Why Your Brand or Company Should be Watching Twitter
Messages spread so virally and quickly in Twitter when they are "hot" that there is almost no time to react. It's at once fascinating to watch, and be a part of, and terrifying. It's almost too "live." There is no time to even think. And this is what I mean when I say that Twitter makes the world faster. And that this is somewhat scary.
If you have an online service or a brand that is widely used, you just cannot afford to ignore Twitter anymore. You have to have people watching it and engaging with the Twitter community, 24/7. It's a big risk if you don't. And a missed opportunity as well, on the positive side. My company is starting to do this via @twine_official on Twitter.
People might be complaining about you, or they might be giving you compliments or asking important questions on Twitter -- about you personally (if you are a CEO or exec) or your company or support or marketing teams if they are on Twitter. Or they might be simply talking about you or your company or product.
In any case, you need to know this and you need to be there to respond either way. Twitter is becoming too important and influential to not pay attention to it.
If you wait several hours to reply to a developing Twitter flare-up it is already too late. And furthermore, if your product and marketing teams are not posting officially in Twitter you are missing the chance to keep your audience informed in what may be the most important new online medium since blogs. Because, simply put, Twitter is where the action is now, and it is going to be huge. I mean really huge. Like Google. You cannot ignore it.
Who has Time for Twitter?
But who has time for this? Nobody. But you have to make time anyway. It's that important.
It was bad enough with email and Blackberries taking away any shred of free time or being offline. But at least with Email and Blackberries you don't have to pay attention every second.
With Twitter, there is a feeling that you have to be obsessively watching it all the time or you might miss something important or even totally vital. Positive and negative flare-ups happen all the time on Twitter and they could develop at any moment. You need to have someone from your company or brand keeping tabs on this so you are there if you need to be. Being late to the party, or the crisis, is not an option.
It appears that monitoring and participating in Twitter is absolutely vital to any big brand, and even the smaller ones. But it's not easy to figure out how to do this effectively.
For a Twitter newbie like me, there is a bit of a learning curve. It's not easy to figure out how to use Twitter effectively. The basic Web interface on the Twitter Website is not productive enough to manage vast amounts of tweets and conversations. I'm now experimenting with Twitter clients and so far have found TweetDeck to be pretty good.