This Wednesday, we will be exploring some of those success stories on a panel, sponsored by the Software & Information Industry Association. Below are some initial thoughts on a few themes that we’ll be discussing. What questions would you like us to ask? Post your questions in the comments below or send them to me @graubart.
The Twitter land rush has begun. This differs somewhat from the web land grab, which was all about URLs. On Twitter, it’s not so much your Twitter handle (though there are a bunch of spoofing efforts for brands) but more about staking out a position as a key source to follow in your domain.
Meanwhile, the Twitter ecosystem is starting to emerge. One of the ways to measure the success of a platform is the ecosystem that springs up around it. Google is a great example of this. Beyond the 300,000 advertisers who participate in AdWords and the many publishers who use AdSense to allow Google to run ads on their pages, the Google ecosystem consists of SEO consulting firms, resellers of Google Appliances and the many software consulting and integration firms who focus on the Google platform.
For Twitter, the ecosystem is just beginning to emerge. There are a growing number of third party applications to enable more efficient posting to and searching of Twitter on desktops and mobile devices. Developers have built plugins, like TwitPic, which make it easier for users to share information through Twitter. At the same time, consulting firms, PR firms and ad agencies are beginning to focus on Twitter as a critical medium. And vertical market applications like StockTwits have emerged to aggregate tweets and build communities within the Twitter universe.
Before jumping in, develop a Twitter strategy. There are numerous ways in which companies are using Twitter to help them achieve their business goals. But the first step is in defining your goals. Are you looking to use Twitter to improve customer service (like @comcastcares)? Do you wish to use Twitter as a more user-friendly version of RSS, pushing out your latest content (like @msnbc_business )? Or, are you looking to drive transactions (like @delloutlet)? Before you start tweeting, think about your specific goals, then develop an appropriate Twitter strategy in support of those goals.
These are all issues that we’ll explore in further depth at the panel discussion. If you’ve not already registered, there’s still time to do so at the SIIA website.
If you can’t participate but would like to follow along via Twitter, we’ll be using the #SIIA hashtag and you can follow the discussion here.
In advance of the panel, I’ve posted some materials, along with links to related resources.