Twitter: business watch this space!

At last Twitter is seriously thinking about business through commercial accounts and what’s called ‘Promoted Tweets’. More lingo, I hear you say. But with Twitter recently reaching 50 million tweets a day, it’s time for business to start taking Twitter seriously as a social media strategy.


Until now, Twitter has mainly provided an individualised conversation channel. What I mean by this, is there is one author for one account, which is fine for personal rather than business use. But business needs to have multiple accounts for social media representation. Twitter is now planning to launch commercial accounts for business.This way, multiple authors will be able to tweet on one account. A company will then be able to select its tweets and promote them on Twitter’s search results using ‘Promoted Tweets’. If someone searches for tweets about ‘3D televisions’ for example, an electronics company or retailer can advertise its tweets through such searches. There is further complexity about how promoted tweets perform but, in essence, this is how it works.

I was recently at a conference in Melbourne, where we had presentations from Google Australia, PayPal and other web companies. In one of the social media strategy seminars, we were presented with a case-study of a chocolate company that faced public outcry because of palm oil use. Due to the nature of this issue, the company needed to represent itself positively in the social media space. A team positively managed the company’s social media relations using Facebook fan pages, tweets, blogs and other social media channels by involving the community in an on-line conversation. It was a great example of how business can use Twitter and other social media sites to inform or educate customers and stakeholders. At the time of this outcry, the promoted tweets feature wasn’t launched but it could have worked well in a situation such as this.

Currently there is no Australian Twitter site. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to advertise your business in US if that is not your market. Twitter claims to be working hard at launching its international sites. We will have to wait and see how these commercial twitter accounts will work here in Australia. But, the idea is good. If Twitter serves your customer demographics, you won’t want to miss this wave.

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