Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Twitter Economy

Twitter is the phenomenon du jour. A Google search on "Twitter" turns up 229 million results. "Twitter services" results: 45 million hits.

Clearly, Twitter has inspired a huge amount of entrepreneurial activity. It's also attracting a growing number of corporate users who see the Twitter base as an opportunity to get customer feedback, provide customer service, sell goods and services, or just plain polish their brands. (Directory of biz tweets here.) Twitter is becoming a center of economic activity around the world.

One example: Tweet Later, a site that helps Twitter users automate their "welcome" messages to new followers, track keywords in the fast-moving Twitter stream, and schedule release of future tweets (like time-release capsules). Fee-based services go beyond the free services and help Tweet Later's founders cash in on Twitter's popularity.

In the corporate arena, Best Buy's CMO uses Twitter to float ideas and drive traffic to his blog, where he posts thoughts and requests input. A few days ago, he blogged about Best Buy getting into the market for used/refurbished electronics. Last year he asked for feedback on a SWOT analysis he was preparing for the retailer--and received a number of thoughtful, serious replies. Now this is how to use social media for business advantage.

Will Twitter be overtaken by some new social media tsunami in 2009? Stay tuned.

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