In yesterday’s post, I opened the discussion of Twitter’s varied use by non-marketers and covered two interesting and innovative applications of the technology. The first is that of Francis Kariuki (@Chiefkariuki), the Kenyan administrative chief that uses twitter to get important messages out to his community members. Secondly, we looked at the twitter bot named Where’s My Bus (@whensmybus) which offers travelers real-time London bus information.

Next, let’s turn our attention to auto racing. NASCAR on Fox, the emmy-award winning programming for NASCAR coverage on Fox Sports has recently made the shift to include Twitter in its coverage of the events. Viewers can track comments and get updates from commentators and “track-side” reporters by following certain handles and tracking specifc (#)hashtags. This allows greater engagement with fans and offers added value and insight to the broadcast. They are not the only channel to offer such functionality in their broadcasting, but they are the channel that is potentially the most aggressive in its consistent use of Twitter.

Businesses and Their Twitter Accounts
The two cases from yesterday and the auto racing example above offer innovative applications of Twitter that provide a cause for re-evaluation. Businesses need to be mindful of their twitter presence continuously reassessing what they do and must avoid falling into a rut. They need to push to engage with their followers in new and meaningful ways. Additionally:

  • Company twitter accounts should be purpose-driven in that they deliver on a goal consistently, whether that is supplying interesting and insightful content to followers or engaging in a more compelling way, or both. Chief Kariuki’s followers know what they get from him and a company wants to have that same consistent presence and follower expectation of what they will get (and it is on the company to then make it worth the followers’ while).
  • Businesses should leverage twitter by finding ways to get the tweets seen by more and more people beyond only those that have twitter accounts. Chief Kariuki’s example illustrates this well by getting the content of tweets out via text messages. The implementation of this in an ICT developed markets does not exactly parallel the example, but the point remains. Businesses should leverage twitter content by profiling it on other social platforms, interactively linking it to a Pinterest account for example, blog posts, loyal or interested customer emails, or other channels that are well established with their customer base.
  • Businesses should use Twitter as a two-way tool that motivates followers to respond and engage as more of a give and take conversation than a one-off message.
  • When the company achieves successes or achievements are made on the platform…companies should tweet about it and make it known to their followers.
  • Lastly, the auto racing example illustrates the use of Twitter to track the progression  of an event in real-time. Companies can cover relevant industry events or their own via their handle or initiate a new one for that event and have interested parties track it via a hashtag search. Tracking it this way rather than through the handle can avoid overwhelming followers with too many tweets risking their un-follow click and their subsequent forgetting to follow again once the event finishes.

For more information regarding how your business can purposefully use Twitter or how an SEO company can help you better navigate the social landscape and establish more quality engagement, connect with me directly at rbuddenhagen@webimax.com and @ryanwbudd.