Saturday, June 23, 2012

Use Twitter to Help Spread Your Message

The following  originally appeared in the Stephenville Empire-Tribune and is reprinted here with permission.
Whether you run a mom and pop candy shop, Fortune 500 company, newspaper, church, nonprofit, a special cause or political campaign, Twitter can help you spread the word.

Twitter is a microblogging system where you disperse short messages, tweets, with a 140 characters to your followers. Think of it like a text message that you can send to millions of people (aka your followers). Twitter is relatively easy to use and provides even more marketing opportunities.

Unlike other social media platforms, Twitter followers don’t mind the abundance of posts you can add to your account each day. You are able to constantly keep your followers in the loop without being known as the business that posts too much.

The best part about Twitter is that you are able to give out information quickly and effectively. With the majority of Americans not interested in reading long and elaborate material, this is a great way to reach the “get in-get out” type of customer.

Twitter can also be used to help promote an event or provide information on how your organization is being socially responsible. The more followers you have, the better, because your message is able to spread throughout the world just by having a customer simply hit the “re-tweet” option.  When you re-tweet, you are sharing an already posted tweet with your followers. Think of it like a “forward” in email messages.

Not just for businesses
Twitter is one of the fastest ways to send a message. Many people stay connected with friends and family members through this “little bird,” which means you can spread the word about your next family reunion.

This social media resource can be used to help spread your passion on the Internet. Take charities for example. This tool is great to help inform people of a cause and why they should ultimately donate time and money to you. It can even be used for your church to help remind members about events, speakers, and to help spread the word of God. If you are part of any type of organization I guarantee Twitter has a spot for you.

Twitter usage grows every day and the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project reports that 15 percent of online adults use the service.  The report also shows more Twitter users for ages 18-29. The entire report is posted at http://www.pewinternet.org/.

Still hesitant to start an account? Hit up the site and look at what your competition is doing. Or follow your favorite idols to see how their messages spread across the world. You can check someone’s Twitter savvy at http://tweet.grader.com/. Simply place the Twitter name in the field and hit enter for a Twitter grade and analysis.
Whether it is for your business or about your hobby, just tweet about it. Tell us how you’re using Twitter @TSMRI or @ETeditor.

The Texas Social Media Research Institute, based at Tarleton State University, is a cross-discipline collaboration focused on social media. Intern Brooke King authored this column.

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