Twitter is one of the "new kids on the block" in the Social Media or Web 2.0 world. It has some fantastic social aspects and if used correctly it can be a great tool. You can use Twitter for market research, which should be one of your core internet marketing strategies. The best thing about using Twitter is you get the research done quickly-and for free!
One of the best aspects of Twitter from a marketing perspective is the broad reach you have. You can touch millions of people around the world. At any given moment there are literally millions of people twittering away.
You put a tweet out to the Twitterverse … asking a question and you will get short, spontaneous answers … these tend to be direct and not calculated because they are spontaneous. The Tweeple do not take time to think about their answers … tweets are flying by too quickly for that … so they just answer!
You can either put out the questions manually as in "What is your favorite flavor ice cream?" or you could use one of the applications and create a poll or survey giving them specific choices.
After you get your initial results, you can even tweet the outcome giving people a chance to respond and further refine or clarify your research!
You can also conduct market research by listening in on other people's tweets. You can find out for free what people are buzzing about, what they are looking for, problems they are encountering, solutions they wish they could find … or just info they are seeking.
Twitter has a search function built in so you can find people talking about a specific subject. You can also use different search applications to find comments. The hashtag is a popular way for people to identify a topic they are interested in.
So if I want to find out what people are talking about regarding ice cream, I could type "ice cream" in the search box, or "#icecream". The # will return tweets by people who have put that exact phrase #icecream in their tweet.
So I could ask my question so I catch both groups- "what is your favorite ice cream flavor? #icecream" And I still have 91 characters left!
By getting this input, you can then direct your next project to solve a problem that you know exists! This is one of the classic offline and internet marketing strategies: find a need and fill it! This research might lead you to promote a different product than you had originally intended. Or maybe it gives you clues on how to write the sales copy to make your product more appealing. It might inspire you to create a new product or improve an existing product-or to provide a service that fills a need.
Learn fast act fast
Another one of my internet marketing strategies is acting while a market is hot and Twitter really helps here! Because you got the research quickly, you can also act upon it quickly.
So by using social media, specifically Twitter, you are able to implement at least three of your internet marketing strategies-market research, filling a need and acting quickly.