Need Mobile? Embrace Twitter!


Been talking with a friend about “what to do with Twitter”. You may have heard of it.

Along with not knowing how to use Twitter for their business they have also been wondering what to do in the mobile space. Should they create an iPhone application? Are adoption rates high enough to warrant action? Should they go through the incredibly lengthy process of creating a mobile marketing campaign? Or is SMS updates enough? And can I handle MMS in the future?

Well, let me tell you. Twitter is a great way to address both needs. (I will use a specific example to help illustrate.)

A user is creating an account and the system asks them if they would like to receive updates via RSS, Twitter and/or SMS account. The user elects to share their information and enters their email, Twitter account information AND then selects the option to turn device updates on.

This is a relatively easy piece of code to write and you’ve just put that update into three formats; two of which are more than simple distribution because of sharing (retweeting) and immediacy (mobile). This does bring up the problem of what can be said in 140 characters (although services like Twordy allow you to use as many characters as you like.  For businesses I would suggest working within the limitations of Twitter and utilizing other Twitter services such as twitpic and/or Brightkite to created messages with different mediums (images, images and mapping, etc) . In regards to getting your messages concise enough to communicate something meaningful, I remember a quote by Bryan Eno when he was asked to compose the Microsoft sound for Windows 95.

I was so sensitive to microseconds at the end of this [process] that it really broke a logjam in my own work. Then when I’d finished that and I went back to working with pieces that were like three minutes long, it seemed like oceans of time.

Fortunately for us, we call know that Marko-babble is dead and that web content needs to get to the heart of the matter in a hurry (for SEO purposes at the very least). Also, other potential clients looking for those updates can find them with Twitter search and Facebook’s Lexicon as users push their Twitter updates into Facebook. These updates now have a tremendous distribution potential and will take on a life of their own. This is also the why Google will buy Twitter in the near future.

I know this is the one millionth post you’ve read about Twitter and will not be your last. If you made it this far, congratulations and thank you.