For those not familiar with Twitter, it’s a text message rebroadcast service, it has about 1.2 million users online.
If you have a look at twitter.com you’ll see SMS sized messages from people telling people what they’re doing or what they’re up to. People subscribe to get updates from your profile more than you sending stuff to your list of people.
When compared to the 100s of millions on social networks, Twitter is tiny, but the current trend is seeing people focus more of their attention on Twitter and way from the traditional social networks. Hah – “traditional social networks”. Those people on Twitter too are the trendspotters and trend makers. I recently put a list together here of Irish Businesses on Twitter and that is of course growing.
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It’s just one more place where companies can do business. Unlike other “markets” though, this is very very informal and while people are happy for business to take place, they’re more interested in the social aspect of this space. But aren’t people more influenced when they’re relaxed and talking to real people? I’ll harp back again to Recruit Ireland who have recently joined and are really getting the space and very recently Herb Street joined Twitter. Herb Street are a restaurant in the Dublin Docklands and while they only have a holding page for their website, they’re active enough on Twitter, even posting pics of their daily specials.
Irish Businesses are using Twitter in four main ways
1. First they just use it as a rebroadcast service so blog feeds or special offers are sent out in 140 character bursts from the account. There is no real interaction with people. Like this special offers account from Dell: http://twitter.com/DellHomeOffers , In Ireland the company might not even do it themselves, there are unofficial feeds for RTE for example: http://twitter.com/RTEnews
Human face of business
2. They human power it. Using an official title they go off and they might auto mention new blog posts but they also answer questions posed to them and join in conversations. Irish company Blacknight’s is like that: http://twitter.com/bksolutions
3. They join in as humans first, business people second. They take an active part in conversations, start them, contribute to them but also give their opinion on business issues and so forth. They use Twitter to show off their knowledge, to network and to have fun. Pat Phelan from Cork based Cubic telecoms is an example: http://twitter.com/patphelan
Monitoring and then interacting
4. They monitor Twitter for their brand and see what sentiment is like and they will also engage directly with a user to help them with their issue or a sale etc. Any company can search for their details using http://search.Twitter.com
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It’s interesting to see some Irish companies being ahead of the curve when it comes to this and there’s a good deal of Irish using the system when it comes to number of users per capital. Also too, a few Irish companies have built other applications and businesses on top of twitter. Cork based Pat Phelan and Dublin company Dial2Do made twitterfone.com, the ability to dial and talk in your message instead of typing and another group in Cork have built a statistics package called TweetRush.com to monitor how many messages go through the system per second, hour, day, week etc.