitter conversations.

However there is a lot of discussion about the size of the Twitter audience, the power of the medium doesn’t seem very great. Only a small percentage of the Twitters is very active on Twitter. Aaron Wall mentions some downsides of marketing through Twitter:
– There are so many messages coming through, it’s hard to keep a loyal following (at least with having all your stuff read) the way you can with a blog.
– The high volume of messages also pushes messages down rapidly
– “If you dominate a channel and keep reaching the same people over and over again that does help provide social proof of value, but after seeing the same message 5 or 10 times it becomes noise.”
–  “Most people do not have automated mechanisms to dump their daily Tweets / Tweet links into their blog to provide trusted direct links”
– “People rarely use Twitter as a bookmarking service, so it is rarely worth searching into yesterday’s content. The Twitter content is very zen-like…here today, gone today.”

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