Twitter Pt.2 - Listen and You Will be Heard

. Wednesday, July 22, 2009
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So I was at a "Social Media Workshop" on Monday night and the presenter said "I use Twitter but I don't get why, and how to use it." This is when I knew I had to update my blog with "Why and How to use Twitter."

If you have not read twitter,tweets,twestival,tweetheart pt1 read it first!!

Ok lets start with some fun Twitter jargon.

twitterlooing: twittering from a bathroom.

Visit Twitterspeak page on Mashable for more.

So why is there so much hype about Twitter and how can companies leverage it's success?

Remember when you wanted to find out what people were saying about a particular product. You would look for online message boards, or forums and ask your friends what they thought about a particular product.

You trusted these opinions because there was no incentive for people to lie. These were honest experiences that people had when using a particular product or service. It was great, you didn't have to worry about spending a ton of money on a car, or a hotel because you had these testimonials.

However, there was one problem with the online message boards and forums, there were so many and some were full of spam and others didn't seem like they really knew what they were talking about and just seemed like one big online argument.

Then along came Twitter.

People talk on Twitter. They talk about everything and anything. The movie they just saw. The girl they just passed. Even the doctors appointment they just went to. It is the largest message board in the world. And even better, it is real-time. Want to know what is going on right now in the world? All you have to do is check what words are trending on Twitter.

Visit to see what terms are trending on Twitter and why.

For example, I just looked what terms are trending as I am writing this post and this is what I found.

Tim Burtons Alice: Tim Burton is remaking the classic ALICE IN WONDERLAND movie, set to release on March 5, 2010.

A large percentage of the Iranian population disputes the election of President Ahmedinejad, believing the election rigged, a "Sea of Green" took to the streets to protest. Tweeters are trying to raise awareness of the situation, because news networks won't.

: TEDGlobal 2009 is happening this week with lots of high-profiled speakers

cool stuff. Especially the IranElection tweets. In fact the reason why the uprising in Iran has been so powerful is because of Twitter.
So what are the implications for brands?

Twitter is an amazing communication tool. You can reach thousands of people. Letting them know about your latest promotion, or review in a popular magazine. You can voice your opinions about a particular event or news story. And you can definitely push any new content that you have recently put up on your blog. (Which I will be doing as soon as I publish this post, @raykanani)

But that isn't why Twitter is so great for brands.
Unfortunately brands are so used to talking that they can not see that listening is what makes Twitter such a powerful tool. allows you to search what people are talking about in regards to a particular keyword, geographic region, or even attitude.

The MarketR team is constantly listening to what people are talking about on Twitter and engaging in a conversation when we feel the topic is related to the client's brand.

For example we noticed that an individual in Vancouver was complaining on Twitter because she was having a bad hair day. One of our clients is an internationally recognized hair salon. On behalf of the client we engaged in a conversation. We recognized that she had over one thousand people following her on Twitter so we offered a discount to the salon. She was ecstatic at the offer and made sure to share her excitement to her followers. Even better when she came into the salon she made sure to write about her amazing experience to all of her followers.

Some other examples of listening on Twitter.

Malaysian Airlines.

Wells Fargo

By listening you can understand how your brand is being perceived. If you keep hearing that brand x's prices are so high, then maybe it is time to do a price promotion. Or maybe you keep hearing that service is so poor at brand y. Well maybe it is time to focus on customer service training.

By listening you can attract individuals who are experiencing the customer pain that your brand is designed to solve.

By listening you can show your customers and potential customers that you care.

Listen and you will be heard