Monday, July 27, 2009

Is Twitter an Overhyped Small Business Marketing Tool? Maybe, Maybe Not.

For small businesses with little to no marketing budget and also highly dependent on word-of-mouth marking, Twitter can help grow their sales and attract new customers.

So, what is Twitter? Twitter is a text messaging service that allows users to distribute information in real time to a network of individuals who subscribe to receive these "tweets," as these messages are known. Whether Twitter is a good idea for businesses in your district depends on who their target customer is and whether social media is an effective medium to reach those individuals. Sharing information with customers on daily specials/sales or even the moving location of your sidewalk cart (as one street vendor interviewed in a recent article in the NY Times does) can clearly be an effective way to spread the word about your district businesses and district activities in general. However, you need to beware. Not every business or business district is well suited for Twitter, as Steve Straus, a columnist for USA Today notes. A local dry cleaner, for instance, is unlikely to develop a large Twitter following and probably unlikely to have much to contribute in the form of tweets. This means that districts that have a highly concentrated group of convenience retail may also not be the best fit for a Twitter program. But a district with specialty shops and interesting events, or a local cafe ready to share information on a daily sandwich or coffee special, or even book readings or live music, may be a better fit. When the target customer is media savvy and interested...the opportunity may be ripe to take a chance at using this growing form of social media.

"Twitter for Small Businesses: Reconsidered", USA Today
"Mom-and Pop Operators Turn to Social Media", New York Times


  1. 1. Often we forget the little guy, the SMB, in our discussions of the comings and goings of the Internet marketing industry. Sure there are times like this when a report surfaces talking about their issues and concerns but, for the most part, we like to talk about big brands and how they do the Internet marketing thing well or not so well.

  2. it is geat job.

  3. The Center for Media Research has released a study by Vertical Response that shows just where many of these ‘Main Street’ players are going with their online dollars. The big winners: e-mail and social media. With only 3.8% of small business folks NOT planning on using e-mail marketing and with social media carrying the perception of being free (which they so rudely discover it is far from free) this should make some in the banner and search crowd a little wary.