I just watched a Social Media conference online, specifically a session on "How to Grow Your Brand on Twitter," and it has left me feeling even more passionate about the platform and it's commercial marketing capabilities.  Not to say I was nervous about my previous comments (I have had some backlash from anti-tweeters)but I do feel a lot more confident in knowing I am not the only firm believer in the importance and relevance of Twitter within the area of branding, marketing, and advertising.

The conference focused on a panel of Twitter enthusiasts - a social media consultant forComcast, the man behind the Starbucks twitter account, a venture capitalist, and the social media/branding strategist behind Kogi BBQ, a Korean BBQ taco truck.

The conference starts out with the most basic example of how something like Twitter can affect a commercial business and a brand.  Kogi BBQ, an infamous Korean BBQ taco truck in Los Angeles, has used Twitter from the ground up to build its business.  What started out as a few guys running into a club to sell a few tacos at Midnight has now turned into one of the most sought after franchises in West Hollywood.  Basic operation?  Post where the Taco Truck will be through social networks - let the fans flock.  Let's put it this way, according to brand strategist Mike Presad, if the truck were to post it's location right now, within 30 minutes, there would be a line of at least 50 people waiting to get some food.  Couple this with multiple trucks at multiple times a day, and were talking some serious return on (cheap) investment.

While Kogi BBQ offers an innovative example of how next-gen businesses can capitalize on Twitter, it's some of the other brand perspectives that truly shine a light on the benefits of the platform.  While I won't sit here and quote the findings, I'll give you some notes on what I would consider the most important aspects of the panel.

1.  It's not strength in numbers, it's the strength in the relationships.

2.  The authenticity of a brand is easily accessible on Twitter.

3.  The most positive thing about Twitter is link sharing - driving      people to brand, driving communication, driving consumers to products,      driving traffic through relative, creative content.

4.  Just broadcasting out over and over is no different than print                      distribution.  It's about broadcasting out and receiving back in.

5.  It's not just about the Twitter profile.  It is a means to something larger.      A blog can be a critical mechanism to drive sales.  Use twitter to push          consumers to the blog.

6.  Not everyone is watching all the time.  Rebroadcast important                 information as needed.

7.  ABM - Always be marketing - you never know when someone is            watching.

8.  Differentiate tweeting as a person and tweeting as a brand, and know          the difference between the two.

9.  People follow those who are good information sources.  You want to be      that source!

10. The fundamentals of marketing are still there.  First you must           have a quality product, it's just easier to spread the word from there.
11. It used to be that if you liked something you told 1 person, if you                 disliked something you told 10.  Twitter magnifies that equation by       the thousands.

Here's the deal with Twitter.  It's making or breaking brands.  The most recent example with this is the entertainment industry.  Movie sales are beginning to directly correlate with Twitter buzz.  The hot movies on Twitter are selling, and the ones with negative buzz are taking a beating.  It's more or less word of mouth on steroids - problem is: it's legal.  

No one has to jump on board with Twitter, but I believe that it's a decent trend to at least start to follow.  I'm not a big hunter, but I've got the bird on my radar because I think in the future, more and more people are gonna start shooting.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject of Twitter.  Is it like a parrot - smart and sweet, or more like a bald eagle - on it's way out with a few people (like me) trying to keep it around.  Leave your comments in the replies.  

The video, if you're at all interested, can be seen below:
10/6/2009 07:37:57 am

Twitter wasn't on the top of my list a few months ago, but I have definitely gotten some good use out of it. I started a blog myself, so now I can tell people where to go from my twitter account. I agree with your words about ABM- always be marketing. You never know who is reading your stuff, so you always have to be on top of your game. Also, I agree that it is important to rebroadcast information from time to time because not everyone is on Twitter at all times of the day. I love Twitter now and I would definitely recommend it for anyone trying to sell a product.


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