Word of mouth has always been one of the most effective ways to grow a business. People take ads with a grain of salt, but they tend to trust friends and relatives when told that a certain movie is great or a new restaurant has fantastic food. Pre-internet, such “trustworthy” spread of news and subsequent growth was a slow, but generally steady, affair, dependent on face-to-face or telephone chats between friends. Today, a website can go viral in a matter of hours, thanks to the power of networking sites like Twitter.
What makes Twitter unique and worth a serious look by any company interested in harnessing it for advertising purposes is its timeliness. It was founded on the premise of “What are you doing right now?” instantfamez It uses text messages for instant messaging, popping them straight onto connected users’ cell phone or computer screens in real time, without an email filter in between. Twitter messages are limited to 140 characters. Short, sweet, to the point, and all given a sense of urgency by that “right now” hook.
While the majority of Twitters involve things like “I’m driving to work” or “I’m eating peas, yuck,” well-directed Twitters like “I just found the coolest shoes at ABC Company” set up grounds for action by the recipient. Say that a sociable person with a cell phone and a host of “followers” discovers your site. She thinks it’s the hottest thing she’s seen in weeks. She Twitters. A fast 140 characters later, and all 270 of her Twitter contacts have been informed of your site. How many of them subsequently check it out and tell their friends depends on what they’re doing at that precise instant or on how much they like her taste in shoes. But you can bet that a certain percentage will. Whether from genuine interest or boredom or a general desire to participate, some will pass the word on to their friends, who pass it on to their friends . . . all at the speed of network connections.
Think of the possibilities when a determined marketer sets out to build a brand, capture email addresses, and generate “buzz” via a cell-phone network that is growing every second around the world. Twitter, by its immediacy and its brevity, captures at a glance the busy, tech-savvy people taking a quick break from work, the young people using cell phones to stay connected with friends, the traveler killing time at the airport. It is the perfect blend of technology and human networking, and businesses would be foolish not to try and capitalize on its power.
Most people who watch the video think it is some kind of bizarre joke, although the lyrics are supposedly profound. After its upload, the video received millions of views and spawned several parodies. But the main point in all this is that an ordinary person can reach the masses overnight, possibly get a recording contract, and quickly cash in before everyone wakes up and asks “what were we thinking?”