Friday, March 21, 2008

I'm All a Twitter Over Twitter! Viral Social Marketing at Its Best?

Yesterday at lunch, Anthony Bianciella, VP of Marketing at MTI (www.mtiadvantage.com) asked me if I ever used Twitter.

"Nope, I have never used it. What is it?," I asked.

He explained what it was and I immediately decided to try it because a recent Comfony study suggested that agencies "walk the walk" if they are going to provide advice about social media communications (see Fard's post on this: "Cymfony Says Agencies 'Don't Get' Social Media, Urges Them To 'Walk The Walk'").
"Twitter is hard to understand for normal people. The service – approaching 1 million users in the neighborhood of its first birthday – is among the most rapidly adopted applications ever. Without hyperbole, I would say that every marketing exec should be on Twitter," says Mike Troiano ("Real People Use Twitter").
What you do is get an account and start posting updates ("tweets") about what you're doing or thinking. I have a widget that posts the last five of my tweets here on Pharma Marketing Blog (see left: "What's Mack doing or thinking right now?"). As I write this, the following tweets are active:
  • Posting about Twitter when I should be writing articles! less than a minute ago
  • Got to step out and bring the bimmer in for service! about an hour ago
  • Slow day -- good time to work on the next issue of Pharma Marketing News! about 3 hours ago
  • Trying to customize my Twitter home page at twitter.com/pharmaguy about 17 hours ago
  • Working on some online surveys for a client...
Cool huh?

"What's the point?" you might ask. Aside from "walking the walk," I thought it would be a good way to promote myself and let people know what I do all day other than write this here blog! Maybe it will bring me more business, I dunno.

It may also enhance my personal relationship with readers, who can also have a Twitter account and put me into their Twitter people to follow list. And I can also follow YOU, which would be more interesting to me (especially in terms of market research about what my readers' interests are).
NOTE: For the road warriors out there, you can post tweets using the text messaging feature of your cell phone.
So far, I have one person in my list: kosherfrog (he's Jewish and French); someone I haven't heard from in several years. Twelve days ago he posted this: "Thinking about Participatory Medicine."

Twitter can search for people in its network from your e-mail address book. It will only look into hotmail, yahoo, or gmail e-mail address books, however. You can also type in e-mail addresses for it to use to find other Twitter people.

The guy I quoted above thinks Twitter will be an important tool for marketers:
"Strategically speaking, what this means for brands is that real rules...to get into the right headspace to do real work that speaks authentically to people, you have to walk the walk. For the people behind the ads – clients, marketing execs, CDs and writers, you and me – it's time to get real as well. It's time to come to terms with the fact that we cannot and should not keep our 'Work' and 'Home' lives in separate boxes. There’s one you – just like everybody else – and in the end making the leap of faith required to expose that real, flawed, whole person is the key to understanding not only social networking, but the spiraling number of people who participate in it every day."
Viral Social Marketing
Eventually, Twitter will offer ad space just like ads found on Google search pages. The ads will be served based on keywords found in tweets. For example, suppose I posted this:
"Plan to call my doctor today about Zetia, Should I stop taking it?"
Lo and behold, when that person visits his/her Twitter page the next time, there's an ad for Zetia -- or better yet, Crestor! Not only on that page, but maybe on the pages of that person's list of people!

You can only imagine what the limits for such viral social marketing are!

Join me at http://twitter.com/pharmaguy.

2 comments:

  1. Excellent article - I have been sitting on my Twitter account doing nothing with it. Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. John,

    Just started using Twitter myself in the last couple weeks. Not clear on the business use yet, but it does provide a nice virtual backyard fence for casual conversation.

    ReplyDelete