Twitter, the real time answers engine.

Lately I’ve caught myself avoiding Googling information and definitely not Binging it when I need to find an answer to a question or if I need an opinion.  I remember being at Affiliate Summit in 2006 (I think) in Miami a few years ago at the Share a Sale Under the Stars party at this gorgeous hotel on the beach in South Beach.  I used to have the tag line on my profile on a few different Marketing forums as “I don’t Twitter I twinkle”.  Although I was joking about Twitter back then and it was just out to the public, I definitely kept it on the back burner as something that could take off and guess what, it did.

Long story behind this.  The short version is that I was handing out strobing, yellow stars branded for my old company and Twitter had racked up a huge cell phone bill so I shut it off from my phone to avoid the phone bill which is where I don’t Twitter, find me by the strobing, flashing (twinkling) stars because I twinkle at the Under the Stars party came from.  In short it was I don’t twitter I twinkle was easier to say and a funny inside joke.

Anyways, enough rambling.  Lately when I have a question I have been using hash tags in Twitter to find my answers.

Today I had a question about LCD vs. Plasma TVs.  I sent a Tweet out about it and within a few minutes I had some really good responses.  A couple people spammed it with Amazon links, but I got some really good comparison charts on the differences between LCD and Plasma and was able to figure out what I needed to.

Sure, Twitter will give you one persons response and it will probably be biased, but then again, all you get in the Search Engines results are one person’s opinions in the form of a website, not in real time and the articles could be old.  The Search Engines also favor whoever has the best SEO for their site so the answers could be biased there as well.  You cannot rely on either 100% so when I am looking for answers, my personal preference right now is to get as many as I can from real people, or at least people looking to give answers to my questions in real time so I am starting to go to Twitter and even somewhat on Facebook; instead of going to Google or Bing.

Now, the Search Engines are seriously important and I will continue to use them for research, for finding answers that are to hard or to embarrassing to ask on Twitter.  I’ll go to Google if I need to shop and don’t want what I am buying to be public.  What I wanted to point out with this post is that you should never underestimate the power of sites like Twitter and the new Social Media Search Engines.

People are starting to use them for searches and product recommendations and with sites like Blippy.com popping up, they are a huge sales channel that is measurable and monitorable and can be a key part of your Marketing Strategy to help you change or restructure your Marketing Messages when pitching to certain demographics. We never really had a way to actually monitor Marketing Messages in real time before the Internet and with tools like Twitter and Blippy, or even Facebook, we can now see how our shoppers react by demographic and we are now able to start really hitting our target audiences with the right messages since we have a better idea of how the rest of that group may react.

Again, these are only my opinions and just because I use this information and it may work for me doesn’t mean it will work for everyone.  This blog is only intended to get you to think about how to use Marketing to your benefit, it cannot however give you a strategy, it can only help you to think about new ways to think about how you are currently running your Marketing and how you can test different things to see if they may work for you.

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